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Cruise Ship Accident Compensation

An accident on a cruise ship holiday can totally ruin your well-earned break.

A photo of Mrs Swaffield

I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Cruise ship accident compensation

Going on a cruise is a dream trip for many British holidaymakers. Whether you’ve taken a cruise to the sunny Caribbean or viewed the breath-taking Norwegian fjords, you’ll have been bowled over by the sheer size of these floating hotels and impressed by the sheer volume of food and activities they provide for their guests. Not only can you enjoy sampling the local delights at every port, you can enjoy the amazing swimming pools on board and also take time to relax in the spa and make the most of the beauty treatments on offer.

Cruising offers a different way to see the world for thousands of tourists every year and, while the majority experience high-quality service during their time on board, sometimes accidents can occur due to negligence

Tripping on uneven flooring on board, or being injured getting on or off the ship are examples of accidents that can occur due to negligence. Claiming for an accident or illness that happened on board a cruise ship can be a difficult process but, at Your Legal Friend, our team of expert personal injury solicitors is ready to help you claim the compensation you deserve.

Our expert team will call you...

With thirty years of experience in personal injury compensation and a 95% success rate, our specialist personal injury solicitors have successfully won over £200,000,000 in the last ten years alone.

Cruise ship accident claims team

So if you’ve been injured in an accident on a cruise ship we’ll fight to secure the compensation you deserve.

Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury leads our holiday compensation team. A fully qualified solicitor with over 15 years of experience and expertise, Alison is dedicated to achieving the highest levels of compensation for her clients as well as ensuring high-quality client care.

Alison is assisted by her team managers, Philip Waters Lee Quinn, Jenna Hargreaves, and Kathryn Langton. Together they have a wealth of experience in personal injury compensation.

Read less

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There are many people injured in accidents each year through no fault of their own and the circumstances will be different in each instance. Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of personal injury claims, so we can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Alison Saul

Director of Personal Injury

What our customers say

Mrs. Vora's portrait

“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

A photo of Mr Dowse

“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining a full description of your accident or illness
Step
2
Obtaining your medical records
Step
3
Contacting the company responsible for your accident or illness
Step
4
Arranging your medical assessment
Step
5
Collating details of your financial loss
Step
86
Negotiating the maximum settlement possibleProviding you with our valuation of your losses
Step
7
Sending your valuation to the other party's insurer
Step
68
Providing you with our valuation of your lossesNegotiating the maximum settlement possible
Step
9
Issuing Court proceedings
Step
10
Sending you your compensation payment

Your questions... answered

What kinds of accidents happen on cruise ships?

Slips, trips and falls

Passengers can suffer an accident even before they leave port. Gangway injuries may occur as passengers embark and disembark. Slips and trips are common in the restricted space of a passenger cabin or shower/bathroom. Tripping up on stairways, in dining areas and near swimming pools is also a frequent hazard onboard a moving ship.

Falling objects

Ship movements or sea conditions can sometimes put passengers at risk from falling objects, which are not adequately secured on main decks, in dining areas and cabins. A sudden change in speed or course can cause passengers to lose their footing or create hazardous waves in the ship’s swimming pools.

Swimming pool accidents

Poorly maintained pools and Jacuzzis are a potential safety hazard. Not only do ‘wet areas’ present a  serious risk of slipping on tiled surfaces but also uneven, cracked or broken tiles can cause stubbed or broken toes and tripping up incidents.

Pool depth markings are not always clear which can cause passengers to misunderstand where they can safely swim and lead to potentially fatal difficulties while in the water.

Many of the leading cruise lines do not employ lifeguards to supervise swimming pool areas and have indicated they have no plans to change their policy. Instead, they claim to follow the lead of hotel and resorts by providing clear and visible signs, which inform cruise ship passengers that a lifeguard is not present.

Drowning or near drowning accidents

Falling overboard is always a potential risk. Barriers surrounding decks should be properly maintained and checked, and life jackets and floats should be readily available.

Faulty equipment

Preventable accidents include mechanical defects with the ship itself, as well as any equipment available to use, such as:

  • Climbing walls
  • Surf simulators
  • Gym equipment
  • Bowling alleys
Read less

My cruise ship beauty treatment went wrong, can you help?

