A Guide To P&O Ferries Accident Claims – How To Claim Compensation For An Accident On A P&O Ferry?

P&O Ferries accident claims guideWhether you are a member of the crew or a passenger aboard a P&O ferry, if you sustain an injury due to some form of negligence, depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.

Accidents on a ferry could potentially occur in many ways such as a slip, trip or fall due to an uncleared spillage or damaged flooring, food poisoning caused by undercooked food, or a ferry worker accident on the vehicle deck for example. Although some accidents may result in just a minor injury, some may result in a more serious injury leading to possible lifestyle changes or other health complications. In this guide, we look at the process of making a personal injury claim for harm caused on a P&O ferry if liability can be proven.

If you have been hurt whilst on a P&O ferry either as a passenger or a crew member and believe that your injury was caused by negligence then please continue reading, or if you prefer to speak to a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible then you can call us now on 0800 073 8801.

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A Guide To Personal Injury Claims For Injuries On P&O Ferries

Personal injury claims can be legally complex and acquiring information about the process beforehand can be a help. Accident Claims UK has produced this guide to provide information regarding what to do if you are involved in an accident on a P&O ferry, how the claiming process works, and how to get started. Some of the information in the guide includes what type of accidents may occur on a ferry that could lead to a claim, what your ship passenger rights are, what items should be included in your claim, how much compensation you could be awarded if successful, and also we look at how a no win no fee personal injury lawyer can help you. If you have any questions after reading through the guide, call us at Accident Claims UK and we will be happy to answer them.

What Are Personal Injury Claims Against P&O Ferries?

Injuries caused by an accident could range from minor cuts, grazes and bruising, to more serious injuries such as breaks, fractures, muscle strains, and head injuries. The more serious the injury, the bigger effect it may have on the victim’s life, such as preventing them from working or being able to carry out normal daily tasks. A personal injury claim against P&O Ferries, if successful, can provide financial assistance whilst the victim recovers, and cover any expenses incurred as a direct result of the injury.

Your Rights When Travelling By Ferry

When travelling by ferry, passengers are protected by certain rights. The ABTA is a travel brand that has been trusted for 70 years offering advice and guidance to the public regarding travelling and promotes high service standards, health and safety and responsible tourism both at home and when abroad.

As can be seen here, ABTA sets out EU regulations that support the rights of passengers, and its members are required to follow them. These include guidelines of what passengers are entitled to in accordance with EU Regulation 1177 / 2010 should their ferry journey be delayed or cancelled. The amount of time a ship is delayed or depending on if it is cancelled will determine what passengers may be entitled to such as being offered free drinks and snacks within reason whilst waiting, an alternative ferry crossing, an overnight stay on or off the ferry if needed, or a full refund for example.

ABTA help with some complaints as well as giving advice and guidance to ferry passengers. They can only help with complaints that are made in English and there are certain complaints that they, unfortunately, cannot help with, these include:

  • Complaints regarding the behaviour of other guests. The ABTA cannot be held responsible for how other passengers act.
  • Any civil matters, or criminal matters that are between individuals and nothing to do with ABTA members, cannot be dealt with by the ABTA.

They can, however, help with the following:

  • Giving help and guidance for travelling in general.
  • Relevant foreign office advice for travellers can be provided by the ABTA.
  • They can help if a member is not acting accordingly to their code of conduct.
  • Can offer advice and give help regarding any legitimate dispute with an ABTA member

Please see the ABTA website here for further information.

Regulations For UK Ferry Operators

Different pieces of International and UK legislation have been written and produced by governments to ensure that certain safety standards are followed with the intention of protecting passenger rights and preventing harm coming to passengers and ferry workers wherever possible. The different pieces of legislation and organisations include:

