We usually hear reports on cruise ship accidents in the media that involve passengers who were injured, fatally wounded, assaulted, or who have gone overboard. However, it is not as common to hear about cruise ship workers being involved in accidents at sea or in port. Just as passengers have a right to consult with a maritime attorney to protect their rights, so too can crewmembers. Any worker onboard a cruise line who has been involved in an accident, suffered injuries or experienced any form of wrongdoing has a right to seek help with an attorney and file a seafarer claim.
Seafarer claims deal with the rights of seamen aboard any type of vessel, including cruise ships. In order for a worker to be considered a “seaman,” the individual must contribute in some way to the mission of the vessel or navigation. In addition, the worker must spend a significant amount (generally 35% or more) of their time working on the ship, rather than on land. Most cruise ship workers are classified as seamen and can file this type of case with the help of a maritime lawyer.
There are many incidents that can take place onboard a cruise ship that crewmembers can obtain legal counsel for. Just as a cruise line is responsible for maintaining the safety of passengers onboard, they have a duty to protect their workers from harm. When an accident or injury takes place, workers are entitled to receive medical care. If they cannot receive the proper treatment onboard, then cruise officials must arrange for their transportation to a nearby hospital for further care. If this does not happen, the crewmember may be able to file a lawsuit against the line for negligence.
However, negligence claims extend far beyond the scope of accidents and injuries. Cruise ship workers can also seek legal help to file a claim regarding lost wages and tips, lack of food or shelter, failure on the line’s behalf to provide transportation, sexual harassment or cruise ship rape, violation of contract benefits, and many other matters. Under United States law, any worker on a cruise ship is entitled to free medical care, food and shelter. If a line denies any of these benefits to the crewmember for any reason, they may be held liable for not only any injuries suffered by the victim, but also for violating company policy.
Because seafarer laws are extremely complex, hiring an experienced maritime lawyer can mean the difference between the worker being fully compensated for their pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages, or walking away from the incident empty-handed. Cruise lines will try to escape blame for their negligence and wrongdoing, but a skilled seafarer claims lawyer will know exactly what policies they are in violation of and will protect the rights of the worker. If you or someone you know is a cruise ship worker and had their rights violated in some form, contact an attorney from our firm today for a free consultation to discuss your options. Our attorneys have over 165 years of combined experience in maritime law and our firm has been named Top Law Firm Protecting Seafarer Rights. We are here to help you obtain justice, so call us today to schedule an appointment and let us put our expertise to work for you.