Walking onto a cruise ship via a ramp is known as the gangway. If you were walking on this ramp and you fell, you may have a personal injury case. This does depend on many factors, however. To help you know if you have a personal injury case below is information you should find helpful.
Cause of Fall
The cause of your fall is the major factor to consider. For example, if you fell completely on your own you do not have any kind of case. This could be that you tripped over your own two feet, or you bumped into someone. If you fell and are not sure why you fell, however, you may have a case.
If you fell due to a problem with the gangway, then you have a good case. For example, the gangway may collapse and cause you to fall in the water. You may also land on something that is hard and cause skin lacerations and broken bones. This could be due to the gangway itself not being in good condition, such as cracks or other types of deterioration.
Gangways are rated to handle a certain amount of weight. If too much weight is on the gangway, such as the cruise line allowing too many people to enter at once, you will have a case.
The type of personal injury claim you have will depend on the type of gangway on the boat. For example, the cruise line may own the gangway. The gangway may be provided by the city, state, or local port authority.
If the gangway is owned by the cruise line the case is much less complex. This is because an attorney only has to sue the cruise line and no one else. If the gangway is owned by the city, store, or port authority, the case will be much more complex. For example, the attorney will have to first determine who owns the gangway. Once they determine this they will then decide how to go further with your case.
Personal Injury Claim
Cruise ship personal injury claims can be more difficult. You will have to have proof that you fell because of a problem with the gangway. This will be easy if the gangway collapses but will be more difficult if the gangway has damage to it. If it is due to damage and you can, take photographs of the damage. Ask for witnesses' names and phone numbers. These two things can help the personal injury attorney.
If you fell due to a problem with a crew member of the ship, such as if they ran into you and make you fall, the personal injury attorney will likely not accept your case. Instead they will let the cruise line handle the claim.
Your personal injury lawyer will give you much more information about gangway accidents.