£13,000 awarded to holidaymaker who fractured hip in accident on cruise ship
After our client was seriously injured in an accident that could have been prevented on a cruise ship, we have successfully settled their compensation claim for £13,000.
Fractured hip due to unsafe flooring and storm
Our client was aboard a cruise ship when adverse weather conditions caused by Hurricane Gonzalo caused the ship to lurch to one side, throwing our client off balance. While some unsteady movement on a cruise ship can be expected from time to time, in this instance, the storm caused the ship to pitch and roll far more than it usually would have, and our client tripped on a join between an inset mosaic and the carpet, causing her to fall on her right-hand side.
It’s arguable that the captain endangered the passengers of the cruise ship by taking the ship out of the sheltered waters situated closer to the coast and into deeper waters, during what was forecasted as a particularly violent storm. It’s since been reported that our client was not alone in being affected by an accident, as several other passengers were also injured.
As a result of her fall, our client was in great pain and believed that she had broken a bone, but as there was not an X-ray machine aboard the cruise ship to ascertain if this was the case, she had to spend the rest of the cruise in pain, before a medical practitioner could assess her wound.
She was admitted to the hospital upon her arrival to the UK, where it was determined that she had sustained an intracapsular NOF fracture, otherwise known as a fractured hip, which would require an operation to rectify. After the accident, our client was left with limited mobility and required the use of a walking frame to get around. She was also advised that she would require on-going physiotherapy.
£13,000 compensation following Hurricane Gonzalo
Our client instructed us to make a compensation claim under the Athens Convention, and we put forward that the ship’s master shouldn’t have sailed from Belgium to Holland under the weather conditions that were forecast. Arguably, the ship should have remained in port until conditions improved and alternative travel arrangements should have been made to get the passengers to Holland.
The defendant denied liability on the grounds that the anticipated weather was not particularly unusual, despite articles in the press speculating that the storm was one of the worst to hit the area in years. They also argued that the weather at the time of the accident was worse than what was forecast, which is why the cruise ship was caught up in the rolling seas which led to our client’s accident.
After obtaining the shipping forecasts from the Met Office that would have been available to the ship’s master, we discovered that they should have been aware that winds were expected to be severe, reaching gale force 9 for their proposed journey, which under the Beaufort Scale is considered to cause high waves. We argued that these conditions were far from usual, but the defendant continued to deny liability.
Because of this, we made further enquiries on behalf of our client, speaking to a Marine Consultant and Surveyor who provided formal expert evidence; during which he agreed that the cruise ship shouldn’t have sailed in the conditions that it did. After some deliberation, the defendant made concessions and the claim was settled for £13,000.
Seek medical assistance and gather evidence if you’ve been injured
Although you’ll likely be focused on your injury at the time of your accident, it’s advisable to gather as much evidence as you can. Doing so may help with any future medical treatment that you receive, and the evidence that you put together could support your compensation claim if you choose to make one.
Useful evidence can include video or pictures of the cause of your accident, medical notes detailing your condition and the treatment that you’ve received so far, and prescriptions and receipts for any medication or healthcare that you have received. Be sure to retain receipts that prove any medical expenses that you have incurred, as you may be able to recoup these costs.