Accidents at Sea and Cruise Injury Claims FAQs

Who can make an accident at sea or cruise injury claim?

If you or someone you know has suffered an accident on a boat, ferry or cruise ship, our specialist travel litigation team could help you to make a no win no fee claim for compensation.

In order to qualify for a compensation claim, you must be able to show that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, or that there was a breach in health and safety processes. Before we accept your case, we’ll provide a free consultation to investigate the circumstances of the accident, with the view to offer honest and impartial advice on the outlook of your claim.

You may be able to claim compensation in the following circumstances:

  • Negligence on behalf of the ship’s staff and crew, including the captain, which resulted in injury or death.
  • Negligence on the part of a fellow passenger, who may have ignored correct health and safety protocol.
  • A defect or malfunction with the vessel.
  • Serious health and safety breaches on the part of the tour or boat operator.
  • Avoidable accidents that occur on cruise liners, ferries, floating restaurants, pleasure craft and yachts.

Our solicitors can provide a free, no obligation consultation about your circumstances, helping you to decide whether or not you have a compensation claim. Call us today for impartial advice and legal expertise.

How long do I have to make a claim?

International conventions governing the safety of passengers travelling aboard a cruise ship or ferry stipulate that individuals have the right to bring a claim against the carrier and sometime the tour operator in the individual’s home country, regardless of where they were at the time of the accident.

To bring a personal injury claim following an accident at sea, in most cases you must make a claim within 2 years of the date of disembarking from the cruise ship. However, we’d always recommend making a claim at your earliest opportunity following an accident at sea. Doing so will strengthen any evidence required to prove liability, and could mean you receive a higher compensation sum which takes into account your current and future medical needs and requirements.

Who can I make a claim against?

Who you make an accident at sea claim against will depend on the circumstances of the accident.

You can make a claim against an individual, including a member of the ship’s crew or a fellow passenger, or the ship’s operator — particularly in cases where there’s been a serious breach of health and safety or the accident was caused by a malfunction with the ship itself.

In some circumstances, if your journey onboard the boat was included as part of a package holiday, you can make a personal injury claim against the tour operator, who has failed in their duty of care to offer safe passage to you and your loved ones.

Our experienced travel solicitors can help bring a successful accidents at sea claim against those responsible for your injuries and loss. Call us today for a free and impartial discussion about your circumstances.

How much compensation can I expect to receive?

If we accept your claim, our solicitors will carry out a full investigation to calculate how much compensation your case is potentially worth. In cases where you’ve suffered injuries, this will include an examination from an independent medical expert, to determine how much medical care and support you require now and in the future.

When working out how much compensation your claim is worth, our solicitors will assess the following:

  • The severity of your injuries, both physical and psychological.
  • Your loss of earnings through time taken off work.
  • Home modifications, including mobility aids and equipment.
  • Rehabilitation, care and any case management requirements.
  • Your financial losses, including the price of your holiday or boat journey fare.
  • The loss of enjoyment you’ve experienced after your holiday was ruined by a boat accident.

Our solicitors will challenge the responsible party on your behalf, working to secure maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

What happens when I make an accidents at sea claim?

Claiming compensation for an accident onboard a ship is a four-step process, beginning with a free, initial consultation to determine whether or not your circumstances mean you’re eligible to make a claim.

Below, we’ve outlined the simple steps we take to help win compensation for your accident at sea claim:

  1. Investigation — We’ll look at the circumstances of the accident to establish who is liable for your injuries or loss. This may be an individual, the cruise ship operator or a package holiday provider.
  2. Calculate the amount of compensation your claim is worth — Using the criteria outlined above, we’ll calculate what we believe your claim is worth, and make sure you’re happy with the potential settlement sum.
  3. Put your case to those responsible — Once we’ve agreed a compensation amount, we’ll put your case to the liable party. They may choose to accept or contest your claim, or may wish to negotiate the compensation amount.
  4. Case conclusion — If the other party accepts your claim, you’ll be awarded the full compensation amount (minus our pre-agreed legal costs). If, however, the other party contests your claim, your case may go to trial — in which instance we’ll be there to provide advice and support every step of the way.

If you have any further queries about our process, call our travel litigation team today who will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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Our experts

Paul McClorry

Head of Travel Litigation

Jane Woodcock

Senior Legal Executive and Head of Personal Injury