Accidents involving cruise ships are getting more noticed than before, especially after the tragedy on January 13, 2012, which involved one of the largest ships in the world, the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia, which carried more than 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew members, when it sank after hitting a rock underwater off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany.
There are many causes of cruise ship accidents – some are natural, while others are products of human negligence or recklessness. But contrary to what many believe that the worst accidents happen to a ship only while it is in the middle of the ocean, well, think again, because there are fatal accidents that have occurred right in the pier, while the ship is docked.
Sometimes an accident that involves a docked cruise ship can turn out really bad because it can cause severe (even fatal) injuries not only to passengers and crew members, but to dock workers and/or pedestrians as well. And with the large number of freight carriers, cruise liners, and other equipment around, it would be hard to predict the severity of injuries and the degree of physical damage a dock accident can wreak.
Some of the accidents that can occur while a ship is in the pier include: a slip and fall that can cause mild to serious back injuries; falling cargo or cargo container, which can easily crush a person to death; workers accidentally getting hit by a cargo container (while it is being loaded on a container ship); fire breaking out is a ship’s cargo storage; docks workers being thrown off of their boats while working on a ship’s mooring lines (this usually happens when a ship pulls out from the port too soon, before workers actually clear the area).
Accidents occurring in docks can be very burdensome to whoever gets injured. Besides the pain and the suffering a victim has to experience, the maritime law is confusing enough for him/her to comprehend, plus the fact that filing a lawsuit against those responsible for the accident (after the tedious process of proving liability) can be done in a specific court only.
According to the website of The Vucci Law Group, P.A., two important things that a victim of a cruise ship accident ought to do are, first, seek legal help immediately and, second, make sure that the lawyer hired is truly competent – with extensive knowledge (about the maritime law) and experience (in maritime law litigations).