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I Got Sick on a Cruise - Do I Have Legal Options?

I Got Sick on a Cruise - Do I Have Legal Options?

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 17-Jan-2017

Cruise ship illnesses and injuries are surprisingly common, and when they happen, people often feel that the circumstances are a lot different than when a similar thing happens on land. They wonder if they can sue the cruise line for damages and liability.

The truth is that there are certain circumstances where you can file suit against the company, and some circumstances where you can’t. Learn what your options are if you get sick on a cruise ship, whether you can sue, and how the services of an injury lawyer can help with compensation.

Proving Negligence

Like every single personal injury case out there, cruise ship illness cases rely on you being able to prove that the ship or cruise line was negligent in their actions or inactions, and that negligence was responsible for your illness. This means that they didn’t exercise reasonable care in mitigating the risk, and you can show that this lack of care was responsible for you getting sick.

Common Illnesses Resulting from Negligence

There are a number of common illnesses that people can contract while on a cruise ship that can result from negligence. These include food poisoning, Legionnaire’s Disease, and norovirus. While food poisoning and norovirus, while serious, are often (though not always) short-lived and survivable, Legionnaire’s Disease can be serious to the point of being life-threatening.

About Cruise Ship Illnesses

Norovirus and food poisoning share similar symptoms: severe stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and sometimes fever and headache.

Norovirus is highly contagious and in an enclosed environment like a cruise ship can spread like wildfire. Unfortunately, because it is so common it can be hard to prove negligence on the part of a ship’s crew for an outbreak.

Food poisoning, on the other hand, can often be traced back to improper handling of the food served, or someone failing to wash their hands properly. This is a clear case of negligence.

Legionnaire’s disease is often caused by improper heating of hot tubs or failure to properly disinfect pool water. It grows in heating and plumbing systems, and can be the result of crew or cruise line negligence.

Hiring an Injury Lawyer

If you do get sick on a cruise ship, there are a number of steps you must take to prove that the crew or cruise line was negligent. Detailed evidence has to be gathered which includes other instances of illness, investigation of the ship’s conditions such as cleanliness, hygiene and crew behavior, quarantined passengers, the ship’s itinerary and other issues.

This is why it’s important to hire an injury lawyer to handle your case. Since illnesses can come from a variety of places, your attorney will know how to gather evidence and present it in such a way as to demonstrate negligence and get you the compensation you deserve. They can also do this in a timely fashion, being aware of the statute of limitations within which you can file suit, and know how to address specialty issues like ships being in international waters.

If you have become ill on a cruise ship and need help in the San Jose region of California, Dunnion Law can help. Check out the results we’ve gotten from our cases, and give us a call to get started today!