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Holiday & Cruise Injury Compensation

Cruises are meant to be a place of relaxation and fun, not of injury or illness. Unfortunately, things can go wrong, and the unexpected can happen. 

While holiday and cruise ship injury compensation claims are a nuanced area of personal injury law and require specialist expertise to ensure you’re maximally compensated, this article will provide you with the information you need to better understand the claims process, compensation expectations and the role of expert legal representation. 

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Types of holiday injury claims

Holiday injury compensation claims not only encompass injuries or illnesses that occurred while you were at your holiday destination, but they also include injuries or illnesses that may have happened on your journey to and/or from. This means that injuries on a plane, cruise line and other modes of transportation are all considered under the holiday injury claims umbrella.

A wide range of accidents can occur on holiday, from a critical injury caused by a slip and fall, to severe food poisoning on a cruise ship. Common examples of holiday accident and injuries include:

  • Trips, slips and falls: Aside from being prone to slippery surfaces, cruise lines are often equipped with various high-risk amenities, such as swimming pools and water recreational activities. These activities are commonplaces for falls, resulting in major and minor injuries alike.
  • Food poisoning: Cruise lines often house excellent dining options; however, that’s not to say that food poisoning doesn’t occasionally occur. The improper handling of food and other general regulatory practices can lead to significant health concerns.
  • Cabin malfunctions: Defective cabin fixtures — whether malfunctioning doors, balconies, bathroom facilities or luggage lockers — can cause injuries. In this context, a cruise ship compensation claim is particularly warranted if the cruise owner(s) had failed to regularly maintain the cabin.
  • Medical negligence: Onboard medical facilities are often subject to medical negligence claims due to not exercising prudent care for their patients. All medical practitioners — cruise line staff or not — have the responsibility to prevent unduly medical harm, and a breach of this duty can result in a holiday compensation claim under the umbrella of medical negligence or medical malpractice.


And in light of the events of recent years, it’s also not uncommon for viruses to spread rapidly while on a cruise ship. Due to the containment, this may not only be of financial harm but also significant psychological impairment.

Have you been injured while on holiday?

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Cruise ship accident claims: The legal process

Not all cruise ship injury claims are uniform and may potentially take different routes depending on the nature of your case. But in general, here are five steps that you should take if you’ve sustained an injury while on a cruise, or while on holiday in general.


Step 1: Report the accident to the relevant authorities 

Following your injury, report it to the relevant and/or local authorities as soon as possible. Depending on your injury and location, this could include making a report to the ship’s security personnel, the cruise’s medical staff and other relevant authorities. 

Promptly reporting not only ensures that the incident is properly documented and a clear timeline is established, but it also means you’re able to get the immediate care you may require. 


Step 2: Gather evidence 

Gather the evidence that you can, then trust your lawyer to obtain the rest. The evidence you gather will work to strengthen your case, as well as provide your lawyer upon consultation with a solid basis to provide you with personalised advice. Examples of often required evidence in building a strong case include:

  • Report trails: This includes any of the reports filed in step one. These reports are a strong informant on the case’s key details, such as date, time, location, witness and other important factors. 
  • Medical records: Assuming you’ve received medical attention for your injury or illness, keep a record of any medical documentation, whether your diagnosis, treatment plans, prescriptions and, particularly importantly, bills. 
  • Photos or videos: This may include visual documentation of the accident scene, your injuries or any hazardous conditions that led to the injury — in essence, anything that visually captures the circumstances surrounding your injury. 
  • Witness statements: Generally obtained by a personal injury lawyer, witness statements include interviews with individuals who may have seen the accident or hold relevant information about the circumstances that led to your injury. 

Your lawyer may also seek the specialised opinion of a neutral third party to provide expert testimony in your case, particularly if the nature of your case necessitates technical expertise or analysis. 


Step 3: Write down the contact details of the witnesses

As mentioned in step two, witness statements play a significant role in strengthening your case and establishing the facts surrounding your injury. Alongside getting the witness’s full name, phone number and email of the witness, also consider asking them for a written or recorded statement of the occurrences. Furthermore, consider keeping your own record of where and when you spoke to the witnesses. 


Step 4: Get a copy of any injury-related documents

It’s important to receive medical attention as soon as possible. In doing so, keep a record of any and all medical documentation — this may include: 

  • Medical reports: Detailed accounts of your injury or illness, treatments and progress. 
  • X-rays and/or scans: Further providing insight into the nature and severity of your injury and illness. 
  • Test results: Any laboratory tests and/or diagnostic measures that were performed.

If possible, also keep copies of any communications between either yourself and the medical staff or the medical staff among themselves to ensure a more holistic record of your treatment. 


Step 5: Reach out for legal advice and representation 

Expert legal advice and representation is necessary to ensure that your rights are protected and upheld. It’s at stage five that you would reach out to our team at GMP Law, who have the experience, expertise and resources necessary for you to be maximally compensated. 

