While many people assume that maritime law applies only to those who sustain injuries while working at sea, it actually applies to any crew or passenger on a water-bound vessel, including luxury liners, that sails on waters protected by international maritime law. As such, any passenger aboard a luxury liner is protected by maritime law and a maritime lawyer. Although vacationers prefer to think only of sandy beaches and refreshing drinks on the promenade, it is within the realm of possibility that a vacationer could need a maritime lawyer. In particular, a maritime lawyer can uphold the rights of a passenger who suffers injuries due to a fire, rape and/or sexual assault, or water slide injury while at sea.
As the cruise industry booms, there is more room for human error. In fact, In 2003, CNN published an expose on luxury liner fires, citing that the growth of the cruise industry caused safety protocols to be overlooked in a rush to meet the demand of consumers ready to vacation at sea. A particular fire, aboard the Royal Princess, was caused due to improperly bolts on a fuel pipe. While there have been measures to increase fire safety, such as the “Safe Return to Port” movement, there is still a threat of fire due to human error. In 2016, an ABC News reported a Royal Caribbean liner, Freedom of the Seas, that caught fire mid-trip.
Rape and Sexual Assault
Unfortunately, many rapes and/or sexual assaults that are committed aboard a luxury liner never get reported to the authorities because passengers are not always aware of their rights. If you were raped or assaulted while at sea, you may be eligible for compensation if you suffered:
- Mental anguish
- Broken bones
- Head, neck, shoulder, or back injuries
Water slide accidents
Ironically, one of cruise ships’ most alluring attractions could also be the most accident-prone. Without proper maintenance, on-deck water slides can cause serious injuries. Watersides can also become hazardous if they are not properly filled, if there is a defect in the slide material, or if the slide was designed poorly. Injuries reported from waterslides include skull fractures, brain injuries, broken bones, drowning, back and neck injury, and wrongful death.
Note: Maritime law does not cover you if you are 100% at fault for your own injury.
If you are injured at sea, you might be tempted to call a personal injury lawyer, but If you have been hurt in a maritime accident, you have rights. An experienced maritime attorney will discuss your case and determine if your injury was sustained through the fault of another and if you are eligible for compensation.