Cruises are some of the most popular vacations there are. Unfortunately, they’re also enclosed environments with lots of recycled air, and illnesses are shockingly common aboard ships. So what happens if you are aboard a cruise ship and you get sick? Do you have legal options? Read about cruise ship illnesses, when you can file suit for damages if you get sick on a cruise, and how a qualified personal injury lawyer can help your case.
Cruise Ship Illnesses
The first thing you need to understand about cruise ship illnesses are the three most common forms of sickness that crop up on ships, and the situations in which the cruise line or crew might be responsible for these illnesses.
Generally speaking, the three most common illnesses seen among people on cruises are the norovirus, food poisoning, and Legionnaire’s Disease. Of these three, Legionnaire’s Disease is by far the most severe and potentially life-threatening and can often be traced back to negligence on the part of the ship workers or company.
Food Poisoning and Norovirus
Food poisoning can sometimes be the fault of the ship’s crew—if food isn’t kept hot enough, or if a crew member neglects to wash their hands before handling food, it can become contaminated with bacteria that make people sick. However, the same thing can happen if another passenger neglects to wash their hands and touches the food, say, at a buffet.
Norovirus is a common threat because it is highly contagious, especially in an enclosed environment. In general, both food poisoning and norovirus cause stomach distress, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and serious flu-like symptoms. Some cases are very serious, but in general they pass in a day or three.
Legionnaire’s Disease has been featured in the news lately with cases cropping up at VA hospitals. This disease is extremely serious and can be deadly. It’s also frighteningly common on cruise ships. It grows in warm, moist areas where the temperature isn’t high enough to kill bacteria. Water systems and hot tubs that aren’t kept warm enough are deadly breeding grounds for Legionnaire’s.
Cruise Ships, Negligence and the Injury Lawyer
The key to getting compensation if you get sick on a cruise ship is to prove negligence on the part of the cruise line or ship’s crew. This means that they acted in a way that was irresponsible to the extent that it caused you injury. In the case of food poisoning and norovirus, this can be tricky to prove, since there are so many potential causes. One passenger who comes on board carrying norovirus can create an epidemic in days, for example.
Gathering the information you need to prove negligence requires the services of a qualified Winston-Salem injury lawyer. An attorney knows how to gather information, what information to gather, and how to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
If you find yourself in this situation, contact Lewis & Keller to discuss your case and get started on your road to compensation.