Have you suffered an accident or illness while onboard a cruise ship? If so, you could be entitled to compensation.
Figures show that illnesses onboard cruise ships or at ports of call are fairly common, with outbreaks of bacterial infections seemingly more likely when in shared spaces for long periods of time. Accidents are also commonly reported by travellers, most typically caused by slips, trips, falls and hazardous objects. While suffering an accident or illness on holiday is unpleasant, luckily there are options available to you to compensate – such as making a legal claim. If the cruise company is found to be at fault, you could receive compensation.
A typical claim involves a contract between a lawyer and a claimant, which states a fee (usually around 25 percent of the compensation awarded) to be paid to the lawyer if the case is successful. Most contracts will state that, if the claim is not successful, the claimant will not need to pay a penny.
What can I claim for?
There are various types of illnesses and accidents that you can claim for. Onboard a cruise ship, you can be vulnerable to contracting illnesses as a result of sharing certain facilities such as changing rooms, swimming pools and food and drink services. As a result, many people report having suffered from illnesses such as salmonella, norovirus or food poisoning. You may also be vulnerable to accidents or injury, typically including falls or falling objects. If it can be found that the cruise company is at fault and has not taken appropriate care to prevent your accident or illness, you will be eligible to claim and there is a good chance that you will be awarded financial compensation as a result.
If you have experienced a cruise ship illness or injury while onboard, this will no doubt have also affected your holiday. As well as the physical stress of an accident or illness, you can claim for aspects such as loss of enjoyment, loss of money spent on the holiday, and any emotional distress you may have suffered as a result.
What are my rights when claiming?
Under the Athens Convention, which deals with claims that involve events that happened at sea, all passengers have the right to claim against a cruise ship for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the carrier’s negligence.
Before you claim, you should be familiar with the laws and your rights surrounding cruise ship claims. These laws are slightly different to those surrounding regular hotel or tour operator claims, as injuries typically do not take place within a country (if an injury happens at sea, there may be more complex rules that apply than if it happened on dry land). The Athens Convention is a fairly complex piece of legislation that outlines your rights if injured at sea but generally works in the favour of the passenger.
All of your rights apply for two years after you have experienced the accident or illness – you will not be able to make a claim after this deadline has passed.
How much am I entitled to?
The amount you are entitled to depends on a number of factors, such as the severity of your injury or illness, which part of the body was affected, how the cruise ship accident or illness was caused, and any losses you have suffered as a result (such as loss of income, difficulties carrying out daily tasks). Claims are assessed on an individual basis and could result in anywhere from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands of pounds compensation. There are many other personal factors that could affect the amount you are rewarded, and a specialist cruise ship solicitor will be able to extract the best information from you to achieve maximum results.
How can I claim?
The best way to make a claim for compensation is to contact an expert cruise ship package holiday law firm as soon as possible. Specialist personal injury lawyers can act on your behalf on a no win no fee basis, meaning that, if you do not win your case, you won’t have to pay a penny in legal costs. Your choice of law firm can also impact your result. As cruise ship claim laws are more complex than those for regular holiday claims, it is important that you choose a lawyer experienced in this area; they will be able to deal with any unique complexities that arise in your case. Using a trusted law firm will also mean that there are no hidden costs involved in your claim, so get in touch with us today to get your claim started.