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What to do If You Are Injured on a Cruise Ship

4 min read
What to do If You Are Injured on a Cruise Ship

Going on a cruise should be a fun and relaxing experience. But if you are injured while aboard the cruise ship, it can turn into anything but a relaxing holiday. No one should have to deal with being injured while on a cruise. However, if it happens to you, the steps you take following the accident will determine how much compensation you may be eligible for from the cruise ship company. 

Cruise ship accident cases are more complicated than other accident cases. Therefore, make sure to take action right away to avoid missing out on the compensation you deserve. Protect both your health and your case against the cruise ship company by following this guide. 

Step 1: Get Medical Attention

Immediately following your accident you should seek medical attention in the ship’s medical room. You have a duty of care to get treatment for your injuries to prevent them from getting worse. If you do not, the cruise ship can use your lack of treatment as a defence. They could the injuries are your fault or the result of some other action.

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You will also need to document all of your injuries and subsequent care. “Be sure to keep careful records of all medical bills or invoices,” note injury lawyers at The Fang Law Firm, “all of these documents are evidence of the extent of your injuries and the cost of treatment”. Even if you believe you are not seriously injured, you could still have underlying injuries that you are unaware of.

Step 2: Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer 

Dealing with cruise ship accident cases is a specialised part of personal injury law and requires unique experience. You want to get a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. But make sure that you find one with experience dealing with cruise ship accidents. The cruise ship company and their employees may work to deter you from filing a claim or trying to build your case. 

The cruise ship or their insurance company may go so far as to charge you for medical care or even offboard you from the cruise. Having a personal injury lawyer working on your case will help with the entire process. This includes gathering evidence, proving your damages and dealing with the cruise ship company and their attorneys.

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Step 3: File Your Case 

Once you have a lawyer, they can help you with the next step in the process, filing your case. You have a time limit the minute your accident happens and you must meet the deadlines to be eligible for compensation. 

Trying to file a case while still on a cruise ship might be difficult, but your attorney will be able to help with the actual filing process while you focus on healing. 

Step 4: Start Gathering Evidence 

One of the things that makes a cruise ship injury case difficult is that once you leave the cruise ship it becomes immensely difficult to properly gather evidence for your case. The sooner you start gathering evidence the better it will be for your case. Things you can do immediately include: taking pictures of your injuries, the site of the accident, and the circumstances that lead up to the accident. This will be important for proving liability in your case. 

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Get copies of your medical records and the records from your treatment on the ship. Try to talk to witnesses and gather their information if possible. Testimony may be able to be used in your case. Your lawyer will be able to help organize and authenticate all of your evidence. 


According to the Maritime Injury Guide, there were 448 major cruise ship accidents between 2005 and 2023. If you are injured while on a cruise and it is due to negligence of some kind by the cruise ship company, then you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and the damages you suffer. 

However, building a case while on a cruise ship faces additional challenges. Move quickly to get your injuries treated, hire a lawyer, and start working on your case as you only have a limited time to file and prepare after your accident. 

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