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When a Cruise Ship Paradise Becomes a Nightmare

Families with children often look forward to a cruise ship vacation because these packages promise the best of both worlds — plenty of pampering for the parents in addition to a range of activities to keep the kids happy and occupied. The fact that cruises are supposed to an escape from dull, everyday reality can make on-board accidents seem particularly shocking.

In 2013, two young children were involved in drowning accidents on cruise ships. Four-year-old Chase Lykken suffered a near drowning in a Disney cruise ship pool in March that left him severely brain-damaged. In October, six-year-old Qwentyn Hunter died after drowning in a swimming pool aboard a Carnival Cruise ship. It is unclear whether there were lifeguards on duty in either incident. Unlike other public pool facilities in the United States, cruise ships are not legally required to have a lifeguard present — even when there are young children aboard.

In addition to drowning, cruise passengers are also at risk of injury or death from the following:

  • Crashes
  • Fire
  • Contagious or infectious diseases
  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Assaults

Florida premises liability law requires all businesses and facilities that serve the public, including restaurants, recreational facilities and hotels, to maintain safe and secure environments. When they fail to do so, the owners or management company can be held liable for injuries to patrons. Suing for damages after a preventable cruise ship accident is more complicated as many of these companies are registered outside the United States. Still, it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement offer from a cruise line company.

The boating and water sports culture in central Florida is one of its greatest assets. Unfortunately, when careless individuals and companies do not respect boating safety rules, others often suffer the consequences. An experienced attorney can address your legal rights and best options for recovering compensation for your injuries.

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