Things to Know About Injuries, Illness Before Taking a Cruise
UNITED STATES – An online article posted at usatoday.com discusses things that consumers should know about injuries and illness before they take a cruise.*
In early 2019, a serious outbreak of norovirus struck the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Sea cruise ship, leaving close to 600 people ill. The incident highlighted problems that can occur on cruise ships, some of which place passengers at risk of serious injury or death. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 189 people died on cruises in 2018.
Medical care in the event of an illness or injury can be limited, so it is important for passengers to understand the circumstances aboard most ships.
Cruise ship physicians can usually only address general health issues. Cruise ships must have a medical professional available for passenger health issues. However, physicians on the ships are usually not specialists, and many are not even emergency room physicians. A complicated medical issue could require transport to a medical facility off the ship.
Medical care off the ship is not always in a passenger’s best interest. If a cruise ship tries to send a passenger off-board for medical care, the passenger should make sure it will be in his or her best interest. Depending on the location of the ship, treatment on board might be of higher quality than treatment at the closest medical facility on land.
The cruise line will try to protect its own interests. Cruise companies do not want passengers to become ill or injured, but in the event this happens, the company will try to protect its own interests. This might include having the passenger fill out a form that asks what the passenger could have done to prevent the incident. This type of question is designed to avoid liability and place blame on the passenger.
Know your venue! Pay attention to what you sign and photocopy the front and back of your tickets. Often, cruise lines employ the use of mandatory arbitration as well as forum state selection clauses, meaning you may have waived your right to a jury trial and instead have to submit to arbitration in the state of the cruise line's choice. Although this would not prevent you from asserting an injury claim against the cruise line, it is helpful if you know this information at the time you contact an attorney.
Accident News is a safety and education initiative from Montlick & Associates, designed to help people better understand and thereby avoid common accident causes. To learn more about our injury prevention programs, including iridesafe.com - click here. We hope you are never in an accident, but if you or family member are injured, call Montlick & Associates 24/7 for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or use our live chat at Montlick.com.