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Whether it was a serious accident or a simple trip and fall, the laws in place while out at sea vary from those on land. Because of this, cruise ship accidents are handled a bit differently. In order to receive compensation from an accident resulting in an error on the cruise ships end, contact a maritime attorney immediately. At Irwin Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale, we help those who have been injured while out at sea. Here are a few more rules of thumb for what to do if you are injured at sea.

1. Report Your Accident

Cruise ship companies must abide by the rules of the International Maritime Organization. This requires safety management systems to be in place by each cruise line company. This development includes safety management system that state there must be an accident investigation and reporting section. Employees know what to doe very time an accident is reported. But make sure you are actually reporting the accident to employees and verify that everything has been documented by asking for a duplicate of their records.  

2. Review At Risk Forms and Cruise Ship Accidents

Certain activities on cruise ship require you to sign an at-risk form. These activities include zip lining, going down a waterslide, rock climbing, and ice skating, and the popular FloRider. These all pose serious safety risks to the passengers which is why you have to sign a form. Review these carefully before signing as these can eliminate liability on the cruise ships end if there is a resulted injury. However, they will be liable if there was negligence on their end.

3. Be Careful What Your Say and Write

Normally the staff captain and a security officer will question you about your cruise ship accidents. There will also be a medical doctor on board who will document your injuries. The other two will likely report anything you say, so be careful that you do not give contradicting stories. You can ask to speak to a martime attorney first if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Common Crusie Ship Injuries

Some injuries that typically happen on board cruise ships include:

  •    Fractures
  •    Damaged collar bone
  •    Sprains
  •    Shoulder dislocation
  •    Bursitis
  •    Tears in the glenoid labrum
  •    Head Injuries from slips and falls, being hit by object, or being being struck moving cargo loads
  •    Broken arms, legs, and ankles  from slip and fall accidents, falling overboard, falling off gangways, etc.

In serious cases, loss of limb or amputation may be required due to:

  • Defective, malfunctioning equipment
  • Poor navigation planning, leading to collisions
  • Improper safety training or lack of training


Cruise ship employees and their respective companies will be held liable in the event that there was negligence in safety of passengers when you were on board. This can include:

  •    Improper training
  •    Failing to detect and repair equipment
  •    Overworking seamen; refusing needed breaks
  •    Failing to ensure desks have non-skid surfaces and free of debris
  •    Failing to keep workers safe when rocky waters and adverse weather have been identified

If you have been involved in cruise ship accidents contact a martime attorney at Irwin Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale immediately.