  • International Maritime Organisation (IMO) – Established in 1948, this organisation was put together in order to bring countries together worldwide to all develop and follow international maritime laws to maximise safety whilst travelling by sea, decrease the likelihood of accidents occurring, and to reduce the amount of pollution that goes into the seas.
  • Athens Convention 1974 – This is an international law that relates to the carrying of passengers and their luggage by sea. If someone’s property is damaged or someone becomes injured whilst travelling by sea due to fault and negligence of the carrier, this law seeks to provide compensation when necessary. If P&O passenger or crew injury is caused by accident and not at the fault of P&O, the Athens Conventions 1974 law limits the liability. Unless the carrier acted with intent to cause such damage, or recklessly and with the knowledge that such damage would probably result, he can limit his liability. In 2002 it was made a protocol that compulsory passenger insurance was paid for, this in turn then increased the amount that would be payable for baggage damage or personal injury. However, if a country offers a higher value of compensation, they can choose to opt-out of this protocol, if the carrier is subject to the jurisdiction of that country but if they only offer a lower amount then they are not allowed to opt-out.
  • Merchant Shipping Act 1995 – This is a UK law that is relevant to British and UK owned ships which was brought in to combine the laws of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 and Merchant Shipping Act 1994 along with any other legislation relating to merchant shipping.

Possible Causes Of Accidents On A Ferry

There are various ways in which an accident might occur whilst on a ferry and the causes could be numerous. Although some accidents are purely that, just an unfortunate accident that couldn’t be avoided, some can be caused by negligence or by someone’s mistake and preventable. Examples of possible accidents on a ferry include:

  • Accidents involving a slip, trip or fall
  • Falling from a height
  • Accidents in the loading or vehicle decks
  • Restaurant and kitchen accidents
  • Accidents resultant from insufficient health and safety policies and procedures
  • Accidents involving broken or faulty furniture
  • Accidents involving broken or faulty doors, floor coverings, or other fixtures and fittings accessible to the crew or passengers
  • Accidents caused by mechanical failure
  • Ferry collision
  • Disasters at sea such as someone falling overboard or the ferry sinking

Despite whether you are a passenger or member of the crew, if you have sustained an injury and believe it was due to the negligence of P&O, it’s possible you may have a legitimate reason to make a personal injury claim. Talk to one of our expert personal injury solicitors at Accident Claims UK to see if you have a valid claim.

Ferry Crash Accident Claims

There could be a number of reasons a ferry collision may occur such as failing to pay enough attention, going too fast, poor weather conditions making the sea rough and some ferry movements unpredictable, failing to keep a lookout properly, and carelessness when entering the port or docking for example. The majority of the above could all generally be avoided if there were no acts of negligence.

If a ferry collision occurs due to bad weather, as long as all necessary precautions are in place to stabilise the ferry as much as possible, and no unnecessary risks are taken, then the ferry company would not be to blame, likewise if a collision occurred with another sea vessel, liability would depend on the unique circumstances as it’s possible the collision could’ve been caused by the negligence of the other sea vessel.

If a ferry collision occurs, depending on the extent of the impact, it’s likely that people may be injured. The impact could result in people falling over, being hit by items falling, or suffering common collision injuries such as whiplash.

Whiplash Caused By A Ferry Crash

Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by quick back and forth consecutive movements commonly experienced in collision accidents such as road traffic accidents and also sometimes from tripping and falling over. Whiplash due to a ferry collision is also possible. Symptoms such as pain and stiffness in the neck, headaches, difficulty moving the head, and muscle spasms in the neck, arms and shoulders may occur. Although recovery from a whiplash injury can typically occur within 2-3 months, sometimes symptoms can last longer depending on how serious the injury was at the start. More information regarding whiplash can be found on the NHS website here.

Slipping Or Tripping Accidents On A Ferry

Slip and trip accidents can happen at any time, anywhere, and are often just due to a simple accident where no-one is to blame. However, sometimes they happen due to the negligence of someone else and in these cases, a personal injury claim may sometimes be made depending on the circumstances. For example, if someone tripped over whilst on a ferry due to damaged floor coverings, uneven stairs, or items left in the walkways that should have been kept clear, or if someone were to slip over due to a spillage on the floor that hadn’t been signposted as a hazard or cleared up in a reasonable amount of time, or slipped over due to a leak in the restrooms, potentially a claim could be brought against the ferry operator for negligence that resulted in injury. P&O should have in place relevant health and safety policies and procedures to deal with various potential slip and trip hazards, and all staff should be trained and made aware as such.

