Accidents on Ships - How Do You Claim Compensation | Digby Brown Solicitors
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Accidents on ships - how do you claim compensation?

Passengers may be entitled to compensation not only for an accident on board the ship, but also food poisoning or contracting a disease such as Noro Virus depending on the circumstances.

In most cases it will be necessary to show that the ship’s operators were at fault for your accident.

But does it make a difference if you are sailing to another country or if you are travelling from one part of the United Kingdom to another by sea?

Regulation for compensation claims against cruise ship operators

There are two regulations in force for compensation claims made against carriers. One deals with international travel whilst the other deals with travel within the UK.

For international travel - that is when you are travelling by sea from one country to another- legal liability is governed by the Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea (“the Athens Convention”).

There are separate, but similar, Regulations dealing with travel by sea from one part of the United Kingdom to another.

How long do you have to make a claim?

For accidents on board of a vessel, both the Athens Convention and the United Kingdom domestic equivalent have a strict 2-year time limit.

Within these two years you must either settle the claim or begin court proceedings.

Please be aware that this is a shorter time limit than that which applies to other accident claims in the United Kingdom.

What to do if you are injured on a ship?

If you have been injured onboard a ship, our advice is to gather as much evidence as you can before leaving the boat to give you the best chance to secure compensation.

  1. Make sure that your accident is reported to the carrier and that an accurate accident report is completed.
  2. Take photographs of the area where your accident has happened.
  3. Record the names and contact details of any witnesses.
  4. If you have occurred expenses because of the accident, it is important that you retain all your receipts to prove your expenses.
  5. Retain details of any medical treatment you have received either on board the ship or at a foreign port.

It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible as claims of this type can take longer to investigate.

Getting the right lawyer for your injury claim

Claims for injuries sustained at sea are a very complex and specialist area of law. It is therefore crucial that you get a specialist solicitor to deal with your injury claim.

The lawyer you instruct should have considerable experience in this field and have a successful track record of recovering compensation for other people who have been injured in a similar way.

Another advantage to successfully securing compensation is if your lawyer has well established relationships with foreign lawyers and experts who can help with pursuing your claim.

Specialist lawyers in cruise ship accidents

It is essential for your personal injury claim that you obtain specialist advice. At Digby Brown we are Scotland’s largest specialist personal injury practice and have lawyers who specialise in foreign and travel law.

We are also able to offer a complete funding and insurance package through our litigation funding company, Compensate. This gives our clients access to justice with no financial risk.

If you would like to speak to our legal team at Digby Brown, please call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our online enquiry form.



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