Recently, two crew members were hospitalized after an accident on the Pride of America, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. The accident occurred while the ship was docked in Hilo, Hawaii. Norwegian reports that officers were performing a routine inspection of the ship’s rescue boat. Two crew members in their 30s were lowering a lifeboat from the ship when the lines suddenly gave way. The men tumbled into the boat and then into the ocean. First responders transported the injured men to the Hilo Medical Center for care. Norwegian has stated that it will comply with local authorities in the investigation of the accident.
Cruise Line Crew Members Face Potential Dangers
This is not the first accident involving a rescue vessel to result in the injury of cruise line crew members. Last year, a crew member aboard the Coral Princess died in Panama while performing similar routine inspections. Two crew members on the vessel were lowering the lifeboat when a cable snapped and the boat plunged into the water with the two men aboard. One of the employees perished in the accident and the other required hospitalization.
In 2013, another incident involving a rescue boat aboard a cruise ship killed five crew members and injured another three. On the Thompson Majesty ship, one of the ship’s lifeboats fell into the sea during a training drill.
Injured Crew Members Have Several Avenues for Recovery
Whereas most land based employees cannot sue their employers due to the immunity provided by the workers’ compensation system, crew members are generally considered seamen and governed by admiralty law. Cruise employees thus have unique rights and remedies against their employers.
Crew members injured while at sea can seek compensation from their employers under the following theories of liability:
- Breach of contract
- Jones Act negligence
- Wrongful discharge
- Earned wages
- Maintenance and cure
- Unearned or sick wages
All of these claims are complex and will require employees prove several vital elements. It is important that injured crew employees consult with an attorney well versed in the complex and specific laws of admiralty and specifically cruise line accidents. Your attorney will walk you through the difficulty process of filing a claim against your employer under the legal theory that will give you the greatest chance of success.
With the assistance of an experienced attorney, injured crew members may be able to obtain compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long term disability or other effects from the accident. Those left unable to return to their position on the ship may receive additional compensation to account for the long term nature of their injuries.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Miami Cruise Accident Attorneys of Unmatched Experience and Excellence
If you are an employee of a cruise line experience an injury while working, contact the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano. We have over 130 collective years of experience representing cruise accident and illness victims, including injured crew members, in South Florida. We will assess your accident and determine your best avenue for recovery from your employer. We have the experience and knowledge to provide you with top notch legal representation. Our firm has received a coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and the Miami Herald recognized us as a top firm in South Florida. Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with superior legal services in the South Florida area. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.