Who Is Liable for an Injury on a Sightseeing Cruise in Florida?
Personal injuries from incidents on sightseeing cruises can turn a leisurely, enjoyable experience into a costly endeavor with long-term consequences. If the injuries occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you could pursue damages for medical expenses, lost income, and non-economic consequences such as pain and suffering through a Florida personal injury lawsuit.
In most situations, the cruise line will be the liable party you should name in your lawsuit. Even if an individual employee’s negligence was the cause of injury, a court may still find the cruise operator responsible if the employee was acting within the scope of their job.
If you are interested in hearing more about your chances to recover compensation for your sightseeing cruise injury in Florida, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. Our seasoned Florida cruise injury attorneys and Florida yacht accident lawyer can offer you a free initial case assessment for your first call. You can reach our offices by calling (305) 204-5369.
Proving the Cruise Operator was Liable for a Sightseeing Cruise Injury in Florida
If you want to pursue a legal claim against a sightseeing cruise operator in Florida, you will have to show that the operator was negligent, and the negligence caused your injuries. Sightseeing cruises are responsible for taking reasonably prudent precautions against any harm coming to their passengers from the time they get on the vessel until they get off. Some of these duties are defined by government regulations, but others may be harder to identify.
For instance, U.S. federal law requires all cruise ships, including sightseeing cruise boats, to have enough safety equipment on board, as well as a means for passengers who are injured to receive medical attention. But sightseeing cruise operators also must meet other requirements not codified by law to avoid liability. For instance, if food is served on a sightseeing cruise, the cruise line operator has the responsibility to screen for allergies and make sure that all food is stored and prepared safely for human consumption.
Can You Sue the Sightseeing Cruise Operator if an Employee Caused Your Injury?
Employees who act negligently while working within the scope of their employment create liability for the company that they work for. This concept is called respondeat superior and is commonly accepted in Florida courts.
If an individual employee on a sightseeing cruise negligently caused the accident that injured you, you may be able to name the sightseeing cruise operator other company that employed that person. To do this, you must be able to demonstrate that the employee’s improper behavior occurred in the course of doing their job.
For instance, one aspect of a deckhand’s job might be securing the gangplank to the dock so that passengers can safely board and disembark. But if the deckhand fails to secure the gangplank properly, it could wobble or slide loose, causing a passenger using it to fall. In this situation, the deckhand’s failure to secure the gangplank would likely be viewed as negligence within the scope of their employment, and the injured passenger could sue the deckhand’s employer, which would likely be the sightseeing cruise operator.
Conversely, let’s say that the deckhand had an earlier argument with one of the passengers and decided to intentionally trip that passenger while they were disembarking. Intentional physical violence is certainly not within the scope of the deckhand’s job description. Therefore, the cruise operator likely wouldn’t be liable. However, if the deckhand had a history of violence towards customers that the cruise operator should have discovered or ignored when hiring the deckhand, the cruise operator could also be liable for negligent hiring practices.
What Could You Recover from a Lawsuit for a Sightseeing Cruise Injury in Florida?
When victims file lawsuits after suffering injuries on sightseeing cruises in Florida, their goal is to recover compensation for their harms in the form of damages. Damages for personal injuries are calculated based on both their economic and non-economic losses. In select cases where the defendant’s behavior was highly reckless or intentional, a third type of damages, called punitive damages, may be considered.
It can be difficult to estimate what your case may be worth without a background of knowledge about how damages are calculated. Fortunately, our Miami cruise ship injury lawyers and Miami yacht accident lawyer are well-versed in damage calculations and can help you get an idea of what your case is worth as part of your free initial case assessment.
The first step in evaluating your potential damages is to account for all of the money that you either spent or lost as a direct result of your injuries. This will include any money you spent on medical care, rehabilitative services, or modifications to your home or vehicle that you had to make to account for your condition. You may also claim any lost wages or decrease in earning potential that you suffer for as long as your injuries prevent you from earning income as you had previously.
Calculations of non-economic damages are based on the consequences of the negligence that are not associated with monetary expenses or losses. Instead, they will account for the personal harms that your experience and injuries have caused you. This can include compensation for chronic pain, inability to engage in recreational activities, loss of enjoyment of life, and the impact the injuries have on the victim’s personal relationships, amongst other considerations that our experienced Florida boat accident injury lawyers can identify for you.
Punitive damages are only available in a limited number of cases, but where they are available, they are often substantial. These damages are meant to punish a defendant for particularly reprehensible behavior that shows a level of indifference to the health of the victim. Punitive damages have been awarded in the past where cruise line operators knew of hazardous defects on their vessels but did not repair them or disclose their existence to passengers.
Get Justice for Your Sightseeing Cruise Injuries Today
When evaluating, preparing, and arguing your case, you deserve the resources and knowledge that the Ft. Lauderdale boating injury lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. bring to the table. Find out more by calling us at (305) 204-5369.