If you or a loved one suffered any injuries in a cruise ship accident, you could potentially sue and receive compensation for your injuries and expenses related to any injuries. However, you do not necessarily have legal recourse just because an accident happened, you suffered injuries, and incurred medical expenses.
Generally, you can sue if you are injured on a cruise ship, but you will have to prove that the cruise line was negligent, and that this negligence contributed to or caused your accident, your injuries, and any monetary damages you incurred.
Accidents on Cruise Ships
There can be many risks potentially leading to accidents, injuries, and diseases on cruise ships. Living in close quarters and eating buffet-style food can contribute to any respiratory or foodborne diseases spreading unchecked on a cruise ship, particularly when hygiene and cleanliness on board are lacking.
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common cruise ship accidents, according to International Maritime Health. This is hardly surprising when you consider that decks can be wet and slippery from rain or spilled beverages.
Occasionally, more dramatic accidents happen on cruise ships, leading to catastrophic injuries and deaths of passengers. We would rather not think about it when we board a beautiful ship with all of its pools, glitzy bars, and numerous amenities, but cruise ships can and do sink. Cruise ships can also ground or suffer from large-scale fires and collisions. From 1972 to 2011, almost 100 cruise ships have run aground, according to the New York Times.
While some of these accidents can be merely inconvenient to passengers, causing their vacation to end abruptly, some accidents do come with considerable loss of life. 32 passengers died when the Costa Concordia cruise ship sank off the coast of Italy in 2012.
All travel arguably comes with risk and often the travelers acknowledge that accidents can and will happen for various reasons. However, you can potentially sue if you are injured on a cruise ship if your accident happened due to negligence of a cruise line or third party.
Suing a Cruise Line
Even if you can prove that your accident happened due to negligence of the cruise line, you could face an uphill battle trying to sue. Cruise lines have become skillful in evading responsibility for any accidents or untoward circumstances on their ships, by issuing passengers with a contract when selling a ticket. This contract releases the cruise line from a number of liabilities in the event of any accidents and disasters.
Passengers automatically accept these contracts when they buy a ticket. You can usually find the details of the contract in the small print on your ticket. Unfortunately, the contracts can be notoriously restrictive and curtail the rights of passengers who want to seek compensation for their injuries. They can also be lengthy and complicated to read.
Unfortunately, the laws are also not exactly working in favor of any plaintiffs searching for justice and compensation. The Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, to name just one example of international maritime law, can limit the claims of plaintiffs in wrongful death and injury cases against a cruise line or vessel operator. Although many ships are owned by U.S. companies, they can be registered in somewhat exotic nations where United States law does not apply.
Notwithstanding all this, you might still be able to sue if you are injured on a cruise ship. Cruise ship personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits can be successful. The key to suing a cruise line is knowing the applicable laws and how to prove negligence. A cruise ship lawyer can help with this and determine whether you have a case against a cruise line.
Damages in Cruise Ship Lawsuits
In cruise ship lawsuits, you could recover compensation similar to other personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Generally, compensation can include economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages typically carry a dollar value and can be shown with receipts and bills. They can include compensation for medical bills, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and medical devices, to mention just a few. You could also be entitled to lost wages and future lost income.
Noneconomic damages can be much harder to quantify as they do not carry a dollar value. You could be able to claim noneconomic compensation, for example for pain and anguish or loss of enjoyment of life, that you suffered as a result of injuries from a cruise ship accident. There can also be other potential noneconomic damages.
If you think you have a case against a cruise line, talk to us rather than struggle to take on a cruise line by yourself. We can help you with all aspects of building a case such as gathering evidence and witnesses. We do not charge any attorney’s fees up front and only get paid when we win your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for your free consultation at (800) 794-0444.