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People often ask “What injuries occur on cruise ships?” 25-year maritime attorney Frank D. Butler, at (, who has handled 100’s of cruise ship injury cases tells us, “Certainly, the most prevalent injury we see on cruise ships is slip and falls, and they are numerous.” “With water everywhere, different walking surfaces, guests spilling drinks, pool overflows, employees mopping with no Wet Floor signs up, slip and falls are the #1 type of injury when it comes to the number of injuries. And many of these fall downs involve serious injuries, oftentimes broken bones, back injuries and sometimes head injuries.”

Second to slip and falls are trip and falls. These trip and falls occur in numerous ways and almost always involve direct cruise line employee negligence or a failure to maintain a part of the vessel. For instance, trip and falls on stairs are very common where the nosing—that metal strip on the outward top of the stair—is loose or flips up or falls off as a passenger is walking the ship’s stairs. Trip and falls also occur when there is a gap between carpet and tile and passengers catch their shoe in the gap. Another very common trip and fall hazard is the gangway area during embarkation or disembarkation. This involves a lot of people in a very small space with luggage and a push to get though the process quickly. Another unexpected but prevalent tripping hazard involves deck chairs sticking out into the ship’s designated walking path.

Another major contributor to passenger injuries is equipment failure. This again involves mostly employee negligence or bad maintenance by the cruise line of its equipment. Bunk bed ladder failures is a common one. Equipment falling onto passengers. Employees running into passengers with carts. Similarly, employees dropping things onto passengers is another.

Transfers to shore. Use of the tender boats to get from the cruise ship into port often leads to injuries. Injuries occur during the transfer from the large cruise ship to the smaller tender boat, or vice versa. And, injuries occur during the often rough tender ride from the vessel offshore into strong winds and waves.

Unfortunately batteries are also a common type of injury suffered by passengers on cruise ships. Cruise ships do not have independent police forces working on the vessel. The security personnel on the vessel are employees of the cruise line or are independent contractors. It is not uncommon for physical skirmishes to break out on packed cruise ships where drink packages can place 15 drinks in one passenger’s hands every day. Our experience has also been that the cruise lines are reluctant to detain unruly passengers until after a physical incident has occurred. Our experience has further been that physical altercations occur when there is seemingly no presence of security—even in the places where on land there would be security—to deter such altercations. (e.g., in the night clubs, at the casinos) How does (the maritime attorneys) know the most frequent types of injury cases. The maritime law firm of has successfully handled 100s of cruise ship cases in the past 25 years. Second, we naturally keep track of our cases, but we also track all of the cases brought against the cruise lines. This is the type of work we do every day. For your cruise ship injury case call the cruise ship attorney specialists at

CALL US NOW AT 888-B-O-A-T-L-A-W. (888-262-8529)

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