Cruise Ship Accidents

Panama Gangway Accident Causes Injuries Aboard Norwegian Encore: A LM&W, P.A. Analysis of Liability

Charles R. Lipcon

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Charles R. Lipcon is the firm’s founder and one of the preeminent maritime attorneys in the United States. Mr. Lipcon has been handling maritime lawsuits – including personal injury, wrongful death, sexual assault and rape – for over 40 years. In that time, he and his firm have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

On November 9, 2022, the Norwegian Cruise line ship the Encore was sailing in Panama City as part of a 21-day Seattle to Miami Panama Canal cruise when a gangway suddenly collapsed. A gangway on a cruise ship is often a sharply raised walkway which allows passengers to board and exit the cruise ship at ports of call.  Cruise ships are responsible for providing passengers with safe entry and exit of cruise ships.

Although the Norwegian Cruise line spokesperson has not currently released information regarding the number of cruise ship guests that were injured, why the gangway collapsed, or how severe the victim’s injuries were at the time of this article, maritime injuries of this nature are known for producing life-threatening injuries. Victims may have multiple opportunities to hold negligent parties accountable for their recklessness across multiple avenues.

Liability For Gangway Accidents on Cruise Ships and Other Vessels 

Before victims of gangway accidents and cruise ship injuries can recover compensation for their damages, proving liability and negligence will be of utmost importance. There are often multiple parties who could share liability for victim’s suffering. 

According to attorney Charles Lipcon, “Under maritime law the shipping company is responsible for the gangway even if they don’t own or operate the gangway. Some ports provide a gangway for the ships to use.” This means victims of gangway collapses or other cruise ship incidents may have the right to sue the cruise line or ports that provided the gangways to the vessels for use. 

Although these types of accidents are not common in comparison to, say, motor vehicle accidents, in the maritime industry, gangway collapse and other types of cruise ship defects are known for causing critical and fatal injuries. In fact, there have been multiple gangway collapse accidents over the last decade, with multiple fatalities. 

Many cruise ships and their affiliates try to blame the crewmembers and passengers for causing their injuries in cases like this. However, no amount of caution taken by passengers or crew can prepare them for cruise ship malfunctions or defects. The cruise lines, ports, equipment manufacturers, parts distributors, and other third parties should all be held accountable and compelled to compensate victims fairly.

How Victims Of Gangway Accidents and Maritime Injuries Can Demand Justice 

Victims of the Panama Norwegian Encore gangway collapse accident may be eligible for compensation in multiple ways. Crewmembers may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act or Unseaworthiness of the ship, through which crew can recover compensation for injuries, medical expenses, and lost income. 

Injured passengers may be able to file a third-party liability claim against the cruise line, port, or other culpable third-parties. Your maritime injury attorney can conduct an in-depth investigation into what caused the gangway collapse, who is responsible for your damages, and determine whether you should file an insurance claim or civil lawsuit against those responsible. 

In filing a civil claim, you have your greatest opportunity to recover your damages in their entirety. This might include compensation for your physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, lost income, other out-of-pocket financial losses, and the other various ways your life has been affected by your injuries.

Contact Our Premier Maritime Injury Lawyers for Help Today

Our team of respected maritime injury lawyers at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman P.A. have extensive knowledge and experience in federal aviation and maritime laws. Our firm has recently been named “Best Law Firms”® and “Lawyer of the Year” in Maritime Law by U.S. News & World Report

If you or someone you love has suffered debilitating injuries after being involved in a gangway collapse or other type of cruise ship accident or incident, your family may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. Our dedicated team is here to help you get the most out of your claim and ensure all liable parties are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Fill out our quick contact form or call our office at 877-233-1238 to schedule your free consultation as soon as today.

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