Cruise ship beauty treatments are often on the ‘must-do’ lists of holidaymakers looking forward to some quality “me-time”. Luxury pampering and indulging yourself go naturally hand in hand on holiday when you want to enjoy those precious moments of relaxation and sheer bliss.

Unfortunately, “spoiling yourself rotten” can spell disaster when something goes wrong with a treatment, which may leave you with life-changing injuries, suffering and pain. Cruise ship beauty salons offer a range of beauty and relaxation treatments, including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and hairdressing. Nevertheless, beauty treatments, whether on land or at-sea are still highly skilful procedures, which should only be carried out by professional, experienced therapists.

Passengers can still suffer painful and sometimes severe injuries while receiving a beauty treatment onboard ship, most typically:

  • Burns and damage to the hair or scalp
  • Eye damage
  • Allergic reactions

In some cases, injuries happen because beauty therapists neglect to properly assess the suitability of a specific beauty treatment or fail to carry them out in a reasonably competent manner due to a lack of experience or training. Your long-awaited cruise ship holiday can be suddenly ruined and you could be left with painful, unsightly scarring. It’s important to be aware of the legal duty of care you are owed by cruise holiday operators.

If you have suffered an injury while receiving a beauty treatment during a cruise ship holiday, you may be considering seeking legal advice with a view to making a claim.

Read less

Why did this happen to me on my cruise ship holiday?

The beauty industry in the UK is known to be affected by a lack of regulation, which can also extend to beauty treatments offered at a cruise ship spa or salon.

The most likely cause of an injury on board ship can be due to mistakes, which are made by therapists or staff  who:

  • Fail to properly assess the suitability of clients for specific beauty treatments
  • Fail to apply treatments in a reasonably competent manner
  • Fail to keep all beauty tools and supplies thoroughly sanitised, presentable, in working order and properly prepared

Poorly trained or unskilled beauty therapists may have problems with:

  • Dangerous chemicals- contained in beauty products used in particular treatments
  • Heat-based treatments - mistakes made during application
  • Incorrect use of instruments- involved in some beauty procedures

Chemical solutions used in beauty treatments should only be prepared, handled and applied by skilled and experienced beauty therapists.

Therapists should also be adequately trained to ensure specific treatments are safely carried to an acceptably high standard.

Read less

What are the dangers of having beauty treatments on a cruise?

  • Chemical burns- caused by incorrect application of beauty products
  • Scarring to the face- following waxing of the upper lip
  • Burns to the skin-  caused by spilt or over-heated hot wax
  • Burns to legs- following use of hot wax
  • Cuts and bleeding- caused by poor or premature wax removal
  • Severe reactions– caused by eyelash tinting
  • Negligent application- of semi-permanent make up.

Allergic reactions

A patch test is not normally carried out to check for an allergic reaction to treatments, such as body wraps, facials or general beauty treatments.

A patch test should be given if strong chemicals are to be used in a particular treatment.

You should always ask for advice if you are worried about the use of a product. If you know you are allergic to an ingredient you should enquire about the use of an alternative.

An adverse reaction may still occur even if all the procedures have been followed.

A product may still be used even after you have told the therapist that you have an allergy to an ingredient, which causes a severe reaction.

When an injury occurs during a cruise ship beauty treatment

Any passenger who chooses to have a beauty treatment at a cruise ship beauty salon should expect the high standards of customer care.

Lack of adequate regulations in the beauty industry may sometimes mean that health and safety guidelines are not always followed as closely as they should be and the quality of service is not guaranteed.

It can be difficult to establish exactly how and why a mistake happened. There is often psychological stress and reduced self-confidence as a result of a physical injury affecting appearance.

If this has happened to you seek the advice of a specialist holiday injury solicitor.

Read less

Can the cruise ship itself have an accident which injures the passengers?

Yes, accidents at sea do happen and sadly they can result in injury to passengers on board.  Accidents at sea may involve:

  • Collisions, sinkings or running aground
  • Weather such as heavy fogs, squalls, storms, hurricanes
  • Rogue waves - up to 100 ft ( 30m) high
  • Fires on board the cruise ship
  • Mechanical problems  - causing a fire, smoke, propulsion issues, or power loss

Ship grounding accidents

Ship grounding is defined as an accident in which a vessel “ runs aground”, making contact and becoming stranded on the seabed. 

