You can sue if you caught coronavirus on a cruise ship. However, suing a cruise line does have its challenges, as cruise lines are not necessarily bound to the same laws that U.S. companies are. No matter how difficult the task may be, it is certainly possible to file a lawsuit against a cruise line. Anyone seeking to do so will need to prove that the cruise line acted negligently and breached their duty of care to their passengers.
According to a National Public Radio report, many lawsuits have already been filed against cruise companies such as Princess Cruise Lines and others by passengers who have contracted coronavirus on cruise ships. More lawsuits are expected.
Compensation from Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a cruise line, you may be able to recover various types of compensation, for example economic and non-economic damages. These damages can include:
- Medical treatments and future medical treatments
- Loss of wages and future earning potential
- Transportation costs
- Home and health aide
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral expenses
You may qualify for other awards depending on your unique circumstances and the severity and permanence of your illness or health conditions. You could also receive punitive damages if the cruise line acted particularly negligently in your case.
Proving Negligence of a Cruise Line
One of the factors determining whether you can sue if you caught coronavirus on a cruise ship is being able to prove the negligence of the cruise line. On a cruise ship, the crew and captain are chiefly responsible for the technical performance and physical safety of the ship, the quality of the food and entertainment provided, and doing anything possible to ensure that passengers have a good vacation, but they also have a responsibility to keep you safe from reasonably preventable injuries and harm.
In cruise ship cases, similarly to personal injury cases on land, you will need to prove the following elements:
- The cruise line owed you a duty of care
- The duty was breached
- The breach caused your injury or the death of your loved one
- The injury or death caused tangible damages
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a No Sail Order in March, warning travelers to avoid cruises citing that close quarters hasten the spread of the virus on cruise ships. Yet many cruise lines still continued to set sail after the CDC announcement, even when they had confirmed coronavirus cases on previous voyages.
This cruise line negligence arguably contributed to many more coronavirus cases on cruise ships as well as the emotional and mental suffering of passengers, many of whom subsequently had to quarantine in their small cabins for weeks with limited contact to the outside world and barely any access to fresh air and exercise.
If your health has been negatively affected by catching coronavirus on a cruise ship, you can speak to a cruise ship coronavirus lawyer to find out whether you have a case against a negligent cruise line.
What to Do Next
If you would like to pursue legal action against a cruise line, time may be of the essence. Cruise ship personal injury cases can be complex and you or a legal representative need time to prepare. Also, prior to boarding a ship, you typically sign a contract with the cruise line which can limit the time you have for filing a suit against a cruise company to one year or less.
The contract with the cruise line typically also includes certain waivers for liability. This is how the cruise lines want to make it difficult for you to sue them. However, the clauses in the cruise ship contracts are not always enforceable in a court of law. You may still be able to file a successful personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. However, in order to establish this, it can be helpful to enlist the help of a cruise ship coronavirus lawyer who can advise you on your legal options.
Bear in mind that if you intend to file any legal action against a cruise line, you will have to do this at the cruise line’s headquarters.
Filing a claim against a large cruise line such as Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, or Royal Caribbean International can be challenging. They will likely fight any claims with vigor and a team of lawyers. However, help is available. We do not shy away from holding large corporations to account and can fight for you in court. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for your complimentary consultation today and find out how you could get justice and compensation: (800) 794-0444.