If you or a loved one suffered any injuries on a recent cruise vacation, you may be wondering what you can expect if you file a lawsuit against a cruise line for an injury. Generally, filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a cruise line in order to recover medical bills and expenses can be challenging. Expect having to provide evidence proving that the cruise line or cruise staff acted negligently, and that this negligence caused your injuries. According to Reuters, cruise lines may offer settlements for major incidents that occur during a period at sea, but negligence and major injuries are key for a lawsuit against a cruise ship.
The same principle holds true for any illnesses that you have caught onboard. You will not be able to sue a cruise line unless you can prove that negligence of the staff or the company caused you to get sick. An illness such as the common cold will likely not qualify; however, if you can prove that you caught a serious illness, such as food poisoning, onboard and that this was the result of unhygienic and inadequate food handling procedures, you could have a case. According to The New York Times, passengers aboard a cruise ship that failed to follow medical guidelines sued after a coronavirus outbreak.
Some infectious illnesses that passengers catch on cruise ships can be life-threatening. Lack of hygiene and infection prevention, or an ineffective quarantine, can contribute to the spread of illnesses. If you had serious health implications and medical bills from either an infectious disease or injury suffered on board, you could potentially file suit. According to the Associated Press, even medical malpractice suits can occur if an injury occurs after a medical error. According to International Maritime Health, slip and falls account for a majority of injuries aboard cruise ships. Depending on whether or not negligence on the part of the cruise line contributed to the fall, you may qualify to pursue a claim or suit.
Proving Your Case
If you file a lawsuit against a cruise line for an injury, you can expect having to produce comprehensive evidence highlighting the cruise line’s negligence and your injuries. This can include pictures you took of the accident and what caused the accident, witness statements, and medical reports, as well as other evidence. You may also need to draw on the testimony of expert witnesses to strengthen your case.
The Cruise Line Might Offer You a Settlement
If you file a lawsuit against a cruise line for an injury, you can expect that the cruise line or their insurance approach you for an out-of-court settlement. This can not only save them court expenses and attorney’s fees; it can also help them keep any compensation as low as possible.
If your injuries prove severe, though, you can seek fair compensation in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. Having legal representation can help you assess an initial settlement and decide if filing a lawsuit is appropriate in your case.
Filing a Lawsuit Against A Cruise Line
Cruise lines, in their ticket contracts, limit the amount of time you might have to file suit against them. They also stipulate where you can file any lawsuits. Not adhering to the terms set out in the ticket contracts could bar you from obtaining compensation.
Several large cruise lines state in their contracts that you will have to file any legal action in the United States district court for the southern district of Florida in Miami-Dade County. Other cruise lines may demand you to file in other locations throughout the United States. You can find this information in your contract.
It is important that you comply with what is stated in your ticket contract, including any time limits and stipulations as to the city and venue of where you can file a lawsuit.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Work for You
Cruise line lawsuits can be complicated, time-consuming, and confusing. They can also be significantly different from typical personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, as international maritime laws or foreign jurisdiction laws may apply.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit against a cruise ship giant, you can choose to have help from a cruise ship injury lawyer. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for your free consultation by dialing (800) 794-0444.