Cruise ship accidents can happen in many different ways. Although fires and explosions on board might seem like rare accidents and there are many safety systems and protocols in place to prevent fires aboard a cruise ship, you may have been injured against these odds. If you were injured in a fire or explosion on a cruise ship, it likely means that the operator of the cruise ship did something wrong – or committed multiple errors – that allowed the fire to break out.
For help with your case, call the Miami, Florida cruise ship fire and explosion accident attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today. Our injury attorneys represent individuals and families who were injured because of negligence and disasters on a cruise ship in the waters around Miami as well as on cruise ships that left from port in Miami. For a free legal consultation on your potential case, call our cruise ship accident lawyers today at (866) 386-1762.
Injuries from Fires and Explosions on Cruise Ships
While the injuries from a cruise ship fire or explosion might obviously include severe burns, there are plenty of other injuries you might be able to seek compensation for after facing a fire or explosion on a cruise ship.
Fires and explosions produce heat, but they also produce smoke and could potentially produce loud noises and shocking force. The head of a fire can cause serious burns, potentially including third-degree burns that destroy the nerve endings in the skin and other tissue. Burns are often some of the most painful injuries someone can face, and they often require long-term, intensive medical care to repair the injury with skin grafts and other treatments.
Along with the heat, the smoke from a fire can cause serious injuries to the lungs and eyes. Smoke inhalation injuries can be severe and leave a victim with prolonged discomfort or even permanent injuries to the lungs. Irritation to the eyes and throat often passes, but it can still be severe in the moment.
The sound of an explosion can be shocking and scary. This sound alone could cause shock, heart palpitations, or even a heart attack to people in the potential blast radius or “zone of danger” around the explosion. If you faced emotional distress from an explosion, you may be entitled to sue for those effects, but there usually must still be some physical impact to claim these damages. Moreover, the force of an explosion can cause injuries and distress. Even if you are not touched by fire or smoke, the force and pressure coming off an explosion can cause harm – or at least cause contact that might justify emotional distress damages. While many explosions caused by fuel and fires do not create a pressure wave strong enough to cause injuries, being close to the site of an explosion can still cause harm aside from the heat and smoke.
Explosions at electrical boxes and junctions can also cause serious injuries. The bright light, pressure wave, and heat of an arc flash or a flashover can be traumatic for people nearby or workers dealing with high-voltage electrical systems.
Suing a Cruise Ship for Injuries from Fires and Explosions
Similarly to how laws in each state require that certain standards and rules are followed to prevent injury cases on land, maritime law also requires cruise ship operators to keep passengers safe. This typically requires ships to properly maintain and safely operate electrical systems, stoves, grills, fireplaces, and other fire hazards on the ship. Also, in the event of a fire or explosion, maritime law usually requires cruise ships to be equipped with safety devices like fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, emergency lighting, life rafts, and other safety equipment to ensure that passengers can evacuate the affected area safely and efficiently. If the cruise company fails to meet these standards, they can be held liable for their negligent or reckless actions or inactions in a personal injury lawsuit.
A cruise ship can also be held responsible for errors its crew causes. This means that kitchen fires started by negligence, accidents involving fuel or flammable materials, or serious electrical problems could all be the ship’s responsibility if someone on the ship’s crew caused the accident. Moreover, cruise ships are also responsible for providing safety and security on the ship, so if a fire or explosion was not properly contained or started because of negligent security, the ship could also be responsible.
If you suffered injuries because of a cruise ship’s failure to prevent a fire or explosion or their negligent response to the danger, you can file a claim to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. When you purchase a ticket for a cruise, there are many terms and policies that potentially include restrictions on where the claim must be filed and which courts can hear the case. Our experienced maritime lawyers can help you ensure that you file your case in the strongest way possible to help you maximize the compensation you deserve and get the help you need to deal with your injuries.
Proving Fault in a Fire or Explosion Accident on a Cruise Ship
On a cruise ship, there are usually no fires or explosions unless there is serious negligence. Proving your case in court means your attorneys will have to investigate the cause of the fire and convince the jury that the cruise line was responsible for the accident by pointing to issues of negligence. Mistakes in the upkeep and maintenance of fuel tanks and gas lines, dangerous flaws in electrical equipment, or unrepaired damage to the ship are common examples of the kinds of negligence that a victim can point to to hold the cruise line accountable for their injuries.
Some burn injuries and explosions on a ship can also affect crew members. Our attorneys also fight to represent crewmembers and staff on a cruise ship as well as the passengers. Usually, you cannot sue simply because you happened to be injured at work, and your attorney must also prove what the cruise line did wrong to cause your injuries.
The legal details of an injury case are often complex, but a negligence lawsuit like this typically requires the victim’s attorney to prove these four elements:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The breach of duty directly caused the victim’s injuries.
- The victim’s injuries involve damages the court can compensate them for.
Our attorneys can investigate your case and help show what errors and mistakes the ship’s staff and crew committed to allow your injuries to occur, and we can present evidence of this negligence in court to prove your case.
Damages for Fire and Explosion Accidents on a Cruise
Our Miami cruise ship fire and explosion lawyers work to get victims compensation for the injuries they faced through lawsuits against the cruise line. The compensation you can claim will depend heavily on the specific injuries you faced and what effects those injuries had on your life.
Damages for medical bills are one of the most common types of damages to claim in an accident case. The medical bills you face could be expensive for burn injuries, as these are often serious injuries that take years of medical appointments to manage. Moreover, the cost of medical transportation from the ship to the shore is often expensive. If you suffered negligent care from the ship’s physician or from a doctor in a foreign country, this may require additional care to reverse those effects. The ship should be responsible for the sum-total of all costs incurred because of their negligence. Lastly, the cruise should also pay for the cost of counseling and therapy to deal with the mental and emotional effects of serious, visible injuries.
If you missed work because of the injuries you faced, you might also be able to claim damages for these lost wages. Lastly, you can typically claim damages for the physical pain and mental suffering of an injury, which could be very high in cases of burn injuries.
Many cruise companies will be hesitant to pay large sums of money, so any settlements they offer you might be too low to cover your needs. Our lawyers can help you understand what your case is worth and advise you on whether a settlement is fair or whether we should fight the case at trial instead. Most lawsuits ultimately end in a settlement, but our attorneys will fight to ensure that you understand your rights, and we will work to protect you from unfair or low settlement offers that might leave you with unpaid expenses.
Call Our Lawyers for Cruise Ship Fire and Explosion Injuries
If you or a loved one was injured on a cruise ship because of a fire or explosion, the lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. may be able to help. Our Miami, Florida cruise ship fire and explosion lawyers work to get financial compensation for injury victims and the family of those killed in accidents on cruise ships. For your free legal consultation, call our attorneys today at (866) 386-1762