Passengers on cruise ships can suffer serious injuries because of cruise ship accidents. These injuries can be very distressing for victims. Accordingly, those injured on cruise ships often have trouble determining the proper course of action.
You should seek medical attention from the ship doctor immediately after being injured on a cruise ship. After receiving medical attention, you should report your accident to the cruise line and document the circumstances surrounding your injury. Finally, you can contact a cruise ship accident and injury lawyer for help filing your lawsuit and pursuing compensation.
If you were injured on a cruise ship, get help recovering the monetary damages available to you. Contact our experienced Miami cruise ship accident and injury lawyers by calling Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369 for a free case review.
Steps to Take After Being Injured on a Cruise Ship
Cruise ship accident lawsuits can be complicated and tiresome. Defendants and their insurance companies may attempt to dispute various aspects of your case. However, there are certain actions you can take after being injured on a cruise ship that will help your ability to recover compensation:
Seek Medical Attention from the Ship Doctor
First, you should seek medical attention from the ship doctor immediately after being injured on a cruise ship. Most ships are equipped with a medical center or infirmary where injured passengers can seek medical care. The ship’s healthcare professionals will be able to treat your injuries or call for additional medical services like a helicopter evacuation.
You may be told that you must pay for any treatment you receive. Even if your personal healthcare insurance does not cover medical care administered by the ship’s staff, you should not be discouraged from receiving treatment. If you suffered your injuries because of the cruise line’s negligent conduct, you may recover compensation for any medical expenses incurred.
Furthermore, after a cruise ship accident, the cruise line’s insurance company can use a delay in medical treatment to complicate the settlement process. An insurer may argue that because you did not seek medical care right away, you were not really injured by the negligent behavior at issue. Therefore, you should not wait to seek medical care after being injured on a cruise ship.
Report Your Injury to the Cruise Line
Next, it is very important that you report your injury to the cruise line staff after being injured on a cruise ship. Cruise lines are required to have safety protocols to follow when passengers are injured. Reporting your injury to the cruise line should automatically trigger an investigation into the root cause of the accident at issue.
You should be able to file a report with the ship’s medical office when seeking treatment for your injuries. If you did not report your injury to the medical staff, you should attempt to report your injury to the purser’s office.
If you did not report your injury to the cruise company, it may be difficult to recover compensation in a cruise ship accident lawsuit. However, our Florida boat accident injury lawyers can still assess the validity of your case during a free case review.
Approach Written Statements with Caution
After reporting your injury, the cruise line will likely ask you to provide a written statement describing the circumstances that led to such harm. If you are in pain, you should refuse to provide the statement. Furthermore, you should not allow a friend or family member to write a statement for you, even if they witnessed your injury.
If you must draft a written statement, you should remain concise. The details of your accident may become difficult to remember over time. You do not want to provide details in your written statement that will be difficult to remember at a later date. Rather, you should include a brief description of your injuries and why you believe the cruise company is responsible. You may contact our experienced cruise ship accident and injury lawyers for guidance and support before drafting a written statement pertaining to your cruise ship injury.
Avoid Minimizing Your Injuries
Even when you are in pain, it can be natural to downplay the extent of your injuries. For example, injured passengers may make statements saying they’re “feeling fine” or that they “don’t think it’s serious.” However, these statements can be used against you when seeking monetary damages related to your injuries.
Even if your injury seems minor initially, it may be worse than your think. For instance, some internal injuries can produce severe symptoms but may be difficult to detect right away. Furthermore, injuries such as puncture wounds and lacerations have the potential to develop serious infections.
Accordingly, after suffering an injury on a cruise ship, you should avoid minimizing your injuries when speaking with cruise line staff and other passengers. If you did make such a statement, our Ft. Lauderdale boating accident injury lawyers can help determine the proper course of action.
Avoid Apologizing or Assuming Fault
Additionally, injured passengers should avoid apologizing or assuming fault when speaking with other passengers and cruise line staff. Some victims apologize for accidents that were not their fault. For example, an injured passenger may say “sorry” after suffering a slip and fall accident because of a loose rug at a ship’s restaurant. In that case, the victim’s apology can be construed as an admission of fault.
Those who apologize or assume fault may be precluded from recovering monetary damages in cruise ship accident lawsuits. If you mistakenly assumed fault for your cruise ship accident, you should contact our attorneys for help fighting insurance companies and building your case.
Document the Scene of Your Accident
You should also document the scene of your accident after being injured on a cruise ship. Photos from the scene of your accident can be highly valuable to our cruise ship accident lawyers when proving that the cruise line was at fault in your case. For example, if you suffered an injury because of a poorly maintained cruise ship attraction, photos of the ride’s unsafe condition can be useful when proving the cruise line was at fault for your injuries.
Our Jacksonville boating accident lawyers can help determine if photos from the scene of your accident may be useful in your case.
