Tender Boat Injuries Aboard Cruise Ships
Cruise ships are responsible for passenger safety. This includes several duties to ensure the health and safety of passengers while they are embarking, disembarking, and even while on excursions. In some cases, small passenger boats are used to transport passengers from the ship to the shore. These boats are safe for travel but are difficult to get in and out of. Stability issues present problems as passengers shift their weight from stable ground to the boat. In some cases, injuries have occurred.
Not all ports require tender boats and the tender boat companies are not always owned by the cruise lines. In some cases, this can present problems for plaintiffs as these tender boat companies may not be the greatest operations, subject to foreign regulatory oversight, and have lower standards than we are used to in the United States. When injuries do occur aboard tender boats, holding the tender boat company responsible can be challenging. Often, the company is not solvent enough to absorb a million-dollar judgment.
However, the cruise line can be held liable for the accident as well, especially if they do business with a company that has a poor history, isn’t financially stable, or doesn’t carry insurance. In some cases, the cruise line will be the only party with pockets deep enough to warrant filing a lawsuit.
Allegations in tender boat accidents
There are three common allegations in tender boat accidents. The first allegation involves the boat. If the boat has a mechanical problem that causes injury, then the boat company would be responsible for that injury. The boat company is responsible for the maintenance of the boats and ensuring the safety of the boats.
Secondly, allegations against the tender boat operator. These allegations can involve mere carelessness that leads to injury. Tender boats are unstable, and stepping into one is dangerous. The tender boat operator is responsible for ensuring passengers do so safely. While not every slip and fall accident will result in an actionable lawsuit, the majority of those arising from tender boat incidents do.
Lastly, sometimes passengers are injured due to the negligent operation of the boat itself. In crowded areas and with too much speed, tender boats can cause serious injury. In some cases, a third-party boater may be liable or a party who left debris where it could cause an obstruction to boats.
Can you sue over a tender boat accident?
More likely than not, you have a legitimate cause of action if you were injured aboard a tender boat. Miami admiralty & maritime attorney Michael F. Guilford can help you recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.