In less severe incidents, running aground can cause minor hull damage. In serious accidents, there can be breaches of the hull, oil spills, even the total loss of a vessel which has capsized, resulting in many casualties. Extreme loads can also affect a ship’s entire structure when the grounding is severe.

Bad weather

When bad weather is forecast, a bad decision over whether it is safe to set sail can have devastating consequences. It may not even be safe for high-sided vessels to remain in some exposed harbours.

Each vessel and port will have its own particular characteristics, and shipmasters should consult with harbourmasters and pilots, and agree on weather limits and safety plans.

Fire

Around 35 fires on vessels at sea within UK territorial waters are reported each year to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

Most fires are small and are usually contained by a trained crew.  However, fire is one of the main causes of the loss of vessels worldwide.  It is a major risk for ferries because of their open decks, and for cruise ships due to the rise in their passenger numbers.

Read less

What are the laws regarding cruise ship accidents?

The law is different from making a holiday injury claim, for an accident which occurred at a hotel or resort.

The Terms and Conditions contained in your holiday contract, which are supplied by both Tour operators and Cruise lines are bound by regulations set out in the Athens Convention.

The Athens Convention – what you need to know

The Athens Convention applies to EU member states and has been in force in the UK since 1996.

Seagoing vessels owe a “duty of care” in the carriage of passengers and luggage by sea, and to passengers who are either getting on or off the boat.

The Convention operates in favour of the consumer. The fault is automatically presumed on the part of the carrier unless they can prove otherwise, and is different from claims under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, which require you to prove the carrier was at fault.

A cruise ship accident claim will almost always be in accordance with the Athens Convention and not under Package Holiday Regulations 1992.

You can still make a complaint about a ‘spoilt holiday’, according to Package Holiday Regulations 1992 but this will be a completely separate action.

It is also important to be aware that under the Athens Convention, the Terms and Conditions:

  • Only apply to cruises that start and finish in a UK port
  • Do not apply to domestic cruises around the British Isles and the coast of Scotland.

If your cruise departed from a foreign destination...

You may be able to proceed with a claim under the Package Travel Regulations 1992 but only if:

  • There were no ‘stop-off’ ports of call in between
  • Your tour operator is a UK company

Time Limit

A further important difference is the time you have to make a claim from when the accident occurred:

  • 2 years- Athens Convention  
  • 3 years- Package Travel Regulations

Compensation Limit

A limit is imposed on the amount of compensation that can be claimed for personal injury or death.

Read less

What accident liability do cruise operators have?

All sea carriers must have insurance as they have a strict liability for passenger personal injury, fatality or any shipping related incident unless there is evidence to show the incident was caused by:

  • Natural phenomenon of an “exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character”, or
  • Wholly caused by a third party.

Making a claim – what you need to know

Building your case and making a claim requires the in-depth knowledge of a specialist solicitor. Your Legal Friend has 30 years’ experience and knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law.

We specialise in helping all those who have suffered from a holiday accident, injury or illness while onboard a cruise ship through no fault of their own and wish to claim compensation against a UK tour operator/cruise line.

We can help you to claim back any additional expenses you have suffered as a result of your accident, such as:

  • Any medical expenses you had to meet whilst on holiday
  • Time taken off work on your return from holiday
  • Missing out on any holiday activities, which your injury prevents you from participating in. 
Read less

Slips, trips and falls

Passengers can suffer an accident even before they leave port. Gangway injuries may occur as passengers embark and disembark. Slips and trips are common in the restricted space of a passenger cabin or shower/bathroom. Tripping up on stairways, in dining areas and near swimming pools is also a frequent hazard onboard a moving ship.

Falling objects

Ship movements or sea conditions can sometimes put passengers at risk from falling objects, which are not adequately secured on main decks, in dining areas and cabins. A sudden change in speed or course can cause passengers to lose their footing or create hazardous waves in the ship’s swimming pools.