Document Your Injuries
In addition to seeking formal medical care, you should also document your own injuries after suffering a cruise ship accident. Detailed photos of any bruises, lacerations, burns, or other injuries you may have suffered can be useful when pursuing an injury claim. These photos can help show the severity of trauma caused by a cruise ship accident.
Collect Contact Information for Eyewitnesses
Additionally, you should collect contact information from any potential witnesses to your cruise ship accident. Contact information should include names, phone numbers, and addresses.
Eyewitnesses can provide written or oral testimony that explains the events that occurred before, during, and after your injury. Therefore, eyewitness testimony can also be very beneficial to our cruise accident lawyers when proving that the cruise line was at fault for your injuries.
Talk with Our Cruise ship accident and injury lawyers
Lastly, you should talk with our experienced cruise ship accident and injury lawyers for help filing your lawsuit and building your case. Cruise ship accident lawsuits can be complicated processes. There are several factors that can influence the strategies that apply to your case. Fortunately, our team can provide assistance throughout each stage of the legal process.
How to File a Cruise Ship Accident Lawsuit
After returning home, injured passengers should not wait to begin the process of filing their cruise ship accident lawsuits. You will have one year from the date of your injury to file a cruise ship accident lawsuit. Most cruise ship passenger tickets contain a provision that establishes this one-year limitation. The one-year time limit applies to cruise ship accident lawsuits filed against the following cruise lines:
- Carnival Cruise Lines
- Norwegian Cruise Lines
- Celebrity Cruise Lines
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
- Disney Cruise Line
- Regent-Seven Seas Cruises
- Silver Sea Cruises
Furthermore, many cruise lines require you to provide notice to the cruise ship company before to commencement of your cruise ship accident lawsuit. Typically, cruise lines will require six months’ notice.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1333, cruise ship accident lawsuits typically must be filed in federal court. Also, cruise ship tickets also usually contain a forum selection clause. Forum selection clauses require plaintiffs to file their lawsuits in certain courts. Miami based cruise lines such as Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity all require cruise ship accident lawsuits against them to be filed in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Accordingly, there are many conditions that must be adhered to when filing your case. Failure to satisfy any of these conditions could cause you to miss out on financial compensation. After being injured on a cruise ship, the assistance of our experienced Lake George boating accident injury lawyers can be very valuable when filing your lawsuit.
What to Do After Filing a Cruise Ship Accident Lawsuit
After filing a cruise ship accident lawsuit, there are specific steps you must take for your case to succeed. Our cruise ship accident and injury lawyers can provide support throughout each stage of the following legal process:
First, you must gather evidence to show that the cruise line is responsible for your injuries. The following are examples of evidence that may be used to establish fault for a cruise ship accident:
- Witness statements
- Written statements
- Accident reports
- Medical records
- Photos from the scene
- Surveillance footage
- Physical evidence
- Personal recollections
Some evidence may be difficult to obtain after being injured on a cruise ship. For instance, a cruise line may not behave cooperatively when requesting copies of your written statement and accident report. Fortunately, our Tampa Bay boating accident lawyers can help recover the evidence required to win your case.
Next, plaintiffs in cruise ship accident lawsuits must establish that cruise lines were at fault for their injuries. In other words, for your case to succeed, you must show that you were injured because the cruise line breached their duty to keep you safe. Cruise lines owe a duty to keep their ships safe, provide clean food and water, and provide reasonable security to their passengers onboard. Furthermore, cruise line staff owe a duty to refrain from intentionally injuring passengers.
Most courts in cruise ship accident cases will use the doctrine of comparative negligence when awarding damages. In other words, damages will be assigned based on percentages of fault. If you are found to be 40% at fault for an accident while the cruise line is 60% responsible, the cruise line will only be ordered to pay for 60% of damages caused by the accident.
Accordingly, after filing a cruise ship accident lawsuit, the cruise line may hire defense lawyers and private investigators to shift fault for your injury. By blaming you, the defendant’s insurer may be able to avoid paying the full value of your claim. Our cruise ship accident and injury lawyers can help fight insurance companies and establish that a negligent cruise line was at fault in your case.
Evaluate Settlement Agreements
Furthermore, after filing cruise ship accident lawsuits, plaintiffs typically must face the difficult decision of settling their case or going to trial. A settlement agreement is a form of contract that orders a defendant to pay an agreed-upon sum to the plaintiff in exchange for their lawsuit being dismissed. By settling early, you may avoid expensive costs that accompany going to trial. Furthermore, you can obtain compensation more quickly if you settle.
Not all settlement agreements are adequate. Cruise lines and their insurers often wish to settle cases as cheaply as possible. By going to trial, plaintiffs will have the opportunity to recover further monetary damages. However, plaintiffs who do not succeed at trial may receive nothing. Our experienced cruise ship accident and injury lawyers can help evaluate settlement offers and determine if going to trial is the right decision for you.
If You Were Injured on a Cruise Ship, Our Lawyers Can Help
If you were injured on a cruise ship, seek assistance from our experienced Everglades boat accident lawyers by calling Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369 for a free case review.