Taking a cruise is an incredibly exciting experience that allows travelers to explore the world from a unique viewpoint. From the stunning sights of Alaska to the shimmering waters of The Caribbean, there are countless exotic places to visit, and many leave right from Miami.
Even with all their merits, cruise ships are also dangerous vessels. When cruise lines and crew members act negligently or irresponsibly, catastrophic accidents can occur.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the dangers of cruise ships. Why? Unlike other industries, no one governmental organization investigates and documents accidents on cruise ships. As a result, many injuries and accidents aboard cruise ships go unreported.
Despite the extensive safety measures on cruise ships today, accidents can happen unexpectedly, leaving passengers with little guidance as they face the uncertainty of their injuries.
For passengers who sustain injuries aboard a cruise ship, the fear of being hurt or sick in a foreign place with limited access to medical attention and familiar amenities, can be overwhelming. As such, it is important that passengers understand their rights following an injury in order to gain access to needed medical attention and seek legal action if necessary.
What Kind of Injuries Might Occur on a Cruise Ship?
There are many ways that a passenger on a cruise ship can get injured. Some common causes of injuries on cruise ships include:
- Slip and fall accidents on wet or uneven surfaces
- Injuries from malfunctioning equipment or machinery
- Food poisoning
- Swimming pool or spa accidents
- Excursion accidents
- Onboard activities such as sports or entertainment events
- While disembarking or boarding the ship
In addition, passengers may suffer injuries due to a crime committed on the ship, such as assault or theft. Other injuries can be caused by the ship’s motion, like sea sickness, or by contracting illnesses, such as E. coli infection, while on board.
It’s important to note that the cause and circumstances of the injury can play a significant role in determining liability and the party responsible for paying compensation.
What to Do After Suffering a Miami Cruise Ship Injury
If you suffer an injury on a cruise ship, here are the steps you should take:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Report the incident immediately to the ship’s staff and ask them to document it in the ship’s accident report book. This will create an official record of the incident.
Some cruise lines try to charge guests for receiving medical treatment. They often do this to discourage you from seeking medical care after an injury. Failing to seek medical treatment onboard will only further the cruise line’s claims that you were not injured. They will use this defense to avoid paying you what you deserve after an accident onboard.
Even if you do not believe that your injury is severe, seek medical treatment and follow all care instructions.
- Gather evidence. Take photos or videos of the accident scene and any injuries you sustained. If there were witnesses, get their contact information. This includes other passengers, as well as crew members. In addition, keep all medical documents and receipts. You will need these documents to make a compensation claim.
After any injury, the burden of proof lies on the injured party to show liability. The more evidence you can gather for your attorney, the better your chances of a successful outcome.
- Contact a Miami cruise ship injury lawyer. A Miami injury lawyer with experience in maritime law can advise you on your rights and the best course of action to take. Due to the complex nature of shipboard injuries and maritime law, it is essential to find a law firm with considerable experience dealing with cruise ship injury claims.
- File a claim with the cruise line. Most cruise lines have a process for passengers to file claims for injuries or accidents on their ships. Follow the instructions provided by the cruise line and submit your claim as soon as possible.
- Be aware of the time limit. You will have a limited time to file a claim, so acting quickly is important. The period can vary depending on the cruise line and the jurisdiction in which the ship is registered.
Remember that cruise ship injuries are complex and that the law varies depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. It’s essential to consult with an experienced Miami cruise ship attorney to help you navigate the process and protect your rights.
If You Get Injured on a Cruise Ship, Who Pays?
If you’re injured on a cruise ship, you should be covered by the ship’s insurance policy. The cruise line’s insurance policy may cover the cost of your medical expenses and any other damages you may be entitled to.
However, obtaining compensation can be complex and may involve several parties, including the cruise line, their insurance company, and your insurance company. As such, collecting this compensation can be challenging.
Cruise ships, like Royal Caribbean or Disney Cruise Lines, have large insurance companies and legal teams that want to pay out as little as possible when an accident occurs. To do this, they may include waivers that limit or exclude liability for injuries in their ticket contracts. It’s essential to review the terms of your ticket contract and consult with an attorney to understand your rights and the limitations of the cruise line’s liability. You need someone in your corner who isn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with these companies on your behalf.
Cruise lines are legally responsible for providing a safe environment for their passengers. If the injury occurred due to the cruise line’s negligence, such as a poorly maintained deck or a malfunctioning elevator, the cruise line might be liable for your injuries.
It’s also possible that a third party, such as a tour operator or a vendor on the ship, may be responsible for your injuries. In this case, you may be able to file a claim against that party.
Contact Our Miami Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love suffered an injury on a cruise ship in Miami, you need someone on your side to go toe-to-toe with large cruise ship companies and their insurers. Don’t let them push you around or offer you far less than you deserve. Miami cruise ship accident lawyer Prosper Shaked can help you obtain the money you need after any maritime accident or injury. For a free consultation on your case and help understanding your options, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 or fill out our confidential contact form.