Cruise ships played a significant part in the outbreak of COVID-19, the coronavirus, in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a “no sail order” on March 14, 2020, to prevent new passengers from boarding cruise ships. Later, the organization extended this order until July 24, 2020.
The CDC acted decisively as the coronavirus seemed to be spreading uncontrollably on cruise ships. The organization wanted to ensure that cruise lines are developing concrete plans to prevent it. Once they detected the coronavirus, the plans, in theory, would help to protect the health and safety of their passengers and crew by containing it.
Despite many cruise lines taking action once coronavirus cases increased on ships, by ordering passengers to stay in their cabins, for example, the virus continued to spread onboard many ships. Infections and deaths spiraled on some cruise ships. Some ships were left stranded at sea with passengers stuck on board and in their cabins for weeks, unable to return home.
If you suffered from the coronavirus or had any financial losses due to a cruise line’s ill-informed decision to set sail in the middle of a global pandemic, you could receive compensation. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm as soon as possible to find out if you have a case and whether a cruise ship coronavirus lawyer can help at (800) 794-0444.
Are Cruise Lines Responsible for Passengers who Caught Coronavirus?
Potentially, cruise lines could be responsible. Even after detecting coronavirus on cruise ships and becoming aware of the scale of the global COVID-19 pandemic, cruise lines were slow to take action and kept their ships sailing while the coronavirus was spreading onboard their vessels. This no doubt contributed to the 5 million and growing confirmed cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The cruise ship industry downplayed the risks and continued sailing even late into April 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic was in full swing, claiming lives all over the world, including on several cruise ships. Ships were then denied docking in ports of entry, with passengers stuck in their cabins on ships indefinitely.
The quarantined passengers had only limited access to fresh air and exercise, or contact to the outside world. Some of these passengers had other medical conditions that went unaddressed.
The cruise industry kept sending out ships despite warnings from CDC health officials of outbreaks on board of ships. According to the Miami Herald’s database of reports on cruise lines, there were almost 2,800 cases on 11 cruise lines and 76 deaths.
The CDC issued a clear warning on March 2020 for older passengers and those with underlying health conditions, to deter them from cruising due to their increased risk of death from coronavirus. However, even despite this, cruise ships continued to leave ports on voyages. The future of those onboard and their medical care was, at times, uncertain.
The most hard-hit company on the list was Carnival Corporation, with nearly 2,000 cases. Cruise lines may have knowingly put passengers and crew members into harm’s way, putting their profits before the health and well-being of thousands of passengers.
Having known for years that close quarters and crowded common areas can help viruses spread, cruise ships could have done more and acted sooner in order to control the spread of the coronavirus. If you caught the coronavirus on a cruise ship, the cruise line might be responsible, and you could recover compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering.
Can You Sue if You Caught Coronavirus on a Cruise Ship?
If you caught the coronavirus on a cruise ship, you might be able to sue the cruise line. The lawsuits against cruise lines regarding coronavirus infections and deaths are now mounting. Passengers are accusing the cruise lines of knowingly exposing passengers to the dangers of the coronavirus and not following proper screening protocols to minimize the risk of passengers catching the virus onboard. Cruise lines knew about the coronavirus dangers of exposing passengers and crew and allegedly failed to take appropriate action.
Those over 65 and passengers with underlying health conditions are most at risk from the effects of the novel coronavirus. According to a review in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), two studies found that people older than 64 made up half the passengers seeking medical care on cruise ships.
The NCBI review further states that disease exposure and transmission on ships can be intensified due to the densely populated and enclosed cruise ship environment, where crew and passengers from all over the world come together in a closed space.
The cruise lines have known about this for years and subsequently increased the sanitizing and cleaning efforts on ships. Vessels are regularly inspected for cleanliness and sanitation, as well as scored by the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).
Since cruise lines know that viruses and other illnesses can spread quickly on ships, people pursuing lawsuits argue they should have taken steps to prevent harm to passengers after the first reports of the novel coronavirus on their ships surfaced. Not doing so, and instead trying to conduct “business as usual,” can be considered neglect of a cruise line’s duty to keep passengers safe.