Swimming pool accidents

Poorly maintained pools and Jacuzzis are a potential safety hazard. Not only do ‘wet areas’ present a  serious risk of slipping on tiled surfaces but also uneven, cracked or broken tiles can cause stubbed or broken toes and tripping up incidents.

Pool depth markings are not always clear which can cause passengers to misunderstand where they can safely swim and lead to potentially fatal difficulties while in the water.

Many of the leading cruise lines do not employ lifeguards to supervise swimming pool areas and have indicated they have no plans to change their policy. Instead, they claim to follow the lead of hotel and resorts by providing clear and visible signs, which inform cruise ship passengers that a lifeguard is not present.

Drowning or near drowning accidents

Falling overboard is always a potential risk. Barriers surrounding decks should be properly maintained and checked, and life jackets and floats should be readily available.

Faulty equipment

Preventable accidents include mechanical defects with the ship itself, as well as any equipment available to use, such as:

  • Climbing walls
  • Surf simulators
  • Gym equipment
  • Bowling alleys
Read less

Cruise ship beauty treatments are often on the ‘must-do’ lists of holidaymakers looking forward to some quality “me-time”. Luxury pampering and indulging yourself go naturally hand in hand on holiday when you want to enjoy those precious moments of relaxation and sheer bliss.

Unfortunately, “spoiling yourself rotten” can spell disaster when something goes wrong with a treatment, which may leave you with life-changing injuries, suffering and pain. Cruise ship beauty salons offer a range of beauty and relaxation treatments, including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and hairdressing. Nevertheless, beauty treatments, whether on land or at-sea are still highly skilful procedures, which should only be carried out by professional, experienced therapists.

Passengers can still suffer painful and sometimes severe injuries while receiving a beauty treatment onboard ship, most typically:

  • Burns and damage to the hair or scalp
  • Eye damage
  • Allergic reactions

In some cases, injuries happen because beauty therapists neglect to properly assess the suitability of a specific beauty treatment or fail to carry them out in a reasonably competent manner due to a lack of experience or training. Your long-awaited cruise ship holiday can be suddenly ruined and you could be left with painful, unsightly scarring. It’s important to be aware of the legal duty of care you are owed by cruise holiday operators.

If you have suffered an injury while receiving a beauty treatment during a cruise ship holiday, you may be considering seeking legal advice with a view to making a claim.

Read less

The beauty industry in the UK is known to be affected by a lack of regulation, which can also extend to beauty treatments offered at a cruise ship spa or salon.

The most likely cause of an injury on board ship can be due to mistakes, which are made by therapists or staff  who:

  • Fail to properly assess the suitability of clients for specific beauty treatments
  • Fail to apply treatments in a reasonably competent manner
  • Fail to keep all beauty tools and supplies thoroughly sanitised, presentable, in working order and properly prepared

Poorly trained or unskilled beauty therapists may have problems with:

  • Dangerous chemicals- contained in beauty products used in particular treatments
  • Heat-based treatments - mistakes made during application
  • Incorrect use of instruments- involved in some beauty procedures

Chemical solutions used in beauty treatments should only be prepared, handled and applied by skilled and experienced beauty therapists.

Therapists should also be adequately trained to ensure specific treatments are safely carried to an acceptably high standard.

Read less
  • Chemical burns- caused by incorrect application of beauty products
  • Scarring to the face- following waxing of the upper lip
  • Burns to the skin-  caused by spilt or over-heated hot wax
  • Burns to legs- following use of hot wax
  • Cuts and bleeding- caused by poor or premature wax removal
  • Severe reactions– caused by eyelash tinting
  • Negligent application- of semi-permanent make up.

Allergic reactions

A patch test is not normally carried out to check for an allergic reaction to treatments, such as body wraps, facials or general beauty treatments.

A patch test should be given if strong chemicals are to be used in a particular treatment.

You should always ask for advice if you are worried about the use of a product. If you know you are allergic to an ingredient you should enquire about the use of an alternative.

An adverse reaction may still occur even if all the procedures have been followed.

A product may still be used even after you have told the therapist that you have an allergy to an ingredient, which causes a severe reaction.

When an injury occurs during a cruise ship beauty treatment

Any passenger who chooses to have a beauty treatment at a cruise ship beauty salon should expect the high standards of customer care.

