If you got sick while on a cruise ship, whether you are entitled to legal action depends on a few factors. First of all, you need to demonstrate that the cruise line or one of its employees was negligent in some way. Next, you need to prove that their negligence directly caused your illness. Let’s take a more detailed look at your options and whether hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you is in your best interest.
Illnesses Resulting from Negligence
Negligence is based on the concept that you deserve a certain amount of reasonable care. Therefore, if your illness was due to a cruise line’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation since they did not provide you with a certain standard of care. Common cruise ship illnesses that possibly result from the cruise line’s negligence include norovirus, food poisoning, and Legionnaires’ Disease.
Common Cruise Ship Illnesses
Norovirus, also known as the stomach flu, is easily spread from person to person via contact with their germs and to multiple people through contaminated food. This makes is very common on cruise ships, but it does not make the cruise line automatically responsible. If you contracted norovirus on your cruise, you need to prove that the cruise line’s negligence caused your illness.
Food poisoning is also very common on cruise ships and is more directly associated with the cruise line’s negligence. If a cruise line’s employee handles food while they are sick or without washing their hands first, you may be able to demonstrate that their negligence led to your condition.
Legionnaires’ disease is a much more serious condition that is also not uncommon on cruise ships. The Legionella bacterium that causes the disease grows in the warm water of hot tubs, heating systems, plumbing systems and other similar aquatic environments. Hot water kills the bacteria, so if you contracted the disease while on a cruise, the cruise ship may be responsible if they did not adequately heat their pools or hot tubs.
Additional illnesses that are common on cruise ships are colds, flus, and other everyday conditions. If you fell ill to one of these, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to take legal action since these are such common illnesses, the origins of which are much more difficult to pinpoint.
How to Prove Your Cruise Ship is Negligent
In order to prove that your cruise line was responsible for your illness, you’ll need to gather evidence against them. Remember that the evidence needs to demonstrate not only that the cruise ship was negligent, but also that this negligence resulted in your condition.
If you get sick while on a cruise, keep an eye out for certain red flags such as whether any other people on the ship are also sick and what their symptoms are. Pay attention to the amount of people in the ship’s sick bay and if anyone appears to be quarantined. Also watch out for certain warning signs from the ship like making health announcements, taking precautions against the spread of germs and any deviations from its planned itinerary.
If you are the only or one of a few passengers on the ship who is sick, it is much more difficult to make a case against your cruise line. So pay attention to the health of the other passengers, and try asking the ship’s doctors or nurses if anyone else has gotten sick.
Don’t Wait Too Long to File Your Claim
Most lawsuits need to be filed within a certain period of time after the initial incident. This is known as the statute of limitations, and the statute of limitations for cruise ship lawsuits is often as short as a few months to a year. More importantly, cruise ships require that you provide them with an official written notice to inform them of your claim. They generally require that you do this within only a few months after your illness, which is why you want to begin looking for evidence as soon as possible.
Let a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Make Your Case
As you can see, making your case against a cruise line if you get sick can be very tricky. If you’re in the Nashville, TN area, enlist the help of an injury lawyer at Mitch Grissim & Associates. Contact us today to get the representation that you deserve.