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How to Sue for a Cruise Ship Injury in Miami

on  Maritime Accidents

If you or a loved one was injured on a cruise ship, it may not require a catastrophic accident like the sinking of a ship to justify taking your case to court.  In the majority of cases, cruise ship injuries involve injuries from accidents on board, inadequate supervision that leads to crime on board, or failure to provide adequate medical care.  After suffering from these kinds of injuries, you may be entitled to take your case to court.  Miami cruise ship injury lawyer Prosper Shaked explains how.

Suing a Cruise Liner for Injuries

Many accidental injuries on cruise ships are from relatively minor accidents.  Accidents like slip and falls or other premises liability cases make up a large portion of these.  Other accidents are workplace accidents, where workers or ship staff are injured in training exercises or from the routine dangers of working on a ship.  Still other accidents may come as a result of the ship and their staff failing to provide adequate security, which can lead to injuries from crime, or failing to provide adequate medical care for serious conditions, which can lead to worsening conditions or death on a cruise ship.

No matter how the accident is caused, the general process of suing is similar.  First, it is important to understand that you can go to a lawyer for help at any point after the injury.  Many of the preliminary steps to filing a lawsuit involve drafting the proper documents, researching the defendant’s address, and filing documents with the court and the defendant.  Beyond this, the process of filing a lawsuit involves filing documents and briefs with the court, countering the defendant’s responses, exchanging documents and evidence, and performing and taking depositions.  After this process is completed, the court goes to trial and resolves based on the jury’s verdict.

In the lawsuit, the court looks for four specific factors to prove that the cruise ship was at fault for your injuries.  Regardless of the type of accident, these four factors are basically the same:

  1. You must prove that the cruise ship owed you a duty. This duty can stem from their role as the property owner of the vessel, the party responsible for security, or the employer.
  2. You must show the cruise liner breached their duty, usually by failing to use the proper care or skill or by failing to provide adequate security or medical care.
  3. You must prove that this breach caused your injuries. Injuries that would have occurred even without their negligence may not justify damages.
  4. Lastly, you must prove that you suffered damages the court can compensate you for. This includes medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as well as other harms.

If you can prove these four elements, you can usually win your case against the cruise ship.  In some cases, the first two elements of duty and breach are supplied by laws that dictate what kinds of services the cruise liner is required to provide.  For instance, if you are injured in a fire on board a ship that did not stock fire extinguishers according to applicable laws, it may be simpler to prove your case.

Should I Settle My Cruise Injury Case?

Many cruise ships and the companies that operate them are large, multinational companies that deal with hundreds of lawsuits and even more potential lawsuits each year.  Sometimes, these companies prevent lawsuits by using their customer service departments to reimburse the cost of a trip or offering free future trips to those who were harmed.  Many cases either end prematurely because the victim is satisfied by this or because the victim does not realize that they have the right to sue.

Additionally, many cruise liners protect themselves by limiting your right to sue.  A ticket is often a contract, of sorts, which may provide for certain limitations on your right to sue.  This could require that your case be filed in federal court, may require you use a Florida State court instead of a court in your home state, or may even require arbitration for some claims.

Lastly, because these companies face so many lawsuits, their legal teams often work to shut down claims early or end them in the cheapest way possible.  It is important to remember that the cruise ship’s legal department does not represent your interests.  Because of this, early offers to settle or pay you something for your troubles may not be enough to satisfy your needs.  In fact, accepting many of these payments may constitute a settlement that ends your case and eliminates your ability to sue.  In other cases, the settlement offered by the cruise company may be lower than what you could be entitled to if your case went before a neutral jury.  Talk to an attorney about the average settlement for a cruise ship injury in Miami, FL before accepting any money or settlements from a cruise company to help ensure that you get what you deserve after a serious injury case.

Miami Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations

If you or a loved one suffered an injury aboard a cruise ship, talk to an attorney about your case today.  You may be entitled to file a lawsuit for your injuries, which can cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked offers free consultations on new cases.  For your free, confidential consultation, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.