Articles Tagged with injury

A US District Court in Seattle awarded $21.5 million in damages to a man from Illinois who suffered injuries from a faulty door on a Holland America cruise ship. The man received a minor brain injury after a sliding glass door closed on his head. The sum was awarded by a unanimous decision by a jury after a nine day trial. If you were injured or lost a loved one aboard a cruise ship, consider contacting a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney.

The attorneys for the injured man were able to provide evidence to the court that other passengers had been similarly injured by sliding glass doors in multiple Holland America cruise ships. Faulty sensor settings on the door allegedly are what contributed to these accidents.

The Illinois man was traveling with his family on a 280-day world cruise aboard Holland America’s Pacific fleet flagship, the M/S Amsterdam. The ship was in open water, approaching Hawaii, when the man followed cruise ship employees through the sliding glass door, which automatically closed when the man was half way through, striking him in the side of the head and face. Holland America argued in court that the man had walked into the closing doors and that the doors did not close on him. The closing doors gave the man a facial contusion, concussion and chipped tooth. Despite his injuries the man was still able to finish the entire cruise journey.

Carnival Cruise Line has ordered “mega cruise ships” that will hold about 7,000 passengers each, making them essentially floating cities. Obviously, this means bigger profits for Carnival, as bigger ships will mean more passengers and more ticket sales. But is bigger going to mean better and safer? Probably not. Our team of experienced Miami maritime injury attorneys have handled serious cruise ship injury cases and, in many instances, the focus for the cruise line is to pack as many people on board, regardless of potential safety hazards.

Some maritime experts are getting worried about the security issues associated with putting so many people on a ship at the same time and going for extended voyages at sea. This can pose problems for smaller ports which do not have the infrastructure to handle potentially thousands of people at the same time, especially when it comes to providing emergency services. In fact, mega cruises can practically double a small port’s population in a matter of minutes by dumping an entire “city” full of passengers and creating havoc. In addition, the bigger cruise ships will, by having more number of people on board, increase the danger of outbreak of diseases like the norovirus (which recently occurred on two Royal Caribbean cruise ships in 2015). These mega ships are likely going to be magnets for criminals and thieves looking to steal purses, wallets, and other valuables.

A legislative proposal by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey named the Cruise Passenger Protection Act of 2015 (CPPA) will make it mandatory for cruise liners to have built-in state-of-the-art security technologies such as man-overboard detection systems and other relevant security systems. The proposed law would also provide for security measures for passengers who have been victims of crimes at sea. The CPPA is just a proposal at this point working its way through Congress. This means, as of now, the level of security on a cruise ship is dependent upon the discretion of the cruise line.

If a crew member is hurt on the job while at sea, do they have to file a workers compensation claim? This is a question asked to our team of experienced Miami maritime lawyers quite often by injured cruise ship workers and their loved ones. The answer is that crew members do not use the traditional workers compensation system that land-based workers may access. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the Jones Act, is a federal legislation that aims to protect seamen’s rights in cases of on-board accidents or death. Pursuant to this act, compensation can be claimed by a workman employed in a marine vessel when an injury is brought upon by the careless act of an employer or co-worker in course of his employment. Vessel owners can likewise be liable if the accident occurred due to dangerous conditions on the ship.

However, for sailors to acquire damages under the Jones Act, they must give adequate verification that they are, indeed, seamen. Federal courts have deciphered the term “sailor” to mean a person who is employed in a vessel or fleet that operates in waterways used for national or international commerce, or in other words, operates in navigable waters. As long as the person is engaged in some kind of work that is related with the vessel’s objective, the relative significance of the sailor’s expected set of job responsibilities is not critical.

The most common injuries incurred by crew members while on duty aboard a cruise liner are:

Cruise ships are not always about welcome drinks, sundecks, and romantic dinners under the moonlit night. There are, unfortunately, many serious crimes that can occur on board a cruise ship, no matter how secure you think you may be. Petty thefts, serious assaults, battery, and even rapes have been reported on cruise ships. In fact, over 950 cruise ship crimes were reported to the FBI between 2011 and 2012, and those are only the crimes that the FBI is aware of. Unfortunately, many crimes, especially sexual assaults, go unreported. Our team of Miami maritime lawyers are here to help and have handled many cases for victims of serious criminal acts while on board a cruise ship or other vessel.

Get Treatment, if Needed

If you or a loved one are the victim of a physical assault or rape by a fellow passenger or crew member, seek immediate medical attention. Cruise ships should have trained medical professionals on board to provide treatment. Be sure, once you return to land, to get copies of the medical records so you can provide them to the authorities and to your attorney. This will help established that the incident occurred if a claim is pursued against the cruise liner and/or an employee of the liner.

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, popularly dubbed as the Jones Act, is a federal law that aims to protect the rights of seamen in cases of on-board accidents or death. Pursuant to the Jones Act, compensation can be claimed by a workman employed on a marine vessel when an injury is brought upon by the careless act of an employer or co-worker in the course of his or her employment. Vessel owners can likewise be liable if an injury takes place owing to the dangerous conditions on the ship. Our team of experienced Miami maritime lawyers understand the Jones Act and want to ensure any injured seaman, or a loved one, has the information they need to determine whether they have a viable claim under this federal law.

Federal courts have deciphered the term “sailor” to mean a person who is employed in a vessel or fleet that operates in waterways used for national or international commerce, or in other words, operates in navigable waters. As long as the person is engaged in some kind of work that is related with the vessel’s objective, the relative significance of the sailor’s expected set of job responsibilities is not critical in order to assert a claim under the Jones Act.

If you suffer an injury while working on a vessel, take the following action:

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