No one wants to be sick on their vacation, especially if you’ve been planning for it both physically and financially. Cruise ship illnesses and injuries can leave you feeling even more sick with lasting impacts on your health and finances. At Madalon Law, we have seen all kinds of cruise ship incidents happen at sea. While not all claims are legal cases, you may find it helpful to speak with a cruise ship illness lawyer to determine if the company is at fault for your injuries.

Determining Negligence

When you attempt to learn if a cruise company is responsible for your injuries, negligence is the first element you and your lawyer will try to establish. The 4 of 5 days you spent in the room for a stomach bug might be more than the common flu; just like that spill you took on the recreational deck might not be the result of your clumsiness. In either case, negligence is the determining factor for responsibility which seeks to understand if reasonable care was taken in regards to your claims.

To seek damages, you and your cruise ship illness lawyer will have to prove that the company, or its staff, neglected to exercise reasonable care. 

Common Crusie Ship Illnesses

Seasickness might be one of the most common illnesses at sea, however, not a situation where a cruise line would be found responsible. There are common illnesses, however, that occur on ships and we have broken these down for you below.

  • Norovirus – This stomach bug tends to resemble stomach flu but is not associated with the influenza virus. Norovirus can cause symptoms like abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, and sometimes fever.

This virus is highly contagious, which is why it can spread on a cruise ship like wildfire. It takes very brief contact with an infected person to contract the illness with a short incubation period.

Norovirus has been responsible for a number of cruise ship incidents involving hundreds of people at a time. Not every norovirus event can be claimed in a lawsuit, but a cruise ship illness lawyer can help you identify if your claim is a legal one.

  • Food Poisoning – Cruise ship galleys are built to serve thousands of people every day. Their food preparation practices are heavily regulated to prevent illnesses from happening onboard. At times, however, food is prepared improperly leaving passengers with food poisoning.

The symptoms of food poisoning are similar to norovirus but still differ as there are over 250 different types of food poisoning. Understanding what was consumed and its medical timetables are crucial to comprehending who is at fault.

  • Legionnaires Disease – This disease is serious in most cases and occurs in warm, moisture-rich environments. In fact, 15% of those who contract Legionnaires will die as a result of its aggressive nature.

This disease is commonly found at hotel properties, athletic gyms, and cruise ships as these spaces tend to have water features like pools and hot tubs. If a cruise company fails to heat water properly, Legionnaires Bacterium can develop and impact dozens of people.

Prooving Negligence

The truth is, proving that a cruise company is responsible for your illness or injury is not an easy task. Not only do you have to prove that what you consumed made you sick, or that some feature resulted in your injuries, but you also have to prove that your illness/injury is a result of the cruise line’s negligence. A cruise ship illness lawyer can identify potential ways to prove this negligence. This right kind of evidence is key.

This evidence might be harder to obtain if you are already back home, but here are some points to consider if you are still on your cruise or are planning to go on one soon.

  • Who Got Sick  While you might be feeling terrible, someone else might be experiencing the same thing. Take into account anyone else who has gotten sick, or ask your traveling companion to do a little investigating for you.
  • Suspect Crew Activity – It is standard practice for a ship’s crew to take cleanliness and hygiene as a standard daily practice. Observe the crew to identify any overzealous practices that seem out of the ordinary.
  • Health Announcements – Have you heard any health-related announcements from the captain or crew of the ship? Take notes as to when these announcements were made and who or what was identified in the message.
  • Change in Itinerary – Take note of any unscheduled changes or stops and start asking crew members for a reason. You might be given vague answers, but it doesn’t hurt to ask more questions.

If you believe you may have experienced an illness onboard a cruise ship, we would be happy to listen to the details of your claims. The statute of limitations can be a year or less for these types of cases, so we urge you to move quickly if you feel your illness or injury are suspect. The cruise ship illness lawyers at Madalon Law can help you resolve your legal claims and get you on the road to recovery. Contact us today.