Though rare, it’s possible for people to get sick while on a cruise. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you may have wondered if you can sue the cruise line. Well, you can if you can answer these two legal questions:
• Was the cruise line negligent?
• Did that negligence cause your illness?
Legal definition of negligence
An entity or person is guilty of negligence if it/he/she didn’t exercise reasonable care when acting. Note that there is no automatic relationship of negligence on the part of the cruise line if you get sick while on that cruise. You have to prove that it was the cruise line’s negligence that made you sick if you want to successfully sue for damages.
What types of illnesses tend to result from a cruise line’s negligence?
There are three ways you can get sick on a cruise:
● Get norovirus
● Get food poisoning
● Get Legionnaire’s disease
These diseases span the spectrum from being mild to being life-threatening. You can sue the cruise line if you ever get one of these illnesses while on a cruise.Note that you generally can’t sue a cruise line if you get a common cold or the flu while on a cruise.
Norovirus: Some people refer to it as the stomach flu. Some symptoms of this virus are nausea, vomiting, runny stools, abdominal cramps, headaches, and sometimes even fever. It’s easily spread either through physical contact with a sick person or contact with an object that a sick person came into contact with.You can also get norovirus by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.
This is very common on cruise ships. Since you have to prove that the cruise line deliberately caused this as a result of negligence, these types of lawsuits are rare. This illness also rarely gets media coverage.
Food poisoning: It’s fairly rare and always the result of negligence. You definitely have a case for suing the cruise line if you get food poisoning while on the cruise.
Legionnaire’s disease: It kills 15% of the people who get it and often leaves people with long-term health issues. It’s rare to get and grows in dirty places that are full of warm water – this is the perfect breeding place for the bacterium that causes it.
How Do You Prove That the Cruise Line Was Negligent?
Personal Injury Lawyer in Sarnia knows that this can be a daunting task, especially if you were the only person who got sick. You’ll have to prove the following:
● Many other people got sick and have symptoms similar to yours
● The crew was negligent in preventing the spread of illnesses
● There are a lot of people in the ship’s hospital
● The crew never made any health announcements or warnings
● No sick passengers were ever quarantined
● The cruise deviated from its original itinerary
Statute Of Limitations Applies
The statute of limitations is the time you have to file your case after you got sick. Remember that it’s very strict with cruise lines. You have no more than a year. Some cruise lines require you to send them formal notice in writing of your illness no later than a few months after it occurred.