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Understanding the Rights of a Cruise Ship Worker Who is Injured On The Job


It is easy to assume that working on a cruise ship entails a glamorous life of leisure that on a floating paradise that constantly travels to exotic destinations. However, the truth is that working aboard a cruise ship often involves long hours, hard work, and worst of all – it can even be dangerous.

Local 10 News recently reported that the U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a crew member who fell off a Carnival cruise ship. The missing 37-year-old man reportedly fell overboard about 30 miles northwest of Cuba from his ship, which was returning to Miami from a four-day Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately, he has not yet been found and authorities are continuing to search for him.

What Are Common Cruise Ship Worker Injuries?

Sadly, the recent news report concerning the missing worker is simply the latest example of the potential danger faced by cruise ship workers. Cruise ships are extremely common here in South Florida and for that reason, it is probably unsurprising that cruise ship worker injuries can also be quite common. Unfortunately, preventable accidents can easily happen on a cruise ship if proper safety measures are not followed or if crew do not receive adequate training. Common cruise ship worker injuries can include:

  • Drowning
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Electrocution and burn injuries
  • Falls resulting in spinal cord injury and brain injury
  • Violence, including sexual assaults and battery, by other employees or even cruise ship guests

Understanding the Jones Act Law

The Jones Act is a federal law enacted in 1920 that provides a remedy to sailors for injuries or death resulting from the negligence of an owner, a master, or a fellow sailor of a vessel. It entitles injured seamen, or their survivors, to sue their employer in the event that their fellow workers or shipmasters are negligent. In the context of injured cruise ship workers, it affords the right to right to file a personal injury cause of action as well as a workers’ compensation claim against their employers.

What Kind of Compensation Can Injured Cruise Ship Workers Obtain For Their Injuries?

Workers who become the victims of accidents aboard cruise ships are entitled to compensation for their injuries that can include:

  • All current medical and health related costs
  • Future medical costs and rehabilitation needs
  • Lost wages and loss of future income due to a permanent disability

Have You Been Injured While Working on a Cruise Ship?

As an injured cruise ship worker, you are in the unique situation. Cruise ship workers often face unique challenges when pursuing workers’ compensation because they are often not under any one state’s jurisdiction. Therefore, if you have been injured while working as a crew member or employee of a cruise ship line, it is imperative that you obtain legal help as soon as possible. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping injured workers obtain workers’ compensation benefits in complicated circumstances, and we are here to help you obtain the benefits that you deserve. Begin by contacting us today.


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