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What if I get hurt while working on a cruise ship?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2022 | Maritime Law |

Cruise ship employees are susceptible to various types of injuries that can lead to lost wages, long recoveries, and possibly death. Fortunately, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, or The Jones Act, protects the rights of cruise ship employees and their families.

When you suffer an injury while working on a cruise ship traveling along the Gulf Coast, you may be able to sue for the following damages.

Financial compensation for medical expenses

You may need urgent or long-term medical treatment following your injury, including surgery and physical or occupational therapy. Additional expenses may include assistive devices, transportation to medical appointments and mental health services. Filing a maritime injury claim can ensure you receive damages to help you pay for these expenses without financially burdening yourself or your family.

Death benefits

Families of cruise ship employees who die while performing their jobs may qualify for death benefits. A family may file a wrongful death claim to receive damages for a loved one’s medical bills, funeral expenses and lost wages or support minor children financially.

Pain and suffering

You may receive damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress when your injuries are due to your employer’s negligence or problems with the ship where you work. Pain and suffering damages depend upon your testimony and that of your doctors, family and friends.


You may receive punitive damages for your injury only if your employer refuses to cover your day-to-day living expenses or medical costs. Then, a judge may award you an amount to discourage future behavior by maritime employers.

The laws concerning land-based workplace injuries in Louisiana do not apply if you work on a cruise ship. However, as a cruise ship employee, you have specific rights that protect you and your family.