Not all slip and trip accidents will result in a claim being made however such as those caused by other passengers or by the victims own mistake, or those caused by the natural movement of the ship particularly in rough seas, as P&O would not be at fault. But if the accident happened due to P&O’s negligence, then regardless of whether you are a crew member or a passenger, you may be entitled to make a claim providing liability can be proven.

Maintenance Issues Causing Accidents And Injuries

P&O have a duty of care to both their employees and their passengers to provide a safe environment as best as they can. In order to do this, they need to make sure that suitable policies and procedures are put in place relevant to all areas and tasks within the ship and that they are adhered to and executed correctly when required. One example of their duty of care is to ensure all areas of the ship, including any equipment and machinery, are fully and regularly checked and maintained to make sure they are fit for purpose. Any damaged areas should be sealed off and made inaccessible to passengers and crew members until repaired and safe for use, and any broken or faulty equipment and machinery should be either fixed or replaced with new. If an accident occurs resulting in someone becoming injured due to P&O’s negligence in their duty of care, then they may be deemed responsible and so liable to pay compensation should a claim be made against them.

Allergic Reactions To Food And Drink On A Ferry

The Food Standards Agency state that all allergenic ingredients must be indicated clearly on packaging of consumable items and for non-packaged items, must have clear signposting, a verbal warning or given clear instructions as to where the information can be found if not provided upfront. More about the main food allergens can be found here.

P&O have a duty of care to their crew and passengers to provide a safe environment which includes making sure that any risks of an allergic reaction occurring due to food or drink consumed on their ferries is minimal by taking all necessary steps to prevent it from happening. If P&O fail in their duty of care and someone suffers an allergic reaction due to their negligence, they may be deemed responsible for damages in a court of law should the victim decide to sue.

Similarly, if someone suffers from food poisoning from consuming food purchased on a ferry, depending on the circumstances, the ferry company may be deemed responsible due to negligence. Food poisoning may occur due to food being undercooked, poor hygiene standards, being stored incorrectly, or by allowing cooked and uncooked foods to mix. Symptoms can range from mild to severe with more serious cases sometimes resultant in permanent health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome for example.

Incidents Of Someone Falling Overboard

Someone falling overboard whilst travelling or working on a ferry could result in devastating consequences. Depending on the height they fall from and therefore the level of impact of hitting the water, injuries such as fractures and whiplash may result, but also they will be at risk of suffering hypothermia, or of drowning.

If railings are damaged or the ferry collided causing a passenger or member of the crew to fall overboard it may be the fault of a third party and if liability can be proven then you could be eligible to claim compensation. If safety measures and procedures are ineffective and this causes a person to go overboard then the ferry company could be liable for the suffering caused.

If you or someone you love has fallen overboard whilst travelling or working on a ferry due to negligence, contact Accident Claims UK to see if you are eligible to make a personal injury claim.

Accidents When Working On A Ferry

In accordance with the Health And Safety Act 1974, as an employer, P&O Ferries owe their employees a duty of care to provide as safe a working environment as possible. This requires them to not only have in place relevant health and safety policies and procedures, but also to provide any training needed such as lifting and handling training, or training to use particular equipment or machinery for example, in order for employees to be able to carry out their jobs in as safe a way as possible. A ferry worker accident may include:

  • Accidents whilst loading and unloading vehicles and storage containers
  • Slip, trip and fall accidents
  • Accidents involving the incorrect use of equipment or machinery due to lack of training provided or given
  • Accidents involving the use of faulty equipment or machinery
  • Manual handling accidents
  • Kitchen accidents when using hot equipment and liquids, and sharp utensils.

If you have sustained an injury through an accident that wasn’t your fault whilst working on a ferry, you may be entitled to make a claim depending on the circumstances.

