At Kaire & Heffernan, LLC, we have been representing Floridians in their personal injury cases for two decades. We have successfully represented individuals who sustained injuries on a cruise ship or while participating in an event hosted by the cruise line. We represent those who were vacationing at the time of their injury as well as those who sustained excursion or cruise ship injuries while employed by a cruise line.
Cruise Ship Injuries: Understanding Your Rights
Cruise ships typically limit where victim’s rights can be enforced through the ‘contract of carriage,’ which is the ticket a passenger purchases. This ticket is essentially a contract: On the back of it, in very fine print, are the specifics of the contract between the passenger and the carrier. When it comes to maritime matters and admiralty, there is typically a three-year statute of limitations to file suit; however, with cruise ship lawsuits, sometimes that statute of limitations is only 12 months from the date of the incident. Additionally, depending on the contract of carriage between the cruise line and the passenger, the cruise line may require that the passenger provide written notice of his or her injuries within six months of the incident.
What to Do if You Are Injured on a Cruise Ship
Protect your rights by visiting the ship’s medical personnel and reporting the incident; however, avoid accepting any responsibility or fault as this could harm a future court case.
Since the crew members will most likely be correcting the issue that caused your injuries right away, take pictures of the area where the incident occurred as soon as possible. This evidence is helpful if you need to file a legal claim for injuries. In addition, if anyone witnessed the incident, ask for their names, addresses and phone numbers; these witnesses will be able to corroborate your story.
Keep in mind that if you or someone you love is injured on a cruise ship, seeking legal assistance right away is essential. However, only an experienced cruise ship personal injury attorney knows the specifics related to international treaties, maritime laws (federal and state statutes) as well as agreements negotiated through the United Nations to govern cruise ship liabilities for death claims and injuries at sea.
Cruise Ship Injuries
Numerous injuries can occur on a cruise ship. It is the extent of an individual’s damages that determines the potential lawsuit settlement amount or jury award.
Types of Cruise Ship Injuries
- Cruise Ship Slip and Falls – Areas where passengers are at risk of falling include pools, slippery decks, dance floors, restaurants, on steps and in stairwells.
- Food Poisoning – One of the most common problems seen on cruise ships is food poisoning. Food that is contaminated with the Norovirus can cause vomiting, severe pain in the stomach, nausea and diarrhea.
- Wrongful Death – If you have lost someone you love due to the negligence of a crew member, the cruise line or some other third party, we are sorry for your loss. Our attorneys can determine if you have a case and help you file a legal claim against those responsible if you do.
- Pool and Water Slide Accidents – A defective design, lack of supervision and/or an extremely slick surface can lead to serious injuries or even death.
- Injuries Sustained During Recreational Activities – If you were participating in a recreational activity that was organized by the cruise ship and you were injured, the cruise ship may be legally responsible for your injuries.
- Sexual or Physical Assaults – It is the responsibility of the cruise ship to protect passengers from physical harm. If you or someone you care about were physically or sexually assaulted while on the ship, you may be able to file a claim against the individual who caused the harm as well as the cruise ship. The same remains true if the offender worked for the cruise line.
- Crew Member Negligence – Each crew member should have the skills necessary to respond to any emergency situation that may arise. If a mistake or an activity of a crew member led to your injury, the cruise ship and the employee may be found liable.
Who Can You File a Claim Against?
If you or someone you care about has been injured on a cruise ship, you may be able to file a cruise ship injury lawsuit against several entities and/or individuals such as:
- the company that operates or charters the ship on which you or your loved one sustained an injury;
- the proprietor of the ship;
- the company that sold you the ticket; as well as
- any other third party responsible for causing the injury you or your loved one sustained.
Duty of Care
Since a cruise ship is considered a ‘common carrier,’ the highest level of care is to be exercised. Therefore, if any type of injury results due to some form of negligence, the cruise line may be held accountable for damages.
Why Choose Kaire & Heffernan, LLC?
At Kaire & Heffernan, LLC, we have 20 years of experience. Our cruise ship accident attorneys are well-versed in maritime law and land-based law, which drastically increases the likelihood that you will win your cruise ship injury case.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury while on a cruise ship, let us help determine if you have a case. If we believe that you do have legal recourse, we can begin to file suit. We work with you every step of the way and do everything we can to help you attain the cruise ship injury settlement that you or your loved one deserves. Contact us today by filling out our online form. If you prefer, you can call us at 305-372-0123 or use our toll-free number 877-662-5399 to schedule your free consultation. Our office is located at 999 Brickell Avenue, PH 1102, in Miami, Florida.