Cruises are meant to be leisurely, enjoyable experiences. However, if the cruise line or another party involved is negligent, the consequences can be severe or in some cases, lethal. If you have lost a loved one as a result of a cruise ship accident, you deserve the facts about your legal options for financial recovery and justice.
A wrongful death lawsuit may be the best option available. By filing a wrongful death claim against the responsible party, the deceased’s beneficiaries may recover compensation for the personal and financial harms that they have suffered as a result of the untimely death.
Contact the seasoned cruise ship wrongful death attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today. For a free initial case evaluation, call our offices at (305) 204-5369.
Lawsuits for Wrongful Death on a Cruise Ship
When you lose a loved one or family member because of the actions of another person, company, or other entity, you have the ability to pursue legal action against that entity. This action, called a wrongful death lawsuit, can recover compensation for the losses that you have sustained due to the untimely death. While this compensation will likely never be enough to undo the harm that you have suffered, it can provide the financial security that you and your family require to grieve comfortably. Obtaining a legal verdict that assigns blame for the death can also serve as a form of closure.
An easy way to determine whether you have a viable case for wrongful death or not is by comparing your case to a personal injury lawsuit. The grounds for a personal injury claim are generally the same as those for a wrongful death claim. The main difference is that the personal injury plaintiff is the injury victim who survived the accident, whereas wrongful death plaintiffs are the beneficiaries of the person who died.
For instance, if a cruise line’s negligence in maintaining the ship and a passenger died after falling overboard because of a broken railing, the victim’s family could be entitled to sue the cruise line for wrongful death.
Who to Sue for a Wrongful Death on a Cruise Ship
Cruises are massive operations with many moving parts and multiple parties involved. Sometimes, identifying who is at fault for the purposes of a wrongful death lawsuit can prove difficult. Bring your case to the attention of the cruise ship wrongful death lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. so that we can help you name the party that truly bears the blame.
Wrongful death lawsuits for accidents involving cruise ships typically target one of the following parties:
- The cruise ship owner
- The cruise ship operator
- The cruise ship manufacturer
- The company that chartered the cruise
- The company that sold the tickets for the cruise
- The excursion company that contracted with the cruise line to host an off-ship tour or event
If you believe that multiple entities may have violated their duties and incurred liability for the accident, or if liability is unclear in your case, you may have the ability to name multiple parties in your lawsuit. The liable entity will be the one that failed to meet their legal duty to the passenger who died as a result of their failure. You and your cruise ship wrongful death attorney will likely find the critical information about who owed which duties in the fine print on the ticket. This language often also contains procedural details for how you should file your suit, including where your claim should be filed and whether the claim will be tried in court or in arbitration. We strongly urge that you review this language or have it prepared when meeting with your attorney to help you determine your next steps.
Compensation That is Available for Wrongful Deaths that Occur on a Cruise Ship
When plaintiffs succeed with wrongful death lawsuits, they are awarded monetary compensation based on the personal and financial consequences of their loved one’s untimely death. This compensation, known as damages, is distributed amongst the beneficiaries of the deceased listed in the suit. Whether a person can be named as a beneficiary to a wrongful death lawsuit (and what their relative compensation level will be) depends on the laws in the jurisdiction where the case occurs. Consult your cruise ship wrongful death attorney about whether you qualify as a beneficiary in your potential wrongful death suit.
Courts attempt to compensate beneficiaries for both the economic and non-economic harms that they have suffered as a result of the wrongful death. The economic consequences that will go into an evaluation of damages may include the deceased’s income level, lost benefits, such as healthcare coverage, and the cost of services that the deceased provided, such as childcare. These values will be affected by other factors, such as the deceased’s age at the time of death and their health status prior to the accident. Damages will also include the direct costs of the death, such as medical care prior to the death and funeral expenses. Separately from these considerations, beneficiaries will be compensated for their loss of companionship, mentorship, and other personal factors.
Estimating what a wrongful death lawsuit might be worth is too difficult without a careful consideration of all of the specific factors in the case. The experienced cruise ship wrongful death lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. will work diligently to make sure you’re your suit includes every dime that you deserve for the wrongful death of your loved one.
Our Cruise Ship Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help You Get Justice Today
At Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A., we recognize how difficult the grieving process can be. The damages from a wrongful death lawsuit can make that process just a bit easier. To find out more, call us today at (305) 204-5369.