Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer Miami703 Waterford Way, Suite 1000
Miami, FL 33126
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Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer Miami
Going on a cruise vacation can be a dream come true. Taking your hotel with you is convenient and fun. If you add endless entertainment options, fine dining, and exhilarating views, it’s easy to see why cruising has become so popular.
However, when an accident occurs on a cruise ship, your long-anticipated dream vacation can become a nightmare. Getting injured while away from home can be stressful and scary. Moreover, you may wonder who will pay for your medical bills and expenses and how to protect your legal rights if another is responsible for your injuries.
Morgan & Morgan has your back. Our Miami cruise ship injury lawyers can offer legal guidance and help you recover the compensation you deserve when a cruise line or other party causes your injuries and expenses. Contact us today and tell us what happened in a free case evaluation.
Common Causes of Cruise Ship Accidents
Cruise ships are like small cities, crammed with thousands of passengers and crew members. With so many people in close quarters, minor accidents happen daily, and contagious diseases can spread like wildfires. Here are some common types of accidents and illnesses that occur on cruise ships:
Slips and Falls
Weather and ocean conditions can make moving around the ship hazardous. Moreover, chairs and other items may fall or move in bad weather and block or clutter walkways. Slips and falls on ships can also occur due to the following:
- Slippery floors
- Wet decks and pool areas
- Food debris on floors
- Uneven surfaces
Passengers slipping and falling on cruise ships can sustain fractures, head injuries, and other severe injuries.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Most cruise ships have swimming pools, with some bigger vessels boasting several pools. Accidents are prone to happen when passengers dive into shallow water, slip on wet surfaces, or get stuck in a pool drain without being able to escape. If you or someone you love suffered a significant injury in a cruise ship swimming pool, speak to our cruise ship injury lawyers in Miami to determine your options for recovering damages.
Infections and Food-Borne Illnesses
Since the pandemic, cruise ships have become hotspots for COVID-19 infections, with passengers and crew members becoming ill and some even passing away. Despite increased hygiene measures and quarantining, cruise lines have found it impossible to keep ships free from the virus.
Food poisoning on cruise ships occurs when passengers consume contaminated food or drink. Norovirus, a potentially dangerous gastrointestinal infection, can circulate widely on cruise ships. The highly contagious virus can be found in food, water, and on unclean surfaces. Earlier in 2023, almost 300 people fell ill with the virus on a Princess cruise ship, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When an infectious disease, such as COVID-19 or norovirus, takes hold, cruise ship management often keeps quiet until the situation becomes severe. Guests may not know that an infection is spreading on the vessel and fail to take action to protect themselves. When cruise lines ignore the spread of infectious diseases, frail individuals and those with compromised immune systems may pay with their lives.
Attacks and Assaults
With thousands of people in a small space, security and safety must be a priority for cruise lines. While most ships use security cameras and personnel, security measures may not always be up to scratch. For example, cameras may be defective, and security guards may lack adequate training. As a result, negligent security incidents, such as attacks, sexual assaults, and robberies, occur.
While cruise lines are often quick to deny responsibility, ensure to get legal advice if you or a loved one becomes a victim of crime on a cruise ship. Our Miami cruise ship injury lawyers can determine whether you have a legal case.
Passengers look forward to exotic ports of call and exciting excursions, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and zip-lining. However, safety standards abroad are not always as stringent as at home. When excursion staff is untrained, activities can quickly become dangerous and could lead to broken bones, head injuries, and even drowning.
What to Do if You Are Injured on a Cruise Ship
If you or a loved one suffer an injury on a cruise ship, seek medical help immediately. Most cruise ships have medical centers and doctors who can provide basic medical care. However, if your injury is severe, you may have to disembark and visit a hospital.
Remember to document your injury by taking photos and getting witness statements. If you later decide to file a personal injury claim, any evidence you collect can be critical for obtaining compensation. You should also report the accident to the ship’s crew immediately. Insist on filling in an accident report that mentions all the essential facts of your accident and injury.
When you are back on land, contact a cruise ship injury lawyer in Miami as soon as possible to explore your options. Recovering compensation can be tricky, as cruise ships may adhere to different laws and regulations and often deny liability for guests’ injuries.
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Why Do I Need a Miami Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer?
If you or a loved one is injured on a cruise ship, various unique legal issues can make it difficult to recover damages. Cruise ships can be subject to an entirely different set of laws and regulations than those that apply in the U.S. Here are the main differences:
Vessels Are Registered Abroad
Cruise ships are often registered in foreign countries and may not comply with U.S. laws, making it tough for victims to get justice. A passenger injured on a cruise ship registered abroad may need to file their claim in that country’s legal system. Additionally, cruise ships operate in international waters, meaning they are subject to maritime law, which can be complex and challenging to navigate.