Although legal processes and proceedings aren’t uniform, here is an overview of what you may expect upon consulting with GMP Law:

Initial free, confidential consultation: Your first meeting with one of our holiday injury solicitors is an obligation-free consultation where you can ask any questions you may have. It’s also during this stage where your solicitor will begin to determine the merit of your case and provide you with insights accordingly. They will look at the evidence you’ve been able to obtain and the nature of your injury and let you know, based on the state-specific legislation and precedent, how much compensation you may be owed. 

Private settlement/mediation: If you’re eligible, you will likely move forward to mediation or a private settlement agreement with the liable parties’ insurance. In terms of determining eligibility, your case will progress to either a private settlement agreement or mediation if your solicitor believes they are able to establish the following:

  1. That the liable party owed you a duty of care. This duty of care — while it differs slightly depending on context — refers to the legal obligation that individuals and entities have to prevent unduly harm to others. 
  2. This duty of care was breached, as supported by evidence. 
  3. It was this breach of duty that directly caused the injury or illness. 


It’s this three-step criteria that works to establish liability and is the grounds of personal injury claims themselves. There are variations in how this criteria may apply: you may be of partial fault for your injury, for example, therefore resulting in a shared liability scenario. 

Because of the nuance of holiday claims, the process of mediation and private settlement agreements may differ from domestic personal injury claims. Hence, it’s important to involve an experienced and specialised holiday compensation lawyer to best navigate the complexities of these claims. 

If the case progresses to mediation, the claim’s merit will be assessed by a neutral third party, whereby a resolution can be reached without needing a court trial. During mediation, your holiday injury compensation lawyer will represent your interests and negotiate on your behalf with the liable party’s representatives or insurance agency. 

Litigation: Compared to mediation and private settlement agreements, litigation — the process of bringing your case before the courts — tends to be of increased time and cost. If a claim settles in mediation, the full claim process may take months to resolve, whereas the process of litigation may take one or more years — depending on the case’s severity. 

Some cases, however, are unable to reach a settlement in mediation and must progress to litigation. In such cases, your personal injury lawyer will do the heavy lifting and prepare your case for court. During court proceedings, both parties engage in a legal process that involves filing motions, conducting discovery (the gathering and exchanging of evidence) and presenting their case before a judge. The judge — and/or potentially a jury — determines the merit of the case and makes compensation decisions accordingly. 

Regardless of how your case progresses, the most important thing is having legal representation that you trust. With GMP Law, you can sit back and know that we’re working diligently to protect your interests and ensure that you’re maximally compensated. 

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Cruise ship accident claims compensation

The payment you’re owed depends on the severity of your injury and its context — i.e., whether you’re partially liable, whether the liable party owed you a duty of care, the sufficiency of evidence and other relevant factors.

Provided that you’re able to prove negligence and that the liable party owed you a duty of care, you can claim for both the physical and psychological impacts of your injury or illness — referred to as financial and non-financial damages, respectively.

Financial damages are any expenses that have arisen — or may potentially arise — as a result of your injury or illness. This includes the cost of:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Lost income.
  • Property damage and associated repairs.
  • Travel.
  • Domestic assistance.


As an injury may prevent your future earning potential, financial damages also account for any potential loss of income that may come as a direct result of your injury. In determining how much compensation you’re owed for financial damages, the relevant pieces of evidence include your medical bills, income statements, property damage repair quotes and any other financial documentation tied to your injury.

Non-financial damages are also commonly referred to as pain and suffering damages, accounting for the mental suffering that has occurred due to your injury. Generally, pain and suffering is diagnosed by a licensed psychiatrist and compensation is correlated to the severity of the psychological impairment.

While non-acute mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, are often compensated for, non-financial damages also take into account any and all diagnosable mental impairments that reduce the injured person’s quality of life.

Given the wide range of injury severities and contexts, the best port of call is to speak with a holiday compensation lawyer who will be able to provide you with compensation expectations based on the specifics of your case.

Seek compensation with GMP Law

Sometimes, the unexpected happens — but we’re here to help. At GMP Law, we have specialised holiday and cruise injury compensation lawyers who are able to best navigate the complexity of these cases and provide you with expert advice and representation.

And to make matters more straightforward, we offer our clients a no-win, no-fee policy. This means that we only get paid if we win your case — our fee comes from an agreed-upon amount from your compensation. In the rare instance of not winning a case, we don’t get paid. This policy also means that we take on all the legal costs that arise during your case, such as court fees, expert witness fees and all other associated fees — meaning you can move forward with full confidence.

We’re dedicated to providing our clients with expert, diligent legal representation — legal representation that is competent, compassionate and committed to providing you with the best outcome.

To book a free, obligation-free consultation with one of our specialist holiday and cruise injury compensation solicitors, contact us by clicking here.

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About Us
Gerard Malouf & Partners have provided friendly, experienced legal advice to communities across Australia for over 35 years. Our Personal Injury Lawyers have taken on ten’s of thousands of cases and we are proud to have won billions of dollars for our clients.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.

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