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I Got Sick On A Cruise Ship, Do I Have Legal Options?

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When you have acquired an illness while onboard a cruise ship, you may be entitled to compensation for your resulting medical costs and any peripheral costs, like loss of income or pain and suffering.

One of the only ways to obtain this compensation is by having an injury lawyer demonstrate that the ship crew or others involved in operating the cruise line behaved negligently. Not only will you have to prove that they engaged in the negligent behavior, but that this negligent behavior was also the direct cause of you contracting an illness.

Since many illnesses like norovirus and foodborne Salmonella can occur commonly outside of a cruise ship, finding the evidence you need to assert negligence becomes even more important than usual. Learn more about the types of evidence you need and how it can help you build a case by reading on.

Common Cruise Ship Illnesses and Negligence

A cruise ship is a closed environment densely occupied by people. This arrangement creates ideal conditions for pathogens to spread. Common pathogens that cause infection on cruise ships include:

  • Food-borne pathogens (food poisoning), like E. coli and Salmonella
  • Norovirus
  • Legionnaire’s disease

Aside from Legionnaire’s disease, these pathogens have common sources that do not necessarily relate to cruise ship practices. In order to establish a connection between the cruise line and your disease, you must be able to identify what exact practices were negligent that led to your disease.

For instance, if the cruise line alleges that your norovirus infection came from contact with another passenger, you will need evidence to the contrary. An outbreak among passengers may be your first clue. Positive tests for norovirus microbes on cruise equipment could be another.

Even better evidence would show that the crew was not following standard practices. As an example, someone who contracted E. coli while onboard a cruise line could show that the cruise line did not actively sanitize serving equipment or maintain proper temperatures at the buffet. Not monitoring practices like people using their hands to retrieve items on the buffet can also show negligence that increases the odds of contracting a disease.

Other practices that may indicate negligence include:

  • Training materials that fail to account for standard procedures recommended by the CDC or those used by most other hospitality companies
  • Employees responsible for handling food items who cannot answer basic questions about food safety
  • A lack of response to news of infections spreading, such as the cruise line not testing temperatures more often or advising passengers to wash their hands
  • Bathrooms or facilities in poor sanitary condition
  • Water heaters not set high enough to kill Legionnaire bacteria

Getting an Injury Lawyer to Help with Your Case

Proving that a cruise line company directly caused your illness through their negligence can be difficult. You will likely need an injury lawyer who can assemble the needed facts into a compelling case through their knowledge, skill, and experience.

If you or a loved one have gotten seriously ill during or immediately following a cruise voyage, do not hesitate to contact us at the McMahan Law Firm. You will receive a free case evaluation when you use the number above or the contact form to the side, and you could potentially start your case today.