Cruise Tickets Contain Waivers
With the ticket, you enter a contract with the cruise line. Most cruise line tickets include a waiver that limits passengers’ ability to sue the company in the event of an injury. The details of these waivers depend on the cruise line. However, they can require that legal action be brought in a specific jurisdiction, such as a foreign country or a certain state in the United States. They may also limit the damages a victim could recover.
Third-Parties May Be Responsible
Cruise ships typically contract third-party companies to provide various services on board and in ports of call, including:
- Shore excursions
- Spa treatments
- Onboard retail
If a passenger is injured while participating in third-party activities, the cruise line may wash its hands of the issues, citing third-party liability. Determining who is liable for your injury and holding them responsible can be challenging and require an experienced cruise ship injury attorney.
Gathering Evidence Can Be Challenging
Gathering evidence in a cruise ship injury case can be tricky. For example, the ship’s crew and management may resist your attempts to document your accident or deny requests to access security camera footage and accident reports. Additionally, witnesses may disappear, particularly if they are employees who may not want to say anything that could jeopardize their employment. This is when you need a Miami cruise ship injury lawyer who can officially request evidence and force a cruise line to cooperate with an investigation.
Strict Time Limits Apply for Filing Claims
Cruise ship injury claims can be subject to strict time limits, known as statutes of limitations. The time you have to file an injury claim depends on the circumstances of the case and the jurisdiction responsible. Since the time to get compensation may be limited, speak to a Miami cruise ship injury lawyer at Morgan & Morgan as soon as possible to protect your rights.
The list is not exhaustive; other legal issues can prevent passengers from seeking fair compensation from a cruise line. However, with the help of an experienced cruise ship injury lawyer in Miami, victims can overcome legal hurdles and pursue compensation. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced cruise ship attorneys can help you understand your rights, evaluate your case, and fight for your best interests in court or through settlement negotiations.
Can I Sue the Cruise Line for an Illness Contracted on Board?
You could sue a cruise line for medical bills and other damages due to a disease you caught while onboard, such as a virus or bacterial infection. However, victims can face an uphill battle trying to prove that the cruise line negligently failed to maintain a safe and healthy environment on the ship.
Simply getting sick while on the vessel does not necessarily mean you have a compensation claim. Consult Morgan & Morgan’s Miami cruise ship injury lawyers, who can assess your case and determine whether you could hold a cruise line accountable for your injuries and monetary losses.
Which Damages Could I Recover in a Cruise Ship Lawsuit?
While it can be challenging to sue a cruise line, it is not impossible. A tenacious Miami cruise ship injury lawyer at Morgan & Morgan could help you recover various damages, including but not limited to:
- Healthcare expenses
- Future medical treatment costs
- Medical devices
- Lost income
- Future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of life quality
If your loved one died due to cruise line negligence, you could qualify for funeral costs, medical bills, and other awards.
Could I File a Wrongful Death Claim if My Loved One Died on a Cruise Ship?
You could file a wrongful death lawsuit if your relative died due to cruise line or third-party negligence. However, filing such a case can be complicated due to the legal issues involved. For example, if your loved one died within 3 miles of the U.S. shore, state law typically applies, meaning you would likely file your claim in Miami. Florida law generally allows for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, in addition to recovering medical expenses and other financial losses.
However, the Death On The High Seas Act, 46 U.S. Code Chapter 303 may apply if your loved one passed away in international waters. Under the act, survivors are generally unable to claim non-economic damages, such as emotional distress. Since maritime laws can vary from U.S. federal and state laws, you should get a knowledgeable Miami cruise ship injury lawyer on your side to ensure you have the best shot at getting what you deserve.
Morgan & Morgan Helps Cruise Ship Victims Get Fair Compensation
Cruise ships are owned by large, multinational, multi-billion-dollar companies. You need a law firm that is not afraid to take on the big bullies of the cruise industry and has the experience and resources required to handle such cases effectively.
Why Choose Morgan & Morgan?
- Resources: We have more than 800 specialized attorneys ready to fight for you and can hire medical professionals, investigators, and consultants to conduct comprehensive investigations and research into your case.
- Experience: Our experienced trial lawyers know how to handle high-profile and complex cases, such as cruise ship personal injury claims. We can navigate the complexities of maritime law and hold cruise lines accountable.
- Reputation: We have a reputation for fighting vigorously for what our clients deserve and never settling for less. Insurance companies and opposing attorneys know that we go the extra mile and fight tirelessly for what our clients deserve, which could lead to more favorable settlement offers.
Morgan & Morgan’s Miami cruise ship injury lawyers are waiting to hear from you. We want nothing more than to help you recover the compensation you need to move forward. Our fee is free unless and until we recover damages for you. Contact us now and get started with a free case evaluation to clarify your legal options.