If you suffered from the coronavirus caught on a cruise ship, or a loved one was badly killed, you may have legal recourse and could receive compensation. However, suing a cruise line can be complicated. You may have a hard time filing suit, as cruise lines try to protect themselves by setting restrictions on damages as well as time limits to file claims.
Passengers sign a contract before taking a cruise, releasing cruise lines from certain liabilities. However, there is a chance that the clauses of cruise ship contracts may not be upheld in a court of law. A cruise ship coronavirus lawyer can help you navigate the laws surrounding cruise ships. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to determine whether you have a case against a cruise line.
What Damages Are Available for Catching Coronavirus on a Cruise Ship?
If you or a loved one caught coronavirus on a cruise ship, damages might be available. If you contracted COVID-19 while cruising, the chances are that you incurred medical bills and may have even spent a prolonged time quarantined onboard, leaving you unable to carry out your work at home.
In the worst-case scenario, some passengers may have lost loved ones due to a cruise ship infection with the coronavirus. If you decide to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a cruise line, you could receive several types of compensation, depending on the particular circumstances of your case.
Generally, in successful personal injury cases, you could receive awards for economic damages such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Medical transportation costs
- Past and future lost wages
- Lost earning potential
You could also receive non-economic compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In wrongful death claims, you may receive damages for funeral costs and compensation for loss of companionship, as well as others, depending on your case.
There may also be a possibility of joining a class-action lawsuit as the number of persons impacted by coronavirus through cruise line negligence rises. In class-action lawsuits, the court will typically split a settlement equally between plaintiffs.
To qualify for any damages, you will have to prove the negligence of the cruise ship company. A cruise ship coronavirus lawyer can help you find out about your legal options for claiming compensation for any of your damages due to contracting COVID-19 while traveling on a cruise.
Suing a cruise line can be challenging and complex as the cruise line will most likely fight with a team of lawyers, making any personal injury and compensation claims more difficult. If a cruise ship personal injury happened while the ship was sailing in international waters, it could further complicate a claim with any potentially applicable maritime laws. Taking on a cruise line by yourself can be daunting and time-consuming.
Therefore, it could be helpful to consult with a lawyer who is familiar with cruise ship laws as soon as possible. If you would like to find out more about potential compensation and how you can hold a negligent cruise line to account, a cruise ship coronavirus lawyer might be able to help.
How to File a Coronavirus Lawsuit
If you or a loved one suffered from the coronavirus while traveling on a cruise ship, you could file a coronavirus lawsuit and hold a cruise line to account for any damages and losses you suffered.
The cruise lines were slow to act on the recommendation of the CDC to suspend journeys in March 2020, with many ships still at sea carrying coronavirus patients. Unfortunately, ships failed to contain the coronavirus, which led to passengers and crew getting infected and, in some instances, dying from the virus.
If you or a member of your family suffered from the coronavirus on a cruise ship, or a loved one has died from the disease, you could enlist the help of a cruise ship coronavirus lawyer to file a lawsuit. Cruise ship personal injury or wrongful death cases can be notoriously complex due to several factors.
When you buy your ticket, there is often fine print that you sign off on, which takes some liabilities off of the cruise line. For this reason, it can be difficult to have a successful personal injury case against them.
In order to have a case against a cruise line, you will have to prove negligence.
To further complicate matters, certain cruise lines can only be sued in federal court in Miami for any personal injury claims. This includes some of the cruise industry’s biggest players, such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
In some instances, certain maritime laws can apply to cruise ships, especially if the injury, or in this case, the coronavirus infection, happened in international waters outside of U.S. jurisdiction. It can be tricky to understand how cruise ship laws relate to any claims due to a coronavirus infection or death.
A cruise ship coronavirus lawyer can help you file a lawsuit and guide you through all aspects of a case, whether you are thinking of filing a personal injury or a wrongful death case. We can answer your questions and evaluate your case in a free legal consultation with one of our team. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to find out if and how you can file a lawsuit against a negligent cruise line.
What Are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?
If you have recently been exposed to COVID-19, you may be curious to find out what the symptoms of coronavirus are. Knowing the symptoms can help your treatment and recovery, as well as help you know when it is prudent to quarantine and avoid contact with others.
