Getting injured while on a cruise can turn a vacation into a nightmare. Should you experience a medical emergency on a cruise, it is important to know if you will be able to access medical attention on board.
Although cruise ships do not have full-fledged hospitals on board, they do have small medical facilities that can provide passengers with care in case of a medical emergency. If visiting this facility is your only option to get immediate medical care, go right away. When the vessel docks at a port, visit the nearest hospital. Upon getting home, go to another hospital close to you to get further confirmation of your injuries. We can then obtain the necessary medical records from each medical facility you visited to use in your claim for compensation following a cruise ship accident.
To have our cruise ship injury lawyers evaluate your case for free, call (305) 204-5369 and speak with the team at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today.
Do Cruise Ships Have Hospitals to Treat Medical Emergencies?
Because of the frequency of accidents on cruises and the possibility of other medical emergencies, cruise ships typically have medical staff on board to treat passengers in need of immediate care.
Cruise ships do not have hospitals. Instead, they have medical teams, usually comprised of a doctor and several nurses. Medical care facilities on cruises are limited, and medical staff cannot access all of the equipment that is available in a hospital.
That said, medical staff aboard a cruise may be able to stabilize you and treat your injuries if a medical crisis occurs. If the ship is not stopped at a destination along its route when you are injured, seek care from the medical staff on board. Such care may be sufficient until the ship is docked and you can safely visit a hospital.
If you are experiencing a severe medical emergency and the staff on board the cruise is not equipped to provide you with the level of care you need, you might be medically evacuated. Depending on the situation, the cruise might divert its course to reach the nearest port, or you might be medically evacuated by air. If medical evacuation is advised in your case, do not refuse, as doing so might impede your access to compensation in the future.
Should You Go to a Cruise Ship Hospital to Treat a Medical Emergency?
Because cruise ships do not have full hospitals on board, people experiencing medical emergencies or those who have become injured might think it best to wait to get treatment until they can reach a hospital. This is often inadvisable.
The medical teams aboard cruise ships are often the closest option for treating an injury or other medical emergency. If you are experiencing a medical crisis of any kind, do not wait to get treatment, especially if the cruise line is responsible for your injury. Even though it might not be a hospital, visiting the medical facility aboard the cruise will be important in establishing your injuries.
If you are docked at a port, go to the closest medical facility, even if it is in a foreign country. This will likely allow you to get more comprehensive medical treatment for your physical injuries, depending on the location of the hospital and its resources.
After you get home from your trip, go to a hospital near you. Doing this can confirm your injuries and expand your medical records regarding an incident.
If going to the onboard medical facility of a cruise is your only option to receive immediate medical attention, go. Waiting to get care could undermine your claim if you plan on suing the cruise line for your damages. If the vessel does not have a medical facility on board, inform our cruise ship injury lawyers. Not providing access to medical treatment, even if it is only temporary medical treatment, might be in breach of a cruise line’s duty of care to passengers. Furthermore, if the medical staff employed by the cruise line acted negligently in treating you, worsening your injuries, you might be able to file a separate claim for compensatory damages.
Obtaining Records from a Cruise Ship After a Medical Emergency
If you went to the medical facility on board a cruise to get emergency medical care, it is important to obtain those records. Such medical documentation can strengthen your claim against a cruise company for negligence.
Any medical records detailing your injuries are yours, so you should be able to access them upon request. That said, the medical staff aboard the vessel works for the cruise company, so even though they should be focused on your care, they might be somewhat interested in protecting the cruise line, and possibly themselves, from liability. If you have difficulty obtaining the necessary medical records from the medical staff aboard the cruise ship, our lawyers can subpoena them.
We can also obtain records of your medical treatment from a foreign hospital if you received care from a medical facility while docked in another country. Coupled with medical records detailing the continued treatment you received after returning home, such documentation can help establish the severity of your injuries and the extent of the medical emergency you experienced.
This will be important when seeking compensation from a cruise company. Proving that you have sustained injuries will be half of the battle, as you must also prove that the cruise line caused your injuries. This can be done by presenting other proof of negligence, such as photographs, witness statements, and security camera footage. Obtaining such evidence following an accident on a ship can be challenging, which is why filing your claim as soon as possible will be important.
Call Our Lawyers About Your Cruise Ship Accident Today
To get a free case assessment from Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A., call our boat accident lawyers now at (305) 204-5369.