Cruise ship accidents and wrongful death can bring a tragic end to what started out as an exciting vacation. Most people rave about their vacations on cruise ships and the travel goes smoothly. However, the media also reports incidents of disastrous cruises where people have fallen overboard, fallen from an upper to a lower deck, been harmed by ship fires or have even suffered injury during faulty maneuvers or rough seas.


  • Deck fall. On June 13, 2016, a three-year old girl fell 12 to 15 feet from a railing onto a Carnival cruise ship deck below. The ship returned to Galveston, Texas to take the child to a hospital. ( )
  • Passenger overboard. In May 2016, a woman fell off The Carnival Liberty after it left Galveston, Texas on a four-day cruise of Mexico. She fell backwards off a deck railing into the water during the night and her absence was not discovered until the next morning. Planes spent more than 20 hours searching more than 4.300 square miles trying to find her.
  • Ship fire. In 2013, The Carnival Triumph caught fire off the coast of Mexico and drifted in the Gulf of Mexico currents with 4,200 passengers aboard for five days. The ship was without electricity or working toilets before it reached a dock in Mobile, Alabama. Passengers complained of filthy conditions, long food lines, sewage coming out of toilets, etc. CNN reported that the ship was crippled. However, despite the fire, no one suffered serious injuries.


Suing for damages typically depends on how serious the injury or damage was and whether the cruise line had liability in what occurred.

Situations where cruise ship companies are liable must typically involve some failure on their part, such as:

  • Failure to warn passengers about rough ocean conditions
  • Failure to provide safe handrails or to repair defective handrails
  • Failure to carry out extensive rescue operations when someone falls overboard
  • Serving alcohol in ship’s lounges or bars to someone who is obviously intoxicated
  • Liability for crewmembers or other passengers who become violent


If you’ve lost a loved one or suffered serious injury and believe the cruise lines could be liable, contact the Law Offices of Michael R. De La Paz. We can investigate and advise about the possibility of taking legal action.