Miami is the number one port for cruise ships in the United States. The majority of cruise ships operating under an American flag keep their home port in Florida, which means that most lawsuits against cruise ships for injuries and illness aboard the vessel need to be filed in Florida to get jurisdiction over the case.
The Miami cruise ship injury and accident attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind represent injury victims and their families, and we fight to get them the compensation they need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from an injury on a cruise ship. To schedule a free legal consultation on your case and learn more about filing a lawsuit, call our Miami cruise ship injury attorneys today at (866) 386-1762.
Suing a Cruise Ship for Injuries and Illness
When onboard a ship, there are hundreds of ways to entertain yourself and enjoy your vacation. However, the general conditions on a ship often come with risks of injury and illness on top of the risks from many of the activities on board.
People on cruise ships are vulnerable to many kinds of injuries from the premises themselves. Unsafe handrails, structures, and conditions on a ship could lead to slip and fall injuries or trip and fall injuries. Especially if there is a wet deck or unapparent puddle that you do not see, you could slip and fall and injure yourself.
Passengers and staff alike also have a huge risk of foodborne or waterborne illness. Norovirus and other food poisoning issues are some of the most common cruise ship injuries that make their way into the news, with hundreds of cruise ship passengers – or more – falling ill each year. If these injuries were caused by preventable food contamination, the kitchen staff and the cruise ship might be responsible for the injuries you faced.
Activities on a cruise can also lead to injury. Many cruises offer swimming in pools on deck, onboard surfing, rock climbing, and other potentially dangerous activities. These activities often have supervision from lifeguards and other safety personnel, but if they fail to keep you safe through inattention or negligence, the ship owners and operators may be responsible.
Other injuries can occur from crime on board the ship. Assault or sexual assault from other passengers or ship crew is unacceptable and can often lead to a lawsuit.
Damages for Lawsuits Against Cruise Liners
If you were injured on a cruise or during an activity sponsored by the cruise line, you may be entitled to sue the ship’s owners and operators for your injuries. Their crew and staff are supposed to keep facilities safe and clean and help prevent avoidable injuries aboard the ship. Failing to do so can open them up to liability.
Many issues are governed by U.S. maritime law, meaning that your case will not be handled under the laws of any particular state. Instead, laws governing ships and boats apply. Our experienced maritime injury lawyers can help fight your case using these laws to seek proper compensation.
Under maritime law, victims of injuries are often entitled to seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the responsible parties. These damages can cover these costs in full – something that a settlement or an insurance claim might not do.
Medical expenses can be much higher on a cruise for a few reasons. Because the cruise ship’s infirmary might not be equipped to handle your injury, you may need to fly out on a helicopter or be taken on a boat to the nearest hospital on land. The care you receive might be inadequate – and you may face a long delay before you get the care you need. This could lead to additional complications and procedures before you get better, meaning higher expenses. However, these costs should be paid by the responsible parties.
You can also claim damages for lost wages stemming from your injuries. Your cruise ship injuries will likely keep you from going back to work while you recover. Moreover, your injuries could result in permanent disabilities or long-term injuries that might make it impossible to go back to work at full capacity – or at all. If this is the case, you may be entitled to claim damages for the lost wages and future earning capacity your injury caused.
Pain and Suffering
Damages for pain and suffering are often involved in cruise ship injury cases. Any injury or illness can involve pain and suffering. These damages are based on your personal experience, so they can vary widely from case to case. If your injuries affected your enjoyment of life or your ability to participate in activities you used to enjoy, this can help demonstrate to a jury how severe the injuries were. Your testimony will be instrumental in proving these damages in court since there are no financial records that can provide this kind of evidence.
In addition to these damages, you may be entitled to punitive damages in some cases. Many cruise lines have known problems with foodborne illness, sexual assault on board, or other issues. If these cruise lines failed to correct these problems and endangered more passengers because of it, the court may be willing to punish them by ordering them to pay you additional damages.
Call Our Miami Cruise Ship Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one faced serious injuries on a cruise ship, contact our Miami cruise ship injury lawyers today for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys are experienced maritime injury attorneys who have fought hundreds of cases involving maritime injury. Our attorneys have even testified before Congress on matters of maritime law and appeared on news reports discussing cruise ship accidents and injuries. For help from our Miami cruise ship accident lawyers, call us today at (866) 386-1762 to set up a free legal consultation.