According to the CDC, symptoms of coronavirus can appear two to 14 days after you were exposed to the virus. Some of the symptoms of coronavirus can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- High temperature
- Muscle pains
- Loss of taste or smell
This is not an exhaustive list, and coronavirus can have various other symptoms. Occasionally, persons infected with the coronavirus have reported nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal problems. If you notice any of the main symptoms, you should get tested for coronavirus.
It is also important to know that COVID-19 can cause a host of worrying symptoms that will require immediate medical care, such as pain or pressure in the chest, trouble breathing, an inability to wake up or stay awake, and confusion. There may also be other worrying symptoms that will need emergency medical attention. If you notice any such symptoms on you or a loved one, seek medical help immediately by either calling 9-1-1 or visiting your local medical emergency facility.
The coronavirus can progress rapidly, and acting quickly is important. Unfortunately, even if you and your loved ones have recovered from coronavirus, there may be long-lasting damage or adverse effects to your health and finances, with long recovery times, many doctor’s visits, or even hospitalization. Not only could you incur high medical bills, but you may also lose out on wages while you are unable to work.
We are only just beginning to understand the coronavirus, but evidence is emerging that, in a considerable number of cases, lung damage can be permanent and have an impact on the rest of your life.
Older people, pregnant people, and those with existing medical conditions are more susceptible to contract and experience more serious symptoms of coronavirus.
If you have contracted COVID-19 on a cruise ship, you may need to protect yourself from future losses and illnesses that could develop due to the virus. Contact a law firm handling coronavirus lawsuit cases to ask your most pressing questions. You may be able to receive compensation and reimbursement for your medical bills.
What Can I Expect if I File a Lawsuit Against a Cruise Line?
If you are thinking of filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a cruise line, you may come up against a few hurdles.
Generally, personal injury claims under maritime law are similar to common personal injury law. You will have to prove the following elements to have a case against a cruise line:
- There has to be a duty of care.
- The duty was breached.
- The breach caused the injury or death.
- You had monetary damages as a result of the injury or death.
However, you can expect the cruise line to make this as difficult as possible for you and any other claimants. In the first instance, the cruise line will most likely assert that you signed a contract releasing them from responsibility for your injuries, or any damages resulting from the death of your loved one.
This contract, which is usually the fine print on your cruise ticket, may also state certain time periods in which you can file a claim. Sometimes, cruise lines require written notice within six months of the date of injury. While courts may overturn some of these waivers in cruise vacation contracts, it will be in your own best interest to initiate any legal action against a cruise line in a timely manner. A case against a cruise line will need careful research and preparation, as the legal issues surrounding cruise ship laws are complex, and can differ greatly from a typical land-based personal injury case.
Contacting a law firm as soon as possible after you return from your cruise, or as soon as your health allows, can give you the practical help you need as well as peace of mind. A lawyer can scour the contract you signed with the cruise line and assess your specific case.
You can expect the cruise line to put up a fight and possibly try to allege that you caught the coronavirus while on the way to the ship, or make similar claims in order to deflect responsibility for your injuries or your loved one’s death.
The situation with COVID-19 and this worldwide pandemic is unprecedented and still evolving. Cruise ship passengers have already filed lawsuits against cruise lines, and there will likely be many more in the next few weeks and months.
You could have legal recourse if you can prove that you contracted coronavirus on board, and the cruise line is found to have committed serious errors in dealing with the virus.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Fight for You
If you or your loved one have suffered from severe health consequences due to a coronavirus infection from a cruise ship, you may be able to hold a cruise line to account. A cruise line could be responsible for any injuries and damages suffered as a result of catching the coronavirus on board, or any injuries suffered due to a prolonged quarantine with inadequate medical care or provision.
If your vacation ended in severe illness, medical bills, missed wages, and possibly even the death of a loved one, you can call our firm to speak with a member of our team. You do not have to go this alone. Holding a cruise line accountable may not be an easy feat on your own. We can help you with all aspects of building a case and holding a negligent cruise line to account for your injuries and financial losses.
We do not shy away from tough cases and can help you and your family get justice and compensation. There is no risk as we work on contingency. In other words, there are no attorney’s fees for you unless we win your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to see if a cruise ship coronavirus lawyer can help you at (800) 794-0444.