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Maritime Accident Compensation Claims

If you have suffered an injury whilst at sea and you believe a third party is responsible for that injury, you may have grounds to bring a maritime accident claim. Whilst fatal maritime accidents are rare, there are many non-fatal incidents that can occur on cruise ships, ferries, yachts, and other seafaring vessels, causing painful injury and psychological distress. On this page, you will find information relating to the criteria for making a claim, together with details of how our team can help you.

Cruise ship at sea representing maritime accidents

Helpful Information

Here at McCarthy + Co, we have helped many people to bring successful compensation claims against public transport providers and transportation business employers, including passenger ferry companies, cruise ship operators, and organisations involved in maritime shipping. If you have suffered an injury, either as a passenger or an employee on a ship or other seafaring vessel, our specialist personal injury team will listen to your story and help you to quickly ascertain if you have a case. If we can assist you, we will provide you with all the support that you need to help you win the compensation that you deserve.

Bringing a maritime accident claim

If you have been injured on-board a ship, the first most important step is to gather as much evidence as possible before you disembark. This will offer you a much higher chance of winning compensation against the operator.

Be sure to do the following.

  • Ensure that your accident is reported in full to the ship or vessel operator and an accurate incident report is completed
  • Take photographs of your injuries and the area where the accident happened
  • Record the contact details of any witnesses
  • Keep a record of any expenses you have incurred because of the accident
  • Keep a record of any medical treatment you received on-board the vessel or at the port
  • Get a formal medical record from your doctor or the hospital that treated you following your departure from the ship or port.

Speak to our legal team now about your case. Call us Freephone on:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the questions we are often asked in relation to this topic.

  • What EU regulations govern maritime accidents involving passengers?

    Regulation (EC) No 392/2009, which incorporates the Athens Convention as amended by the 2002 Protocol, outlines the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents. It establishes that the carrier is liable for damage or loss suffered by passengers in cases of death, personal injury, or loss/damage to luggage if the incident occurred during the course of carriage and was due to the fault or neglect of the carrier. In the case of shipping incidents such as shipwrecks or collisions, the carrier is strictly liable up to a specified limit unless the incident resulted from an act of war, natural disaster, or deliberate third-party act. Additionally, carriers must maintain insurance to cover liability for death and personal injury to passengers and are required to make advance payments to cover immediate needs in the event of a passenger's death or personal injury, without such payments being an admission of liability.

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  • Where can I bring a claim for an injury on a cruise ship?

    A claim for an injury on a cruise ship can be brought in the courts if the country meets specific criteria. The courts must be in a country that is a state party to the Athens Convention, and it should be either the country of the defendant's permanent residence or principal place of business, the country of departure or destination per the contract of carriage, or where the defendant has a place of business and is subject to jurisdiction. In Irish personal injury cases, the parties involved may agree to submit to Irish jurisdiction or arbitration after the incident.

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  • Are there time limits for bringing a claim?

    The time limit for bringing personal injury claims under the Athens Convention is two years, starting from the date of the passenger's disembarkation. If you have been injured in an accident at sea, it is crucial to seek legal advice immediately upon disembarkation to ensure your legal rights are fully protected. Prompt action is essential to navigate the complexities of maritime law and to meet the strict deadlines for filing a claim.

Start your maritime accident claim

If you or a member of your family has been involved in an accident on a cruise ship, ferry, yacht, or other seafaring vessel, contact our solicitors today to make a start on your claim or gather more information. Call us on 1485 426 9 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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About McCarthy + Co

With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims, McCarthy + Co. has experience bringing claims relating to many different public transport scenarios including maritime accidents and injuries sustained whilst at sea. We are a family-run business, and we pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial, and helpful advice.

Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork, but we work with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance on any form of personal injury.

Useful Resources

Some links relating to this topic that you may find useful.

Our Awards & Accreditations

We are a multi-award winning firm, accredited by the Law Society of Ireland.

Law Firm of the Year - Irish Law Awards
Irish Law Awards 2022 - Winner of Excellence & Innovation in Client Services
Irish Law Awards 2022 - Excellence & Innovation in Client Services
Irish Law Awards 2021 - Litigation Law Firm of the Year (Munster)
Q9000 The Legal Quality Standard of Ireland
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Our Partners

Directly contact our partners via email about your case.

Flor McCarthy

Flor McCarthy

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Twitter: @flormccarthy LinkedIn: /in/flormccarthy/

wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

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LinkedIn: /in/johnmccarthysolicitor/

is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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