The cruise law firm of Brais Brais & Rusak consistently represents passengers who injured their knees from slip and fall accidents occurring on cruise ship lido decks. The most common knee injury is torn menisci also know as torn cartilage. A Meniscus is the crescent-shaped cartilage tissue which acts like a shock absorber and provides structural integrity to the knee when it undergoes stress. When the knee is twisted beyond its normal range or hyperflexed as is common in slip and fall accidents, menisci are susceptible to tearing. Symptoms of a torn meniscus include pain and swelling of course; but popping, decreased range of motion and knee joint instability are also quite common indicators of the injury.
This knee injury is often first treated conservatively with pain medication, physical therapy and home strengthening exercises. If a conservative treatment fails, an arthroscopic surgery is likely to be preformed. An arthroscopic repair is an outpatient procedure where an orthopedic surgeon repairs the torn meniscus by using surgical instruments placed into the joint through small incisions (portals) measuring one centimeter or less. After surgery, an additional course of physical therapy and home exercise are prescribed until the person’s medical condition plateaus.
The reasons slip and fall accidents often occur on cruise ship lido decks include improper application of deck coating or the breakdown of the anti-skid/slip properties of the deck coating. Cruise ships are working vessels. This means the cruise lines can only generate income when the vessel is in use. As such, these ships are not often placed in dry dock for repairs. Instead, the cruise lines keep these vessels working to gain maximum profit. A common cruise ship these days carry over 4000 passengers and 1500 crew per voyage and are constantly in use for several years before going to dry dock. This means lido decks see hundreds of thousands of people walking across them yearly. With this amount of foot traffic combined with the wet nature of lido decks being exposed to the weather, nearby pools and water attractions, lido decks are a recipe for slip and fall accidents. Imagine the condition of your home’s flooring if thousands of people walked across it each year without being refinished or properly maintained! Fortunately, the law requires cruise lines to take reasonable steps necessary for passenger safety. This duty includes providing suitable decking so that vacationing passengers can walk to point A to point B without slipping. If a cruise fails to meet its obligation, victims of such negligence may be compensated for their injuries.
If you suffered a knee injury due to a slip and fall on a cruise ship lido deck and want to know more about your legal rights, feel free to contact our Florida Board Certified Maritime Lawyers for a free consultation.