In the last few years, it has not been an uncommon occurrence to turn on the news and hear about cruise ship accidents and malfunctions. Sometimes what starts out as a relaxing getaway can turn into a devastating tragedy. A lot can go wrong when you are hundreds of miles off the shore on a boat with limited medical care. When a death occurs on a cruise ship, survivors of the victim have difficult decisions to make. Funeral and burial costs can be too expensive for one family to cover. It is never easy to lose a loved one, and sudden death brings out an array of emotions and grief. Coping with the loss of a loved one that could have been prevented is particularly difficult to stomach. If your loved one died on a cruise ship, you may be entitled to damages for your loss. A Miami cruise ship death lawyer at the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked may be able to help you receive compensation for your loss. Call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked at (305) 694-2676 and schedule a free consultation.
Causes of Death on Cruise Ships
There are numerous types of accidents and injuries that can cause death on a cruise ship. Sometimes when an individual dies on a cruise ship, the death is sudden and instant. Other times, a person will suffer for days, weeks, and even months before they succumb to their injuries. Some common causes of cruise ship deaths include:
- Assault by another passenger or crewmember
- Falling overboard
- Food poisoning
- Contagious diseases
- Fire onboard
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
After losing a loved one in a cruise ship related accident, surviving family members often are unsure of what their next steps are to obtain financial recovery. Who is responsible for their family member’s death? Can you hold multiple people be held liable? These are questions that an experienced personal injury attorney can answer in detail so that you do not waste unnecessary time and money.
Wrongful Death Claim for Cruise Ship Accident
Many wrongful death lawsuits are pursued on a theory of negligence. There are four essential elements that must be shown in order to succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit. These elements are:
- The defendant owed a legal duty of care to the decedent;
- The defendant breached the duty of care that was owed;
- The breach was the cause of the decedent’s death; and
- The decedent’s surviving family members suffered damages as a result of their loved one’s death.
Cruise lines are considered common carriers, and therefore, the standard of care that they owe their passengers is higher than normal. If a passenger is injured due to the negligence or carelessness of a cruise line or its crew members, he or she might be entitled to damages for injuries suffered. Parties who may be held liable for injuries suffered by passengers aboard a cruise ship include:
- Cruise ship owner
- Cruise line
- Liable third parties
- Ticketing agency
- Charter company
Liability in a wrongful death law suit is dependent upon the facts and circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. Most cruise ship companies distribute tickets to their passengers that contain a liability waiver. These waivers typically contain notice requirements, statute of limitations, and forum selection clauses. It is important for families who are pursuing a wrongful death claim to be aware of the statute of limitations contained in these waivers because they may be different from Florida’s statute of limitations for the same cause of action. For example, wrongful death claims in Florida have a 2 year statute of limitations, but many cruise ship companies require passengers to provide notice of the claim within 6 months and a lawsuit must be filed within 1 year. Courts have upheld the enforceability of forum selection clauses in the past, which is why it is so important for family members to retain a wrongful death attorney who can fight for their legal rights.
Miami Cruise Ship Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in a cruise ship accident, call a wrongful death attorney right away. Admiralty and maritime law can be very nuanced and difficult to understand for people who do not have expertise in those areas of law. It is important for you to focus on coping with the loss of your loved one at this difficult time. Let an experienced Miami cruise ship death lawyer at the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked handle your legal claims. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA provide aggressive legal representation to surviving family members so that they may be justly compensated for their losses. Call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676 and schedule a free and confidential consultation with a wrongful death attorney you can trust.