Navigating Personal Injury Claims on a Cruise Ship: What You Need to Know
by Brandon Stein | 31 January 2023 | Uncategorized
Have you or a loved one been injured on a cruise ship? Florida is home to more cruise ship ports than any other state in the nation. In fact, Florida ranks in the top 3 busiest port locations in the world. Thousands of travelers depart from these ports annually for international cruises.
Passengers have a legal right to a safe and enjoyable vacation experience. Unfortunately, these trips can quickly become a nightmare when crewmember negligence leads to an injury onboard. Common cruise ship accidents include slips and falls, illnesses, and catastrophic accidents.
Cruise ship personal injury claims can be frustrating and complex. There are also several things that you must do to protect your legal rights during this process. In the following informational guide, we will reveal everything that you need to know about navigating cruise ship personal injury claims. Utilize this information to protect your legal rights, secure adequate legal representation, and obtain due compensation.
What are Some Common Examples of Cruise Ship Injuries?
Cruise ships offer passengers a wide range of culinary, entertainment, and recreational opportunities. Unfortunately, the abundance of activities can also increase the risk of accidental and intentional injuries onboard.
There are several injuries that are common onboard commercial cruise ships. These injuries may result in lingering pain, financial issues, and can be damaging to mental and emotional health.
Common Cruise Ship Injuries Include:
- Escalator and Elevator Accidents
- Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents
- Overboard Accidents
- Recreational Injuries
- Swimming Pool Accidents, Including Drowning
- Falling Objects
Cruise ship passengers are also at risk of becoming a victim of violent crime, including physical and sexual assault. In fact, Forbes shared a report that revealed a significant rise in cruise ship crime rates. These crimes may be executed by ship staff or another passenger onboard.
Who is at Fault for Cruise Ship Injuries?
Cruise ship operators have a legal responsibility to protect ship passengers from foreseeable harm. Cruise lines are liable for any accident resulting from negligence, regardless of any additional factors that may exist.
What Should I Do After a Cruise Ship Injury?
There are several things that you must do to protect your health and legal wellness after an injury.
Following Reporting Protocol
Report any injuries that occur onboard immediately to ship crewmembers. This is imperative for protecting both your health and legal well-being. You will most likely be treated by an onboard medical practitioner. However, it is important to remember that this individual is employed by the ship, and medical assessments will be made in the company’s best interest.
Ship personnel will investigate your report and gather evidence that protects the legal interest of the organization. Capture photos, take notes, and gather any additional evidence that may be essential for your personal injury claim.
Take photos and/or video evidence of anything that may be relevant to your case, including your injuries, ship conditions, and the scene of the accident. Take notes about any additional factors involved in your claim. For example, wet floors, loose screws, etc.
Gather any claim-related documentation, including medical summaries, financial statements, etc. It is also a wise idea to request contact information from other ship passengers. These may include accident eyewitnesses and/or individuals who were aware that dangerous conditions existed. Write down names and phone numbers and store this information for future use.
Protect Your Legal Rights
Remember that you are a liability to the cruise ship. For these reasons, ship operators may attempt to convince you to admit responsibility for your accident and injuries. You are not legally requested to comply with these requests. Do not admit guilt or responsibility for the incident. You should also decline any requests to sign documentation and/or to participate in recorded statements.
Seek Outside Medical Care Immediately
Seek outside medical care immediately upon returning to the shore. You may not fully understand the extent or nature of your injuries. A medical practitioner that is not employed by the ship can provide you with a non-biased assessment of your condition. This is crucial for protecting your legal rights, regardless of any medical attention that you may have received onboard.
Seek Specialized Legal Representation
Seek legal representation immediately after returning to the shore. Personal injuries that occur at sea are governed by maritime law. This is an extensive area of law that requires extensive knowledge, skills, and experience. You will need a Florida maritime personal injury lawyer to help you navigate these complex cases.
How Long Do I Have to File a Cruise Ship Personal Injury Claim?
Your ticket will note any limitations that may exist. Most cruise lines require injured passengers to report their injuries to the cruise line within 6 months and one year to file a formal lawsuit. However, the longer you wait to report and file a claim, the less likely you are to secure a win.
What Forms of Compensation Could I Be Entitled to Receive?
You may be legally entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise ship. These accidents can result in serious injuries, permanent disability, or wrongful death.
Compensation may be due for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. The Death on the High Seas Act also provides compensation to loved ones when an individual wrongly dies at sea. The types and amount of compensation that are due will be determined by specifics in your case. Contact a lawyer who specializes in cruise ship personal injury cases for a free case review.
Why Do I Need a Specialized Personal Injury Lawyer?
The legal field comprises a vast range of areas of expertise. Specialized legal representation is critical for winning offshore personal injury cases. Maritime lawyers are legal professionals who specialize in offshore cases, including accidents at ports, on cruise ships, and on the job.
Reach out to a network of highly skilled legal professionals today for a free consultation. A specialized lawyer will review your case and provide you with an honest assessment. iLawyerUp is committed to providing exceptional, honest legal resources to injured clients throughout Florida. Call 305-900-4101 or reach out online for more information.