For more than 30 years, the cruise ship accident lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. have represented injured cruise ship passengers from around the world. We know that cruise ship injury claims can differ significantly from general personal injury suits. Our cruise ship accident attorneys are well-versed in the details of these kinds of claims and have handled cases around the country against cruise lines and cruise ships responsible for passenger injuries.
Whether your cruise ship injury claim is subject to Florida law, federal maritime law, or international law, our experienced cruise ship accident attorneys are ready to handle even the most complex cases. If you or a loved one was involved in an accident onboard a cruise ship or an accident involving a cruise ship, yacht, or other vessel, call our attorneys today. Our lawyers offer free legal consultations to help injury victims. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today at (866) 386-1762 to set up a free legal consultation on your case.
Common Types of Cruise Ship Injury Claims
Cruise ships are some of the largest ships in the world aside from naval vessels. These ships are essentially floating cities, with restaurants, entertainment venues, rooms and cabins, social spaces, and more. As such, some of the same risks on land also exist at sea, and there are many potential ways that someone could be injured as a passenger on a cruise ship.
In general, it is up to the cruise line and the staff and crew on the ship to make sure that passengers are safe. If the staff and crew do not uphold this duty, people can be seriously injured. Many of the most common accidents on a cruise ship are the type of accident that could occur anywhere, such as slip and fall accidents, falls from broken or loose handrails, trip and fall accidents, and other accidents caused by dangerous premises. Other injuries are caused by food poisoning and illness on the ship, which could spread and affect many passengers.
Although many injuries are the result of accidents and conditions on board the ship, other injuries could be caused directly by other passengers on the ship or crewmembers and staff. Injuries from violence and sexual assault on a cruise ship can hardly be considered “accidents.” As such, the cruise line is often responsible for these claims. Because the cruise ship’s staff is responsible for passenger safety, it is unacceptable for negligent security to result in passenger injuries or for a member of the staff or crew to directly cause a passenger physical injury.
Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind have decades of experience handling cruise ship injury cases across a wide spectrum of causes, including claims based on the following:
- Passenger disappearance and falls overboard
- Slip and falls
- Injuries from cruise ship fire or explosion
- Passenger drowning
- Sexual assault and rape
- Cruise ship amusement or attraction injury
- Injuries at port
- Shore excursion injuries
Suing Cruise Lines for Injuries
With more than 30 years of experience representing injured cruise ship passengers nationally and internationally, the cruise ship injury attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. have experience bring lawsuits against the following cruise ship lines:
- Carnival Cruise Line
- Costa Cruises
- Disney Cruise Lines
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Royal Caribbean International
- Princess Cruises
Many lawsuits against cruise ships and cruise lines are filed against the larger company that owns the vessel and employs the crew. These companies are ultimately responsible for the actions and mistakes of their crewmembers, and our cruise ship lawyers work to hold these companies liable in court.
When suing a cruise line, it is vital to work with an attorney. Cruise lines are often represented by strong legal teams and insurance companies that will work to shut down claims or offer low-dollar settlements to help end a case without the hassle of defending themselves in court. These companies will also often seek confidential settlements so that word of their mistakes is not highly publicized. It is difficult to go up against these companies and their legal teams on your own, especially if your only information about what your claim is worth comes from the defendant.
Our lawyers may be able to help you understand what your claim is worth, and we can represent your best interests and help you avoid low settlements. Our lawyers fight for injured victims and work to get them the compensation and justice they deserve after a serious injury on a cruise ship.
Cruise Ship & Common Carrier Liability
Because cruise ships are ‘common carriers,’ they must provide reasonable care to passengers. This obligation is called duty of care. Whether you are on a personal boat, a private ship, or a cruise ship, the ship owner has a duty to protect passengers from injury or harm. This duty means working to prevent accidents, intentional damage, and harm from some unforeseeable events by responding with reasonable care and skill to the passenger’s needs.
Shipowners must work to make sure passengers arrive at port safely and that they safeguard passengers from many types of accidental injuries. This means securing cargo and equipment that could injure passengers, repairing and cleaning hazards on the deck, providing clean food and drinking water to passengers, and providing adequate security and medical attention on board to keep passengers safe.
Suing Cruise Lines for Injuries Aboard a Cruise Ship
Cruise lines are governed by a specific area of law called maritime law. This law generally governs U.S. ships at sea. These cases are often filed against ships and their owners for injuries and other problems on board. In many cases, you will have to file your case under maritime law, but injuries that occur in port or while in waters near the shore might still be governed by the laws of a particular state instead. Injuries that occur in a foreign port or in foreign waters might also be governed by the laws of that country instead of U.S. law, but issues on the ship should usually be governed by U.S. maritime law.
Nonetheless, under any type of law, you will typically file any injury claims against the parties that were responsible for your injuries. If you were injured by the negligence of a particular crewmember or another passenger, you may be able to sue them directly. However, most injuries on a cruise ship do entitle you to file a lawsuit against the cruise ship and the company that owns it for errors committed by their staff and crew. This could mean potentially suing the following entities.
