Crew Member from Carnival Cruise Line Flown to Hospital after Fall on Deck
A crew member was flown from a Carnival Cruise Ship sailing to New Orleans after she fell and hit her head. Circumstances surrounding her fall on deck have not been reported, but she was treated at the Interim LSU Public Hospital and is listed in stable condition.
Whether it is in Washington or off the Gulf Coast, working onboard a cruise ship means facing several hazards in your daily routine. Decks may be wet due to weather, passenger spills, or disrepair. Injuries from a slip and fall accident can range from slight bruising to broken limbs to serious head trauma. In maritime law, seamen or crew members who are injured during the course of their employment are provided compensation through the Jones Act. The Jones Act, or Merchant Marine Act of 1920, was enacted so that owners would be held accountable for injuries, illness, or death that occur as a result of the negligence of a fellow crew member, master, passenger, or owner. You can recover under the Jones Act as long as your job contributes to the function of the vessel or accomplishment of the mission, and you have a connection to the vessel in navigation both in duration and its nature.
The Jones Act was a landmark statute because it allowed for crew members to recover when others have been negligent. Prior to the law's enactment, the owner could only be held liable if the vessel was deemed to be unseaworthy. To prove negligence under the Jones Act, one must show that the employer or ship owner failed in their duty to provide reasonable care, and that the failure to do so caused injury to the crew member. General maritime law has long provided for a sailor's or crew member's daily living expenses and medical costs for those who were injured during the course of duty, but the Jones Act extends the ability to recover damages from the employer. The per diem given for daily needs like food and lodging is known in admiralty law as maintenance, and the amounts to cover medical care is known as cure. Maintenance and cure are both paid until the crew member can no longer improve in their physical recovery, otherwise known as Maximum Medical Improvement.
Other recovery may be available to an injured employee if a vessel is unseaworthy and if there are unearned wages not paid that should be paid under the employment contract. Vessels are not seaworthy if the owner fails to provide a vessel that is reasonably fit for its intended voyage or purpose. This applies to all parts of the vessel and extends to every part of its operation. Unearned wages in an employment contract may seem certain, but damages can extend to many expenses beyond the written contract amount, if it can be shown that payments like tips and overtime pay are reasonably expected.
The Washington Cruise Ship Injury Attorneys John Merriam and Gordon Webb have over 50 years of combined experience negotiating and litigating Jones Act claims on behalf of injured employees. Our experienced attorneys cover cases for all cruise ship lines, and encourage you to act quickly to discuss all the legal options and rights available to you. If you have been injured while working onboard a cruise liner, contact our office today for a free, confidential consultation at 877.800.1007.