Lack of adequate regulations in the beauty industry may sometimes mean that health and safety guidelines are not always followed as closely as they should be and the quality of service is not guaranteed.

It can be difficult to establish exactly how and why a mistake happened. There is often psychological stress and reduced self-confidence as a result of a physical injury affecting appearance.

If this has happened to you seek the advice of a specialist holiday injury solicitor.

Read less

Yes, accidents at sea do happen and sadly they can result in injury to passengers on board.  Accidents at sea may involve:

  • Collisions, sinkings or running aground
  • Weather such as heavy fogs, squalls, storms, hurricanes
  • Rogue waves - up to 100 ft ( 30m) high
  • Fires on board the cruise ship
  • Mechanical problems  - causing a fire, smoke, propulsion issues, or power loss

Ship grounding accidents

Ship grounding is defined as an accident in which a vessel “ runs aground”, making contact and becoming stranded on the seabed. 

In less severe incidents, running aground can cause minor hull damage. In serious accidents, there can be breaches of the hull, oil spills, even the total loss of a vessel which has capsized, resulting in many casualties. Extreme loads can also affect a ship’s entire structure when the grounding is severe.

Bad weather

When bad weather is forecast, a bad decision over whether it is safe to set sail can have devastating consequences. It may not even be safe for high-sided vessels to remain in some exposed harbours.

Each vessel and port will have its own particular characteristics, and shipmasters should consult with harbourmasters and pilots, and agree on weather limits and safety plans.

Fire

Around 35 fires on vessels at sea within UK territorial waters are reported each year to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

Most fires are small and are usually contained by a trained crew.  However, fire is one of the main causes of the loss of vessels worldwide.  It is a major risk for ferries because of their open decks, and for cruise ships due to the rise in their passenger numbers.

Read less

The law is different from making a holiday injury claim, for an accident which occurred at a hotel or resort.

The Terms and Conditions contained in your holiday contract, which are supplied by both Tour operators and Cruise lines are bound by regulations set out in the Athens Convention.

The Athens Convention – what you need to know

The Athens Convention applies to EU member states and has been in force in the UK since 1996.

Seagoing vessels owe a “duty of care” in the carriage of passengers and luggage by sea, and to passengers who are either getting on or off the boat.

The Convention operates in favour of the consumer. The fault is automatically presumed on the part of the carrier unless they can prove otherwise, and is different from claims under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, which require you to prove the carrier was at fault.

A cruise ship accident claim will almost always be in accordance with the Athens Convention and not under Package Holiday Regulations 1992.

You can still make a complaint about a ‘spoilt holiday’, according to Package Holiday Regulations 1992 but this will be a completely separate action.

It is also important to be aware that under the Athens Convention, the Terms and Conditions:

  • Only apply to cruises that start and finish in a UK port
  • Do not apply to domestic cruises around the British Isles and the coast of Scotland.

If your cruise departed from a foreign destination...

You may be able to proceed with a claim under the Package Travel Regulations 1992 but only if:

  • There were no ‘stop-off’ ports of call in between
  • Your tour operator is a UK company

Time Limit

A further important difference is the time you have to make a claim from when the accident occurred:

  • 2 years- Athens Convention  
  • 3 years- Package Travel Regulations

Compensation Limit

A limit is imposed on the amount of compensation that can be claimed for personal injury or death.

Read less

All sea carriers must have insurance as they have a strict liability for passenger personal injury, fatality or any shipping related incident unless there is evidence to show the incident was caused by:

  • Natural phenomenon of an “exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character”, or
  • Wholly caused by a third party.

Making a claim – what you need to know

Building your case and making a claim requires the in-depth knowledge of a specialist solicitor. Your Legal Friend has 30 years’ experience and knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law.

We specialise in helping all those who have suffered from a holiday accident, injury or illness while onboard a cruise ship through no fault of their own and wish to claim compensation against a UK tour operator/cruise line.

We can help you to claim back any additional expenses you have suffered as a result of your accident, such as:

  • Any medical expenses you had to meet whilst on holiday
  • Time taken off work on your return from holiday
  • Missing out on any holiday activities, which your injury prevents you from participating in. 
Read less