- The owner of the cruise ship
- The company that sold the cruise ship ticket
- The company operating or chartering the cruise ship
- Any party that caused the injury directly
- The cruise excursion or tour company that hosted an off-ship outing
Our cruise ship injury attorneys will help you find the proper party to sue for damages in your case.
To get compensation for your injuries, you typically must show that the responsible parties committed some sort of “negligence.” Negligence in a cruise injury case is based on a breach of a duty that the cruise company owed you. The specific duty that they owed you will depend on the specifics of the injury, but the duty usually comes in the form of a duty to keep the ship safe, to provide clean food and water, and to provide reasonable security on board the ship. It also involves the duty to refrain from intentionally injuring passengers.
A breach of the duty of care happens when a ship passenger experiences injury or harm. If you want to bring a lawsuit against cruise ship for personal injury or damages, seek legal representation from our experienced maritime law attorneys. We can help investigate what the cruise ship’s staff and crew did wrong and how this constitutes a legal breach of duty that can justify a court ordering compensation for your injuries. Our cruise ship lawyers can help you meet the burden of proving your case by helping find and present evidence and witness testimony.
Cruise Ship Passenger Ticket Contracts and Restrictions on Cruise Ship Injury Claims
Cruise ship passengers often fail to realize their cruise ship ticket is a contract between them and the cruise line. The fine print on the back of the ticket is easily overlooked, or the ticket might refer to additional documentation that controls the terms of the service that the cruise ship provides you.
That fine print on the back of your ticket provides critical information that may affect your ability or eligibility to file a lawsuit against the cruise line. Cruise lines use this contract to try to limit the ways that a passenger can sue them and limit what duties and services they are required to provide the passenger. It is absolutely vital to review the terms of your passenger ticket to determine your right to sue and any limitations on that lawsuit.
A cruise line passenger ticket can often dictate where a lawsuit must be filed and the time limit to file the case. Many passenger tickets might dictate that any claims against the cruise ship will be handled through arbitration or through a court in a particular state or county. The contract might also limit your claim to the statute of limitations in that state or further restrict your claim.
These clauses and conditions of your passenger ticket are often enforceable in court. If you were injured on a cruise ship, it is vital to have a lawyer review your case and guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit under the terms and conditions of your passenger ticket. This might make the case more challenging, and your ability to proceed with your claim might rely upon your lawyer’s ability to file the claim appropriately to maximize the damages you are entitled to.
Damages for Injuries in a Cruise Ship Accident Case
Most cruise ship accidents do not involve catastrophic damage to a ship, capsizing, or sinking. Instead, these injuries are often the same kinds of injuries you could receive in other places on land, such as head and back injuries from falls, broken bones, injuries from assault and battery, or food poisoning. However, some injuries are more severe and could include death or injury from falling overboard, a fire on board the ship, a fire on a smaller vessel, plane, or helicopter during a tour, or other catastrophic shipboard injuries.
No matter what type of injury you suffered, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit to seek damages from the cruise ship and the other parties responsible for your injuries. If you lost a loved one to serious injuries or death, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for the damages they incurred as well as damages you and your family faced because of their death.
Most injury cases require some sort of medical treatment. The care you receive on board a cruise ship might include minimal first aid and other care to diagnose and stabilize you so that you can be medically evacuated to shore. This could mean seeking additional treatment at a foreign hospital or waiting until you get home to receive additional follow-up care. Any medical care and transportation costs you incur because of the injury you suffered on a cruise ship might be included as part of your claim against the cruise company, allowing you to get full compensation for the medical care your injuries required.
If your injuries were serious enough to cause you to miss work, you may be entitled to damages for lost wages as well. If the cruise company’s errors caused you to miss work or required you to go on disability, the cruise company should be responsible for the economic harm you and your family suffered.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are also included in most cruise ship injury cases. These damages are harder to show with medical records or financial statements, and they are instead proved through testimony about how the injury affected you and your day-to-day abilities. Permanent injuries and serious disabilities are often worth more in pain and suffering damages, but chronic low-level pain from back and neck injuries can also lead to surprisingly high compensation. Talk to a cruise ship lawyer for help understanding what these damages are worth so that you do not miss out on compensation you might be entitled to.
Lastly, the death of a loved one often results in a wide range of damages. Some of these damages are economic in nature, such as the cost of funeral and burial expenses or lost wages, lost investments, and lost inheritances resulting from the death. Other damages are less squarely economic, but you can still claim compensation for the value of lost counsel, lost household services, and other lost services your loved one provided before their death. You can also claim compensation for the intangible harms, such as lost companionship and affection from the loved one.
Talk to a cruise ship accident lawyer for help analyzing the value of your cruise ship injury or cruise ship wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact Our Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer for Cruise Ship Accidents at Home and Abroad
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident on a cruise ship or shore excursion, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you and your family faced. Contact the experienced cruise ship injury attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling cruise ship injury cases on behalf of injury victims and the surviving family members of those killed in serious cruise accidents. For a free legal consultation on your case and help understanding what your case might be worth, call us today at (866) 386-1762.