Cruise Ship Passenger Falls Near Pools
As lawyers that regularly handle cruise ship injury claims, we see a number of falls that occur by the pools due to wet conditions or foreign substances and food on the deck spilled by other passengers. Sometimes crew members spill items on the deck and fail to clean up the deck. In other situations, the crew uses dirty water to clean or swab the deck, leading to slick conditions. The cruise line has a duty to passengers to exercise reasonable care to maintain its vessel in reasonably safe condition. This is particularly important in the cruise line industry where many passengers are elderly and falls can lead to serious injuries or even deaths.Falls On Slick Substances on Cruise Ship Decks.
In areas where injuries are known to occur due to wet or slick conditions, the cruise ship’s duty includes a duty to regularly inspect for hazards, eliminate hazards discovered during inspections, and warn passengers of hazardous conditions. For example, if you had a fall by the Lido Pool on Holland America Line cruise ship, did you fall on water from the pool or some other foreign substance or food on the deck? Did the cruise line provide notice or warning signs to advise you of the hazard? What measures did the cruise line take to inspect the area before your fall? How long had the hazard existed before your fall?
In other situations, the cruise line may have failed to drain its pool or lower the water level during heavy sea conditions. This can cause large amounts of water to flow out of the pool into passenger walking areas. For example, we represented a passenger who was seriously injured when water came out of the pool in heavy weather conditions and knocked her to the deck. As a result of the fall, the passenger had surgery on her shoulder and had some permanent neurological injuries that led to a multiple six-figure settlement against the cruise line.What Should You Do if You Have a Fall by A Pool on A Cruise Ship?
Following an injury, it is important that you immediately report the incident and get prompt medical evaluation. When you fill out the accident report for the cruise line, make certain that you indicate the specific unsafe condition that caused your fall. What was the substance that you slipped on? How do you know? If possible, it is important to get good photographs of the hazardous condition. The cruise line may clean up the hazard or make changes to the scene to improve safety.
The LIDO deck on Holland America Line vessels and pool area are among the most popular and densely occupied sections on a cruise ship. Hazards and unsafe conditions near this area must be either corrected or addressed by cruise ship personnel or properly warned to its crew members and passengers. Otherwise, serious injury is a likely result of this failure to act in accordance with any applicable U.S. and international laws, including the ISM (International Safety and Management) Code and the cruise ship company’s own internal policies.
All cruise ships are required to regularly conduct risk assessments and identify hazards that passenger and crew could be susceptible to. This is found in broad language under Section 1.2.2 under the ISM Code (updated as of 2010):
- [Must] provide for safe practices in ship operation and a safe working environment;
- [A]ssess all identified risks to its ships, personnel and the environment and establish appropriate safeguards ; and
- [C]ontinuously improve safety management skills of personnel ashore and aboard ships, including preparing for emergencies related both to safety and environmental protection.
If you have questions regarding a slip and fall on a cruise ship, contact our experienced cruise ship injury lawyers for a free case evaluation at 206.624.8844. In most situations, the passenger must give notice of their claim to the cruise line and must file a lawsuit within one year. Accordingly, it is important that you consult with a cruise ship lawyer promptly.