Personal Injury Calculator

There are a number of items that will make up the overall amount of compensation you may be awarded if your personal injury claim proved successful. The main factor affecting the amount you are awarded is, of course, the injury itself and its severity. In the table below we have shown the payment range for some injuries:

Injury Severity AmountComments on severity
Brain InjuryModerately Severe Brain Damage£205,580 to £264,650In this bracket injuries will leave the person very disabled. There will be substantial dependence on others and a need for constant professional and other care. Disabilities may be physical, for example, limb paralysis, or cognitive, with marked impairment of intellect and personality.
Neck Injury Moderate £12,900 to £23,460This can include soft tissue injuries or damage to discs which leads to loss of mobility, permanent pain and stiffness, wrenching-type injury and disc lesion of the more severe type resulting in cervical spondylosis, serious limitation of movement. It can also include pre-existing conditions that have been made worse the injury.
Shoulder Injury Serious£11,980 to £18,020This bracket generally includes rotator cuff injuries that fail to heal after surgery. It also includes dislocations that lead to damage to the brachial plexus, which results in symptoms like pain in the shoulder, neck and elbow, as well as sensory issues in the arm and hand.
Arm injury Severe £90,250 to £122,860In this bracket, there will be injuries that are severe enough to leave the person no better off than if they had lost the entire arm. These injuries will commonly result in the complete loss of use in the arm.
Wrist Injury Very Minor £3,310 to £4,450Injuries here will be simple fractures that are non-displaced or only partially displaced, as well as soft tissue damage which results in the need for immobilisation through a cast or bandage, with a full recovery expected in 12 months.
Back Injury Severe£36,390 to £65,440This bracket covers injuries with fractures to the discs or vertebrae that make up the spine, as well as soft tissue damage which leads to pain, discomfort, impairment to agility, sexual function, as well as depression, alcohol abuse, and damage to employment prospects.
Hip or Pelvis Injury Severe£36,770 to £49,270This bracket commonly covers injuries that require a hip replacement. It can also cover injuries where a hip replacement has taken place but was not successful and is at risk of needing future corrective treatment.
Leg Injury Moderate £26,050 to £36,790Injuries here include those of multiple fractures and crushing injuries to one leg. This award leaves room for variation, and can vary according to severity, how long symptoms take to recover, as well as the risk of needing future surgery after degenerative changes take place.
Knee Injury Severe £24,580 to £40,770This includes damage to the knee which leads to some disability with symptoms like pain, discomfort, loss of mobility, and deformity within the joint, with an increased risk of degenerative changes and future need of surgical intervention.
Food PoisoningModerate £3,710 to £8,950A complete recovery will be made between one and two years. Hospitalisation may have occurred due to significant discomfort a long with pain and alteration to bowel function.
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately Severe£21,730 to £56,180The symptoms will cause significant disability for the future and professional help will be needed.

If your injury is not listed, or you wish to discuss your potential award in more detail, don’t hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help.

What Else Could You Claim?

As mentioned there are a number of items that make up the overall compensation award, these include:

  • General Damages – These relate to the injury itself, either physical or psychological, or both, and its severity and if there are any long term effects.
  • Medical Expenses – Any medical expenses incurred such as prescription costs as a result of your injury, can be included in the claim.
  • Travel Expenses – Any travel expenses incurred, including any necessary vehicle adaptions, as a result of your injury can be included.
  • Loss Of Income – Any income lost, or income to be lost, can be included based on your payscale.
  • Care Claim – Costs for any help with personal care or around the home whilst you recover can be included.

No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claims Against P&O Ferries

If you think you have a valid personal injury claim case but are worried about the cost of legal help, contact us at Accident Claims UK. All of our experienced personal injury solicitors offer a no win no fee policy whereby their legal fees are only paid if they successfully win your case for you, and this is taken as a small proportion of the awarded amount of compensation. If in the unlikely circumstances that they do not win your case for you, then they will not charge you for their time.

With a no win no fee policy, you can hire legal help without gambling your current finances.

How Accident Claims UK Could Help You

There are many personal injury claims firms within the industry that you can choose from but we like to think that we can offer a very competitive service. Accident Claims UK is a team of highly experienced personal injury experts that have helped many, many people get the compensation they deserve. We offer the no win no fee policy and can also arrange a local medical for you in order to gather as much evidence for your claim as possible, making sure to build a strong case. If you decide to use the services of Accident Claims UK to conduct your claim for you on your behalf, you can rest assured that they will work hard get the best possible result they can for you.

Start Your Claim

Call Accident Claims UK today on 0800 073 8801 to discuss the nature of your P&O Ferries personal injury claim and get it started as soon as possible.

Supporting Information

Article by KH

Edited by MM.