Cruise Ship Injury Lawyers
Millions of people every year climb aboard cruise ships expecting a fun, relaxing time. These hot getaways are often family friendly, offering excitement for parents and kids alike. Other passengers choose cruise ships because they are relatively inexpensive, include onboard entertainment, and often stop at beautiful, exotic ports. Unfortunately, for far too many people each year, a serious cruise ship injury completely spoils the experience. Passengers and workers alike are vulnerable to a wide variety of dangers while they are out at sea or docked at a port. If the cruise line fails to ensure the safety of those aboard, people can be seriously injured.
Suffering an injury aboard a cruise ship can be a traumatic incident that leads to long-lasting problems. You could be facing unaffordable medical bills, lost work wages, financial stress, physical pain, and even major lifestyle changes. At Louis A. Vucci, P.A., we believe that you should not have to be financially responsible for an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. We have years of experience successfully handling cruise ship injury cases, and that means we possess a thorough understanding of the legal obligations of cruise lines, onboard managers, and other officials. If you have been injured on a cruise ship, you may be legally entitled to substantial monetary compensation.
Types of Cruise Ship Injury Cases
Cruise ships are home to unique vacation experiences, but sometimes the very features that make them appealing also hold potential danger. Being surrounded by beautiful ocean views can be relaxing and exciting, but the isolation of cruise ships means that emergency medical care might be far away. Additionally, cruise ships are responsible for the frequent maintenance and cleaning that will help make a large vessel safe for everyone on board. Cruise lines have to be particularly alert when it comes to preventing slip and fall accidents, drowning, and illness. Passengers can also be victimized by theft and sexual assault while out at sea or near a dangerous port.
At Louis A. Vucci, P.A., we understand the particular threats faced by those aboard a cruise ship. We handle a wide variety of cruise ship injuries including:
- Passenger claims: we can help if you were injured on board the cruise ship. These injuries often occur in slip and fall accidents; wave pool, water slide, or swimming pool accidents; due to eating contaminated food; falling overboard; because of fire; during a physical assault; or because of a norovirus outbreak.
- Passenger claims during shore excursions: for those hurt while on a cruise, but not aboard the ship. Going ashore, often in a different country, can expose a tourist or visitor to many kinds of threats.
- Medical crew negligence: if you are injured or fall ill aboard a cruise ship, you need high-quality medical care. When the ship’s medical crew fails to properly diagnose or treat you, your condition can worsen.
- Sexual assault: cruise lines are responsible for ensuring the general safety of those on board. If you were the victim of sexual assault, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
Cruise lines have a serious obligation to make sure their ship conditions are safe and that any shore activities they oversee do not put people at risk. Whether your injury occurred on or off the cruise vessel, you can still seek damages from the party responsible.
Popular Cruise Lines
Below, we’ve compiled some information on popular cruise lines to help you understand that even the biggest cruise companies have a history of issues, including sexual assaults and death.
Carnival is one of the most famous cruise lines in the world, but that does not equate to having a stellar record of safety. In 2016, the CDC found severe mismanagement of one ship’s drinking water supply and other unsanitary conditions.
Disney is on of the most recognizable brands on the planet, and stakes its reputation on being friendly to children. Nevertheless, there have been cases of serious safety violations onboard Disney cruise ships.
Royal Caribbean, another popular cruise line, has had issues with ships embarking during major storms, leading to passengers being injured. It has also seen fatal accidents during off-ship excursions.
In the past decades, Norwegian cruises have seen more than 30 outbreaks of norovirus. The line also does not employ lifeguards on its ships, leading to preventable drowning injuries and deaths.
Cruise Ship Injury Statistics
The cruise industry is growing all the time, with the largest share of consumers coming from the United States. In fact, out of the approximately 28.2 million passengers to board a cruise ship in 2018, about 12 million were Americans. The industry involves approximately 272 overnight cruise ships in oceans around the world. In 2019, 18 new ships are expected to be deployed. While providing over 1.1 million jobs and $45 billion in wages and salaries per year, the cruise ship industry comes with risks for passengers.
In addition to the possibility of suffering a serious injury while on board ship, the cruise may be in a location where medical care is limited, making the potential consequences even worse. Cruise lines are responsible for trying to prevent injuries and maintaining a medical staff to treat injuries that come up during a cruise.
Statistics show that even with precautions in place, approximately 300 people have fallen overboard while on cruise ships, and countless more have been injured. In the first quarter of 2018, at least 83 federal personal injury lawsuits were filed against cruise lines.
An example of what can go wrong on a cruise happened in April 2018 when a passenger fell overboard near New Caledonia while aboard the P&O Pacific Dawn. The crew followed protocol to find the woman, which involved turning the ship around, and other ships assisted in searching for her. However, the weather was poor and swells were high, and the passenger was never found.
Illness and crime are also reasons to be concerned about safety while on a cruise. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 11 major outbreaks of gastrointestinal viruses in 2018. The most common virus is Norovirus, while in some cases the reason for the outbreak is unknown. Statistics for reported crimes on cruise ships involved a fairly steady number of crimes per quarter in 2018, ranging from 26 incidents in the first quarter of 2018 to 34 incidents in the final quarter. The most commonly reported crimes are sexual assault crimes.
While many of the accidents or incidents on a cruise ship could be avoided with more precautions, numerous victims end up hurt every year. If this has happened to you, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries, pain, and suffering due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness.
Cruise Ship Injuries and the Law
The law specifies that businesses and individuals alike have a serious obligation not to cause harm to others. This concept doesn’t just apply to direct, malicious violence; it also means that we cannot behave negligently when that carelessness can seriously injure someone. For example, when a cruise line fails to maintain their diesel generators, this negligence can lead to serious injury. A faulty generator could start a fire that hurts a member of the crew or a passenger. Precisely because this accident was preventable and foreseeable, the injured party would be due financial compensation from the cruise line.
Even in cases where it seems like your injury was completely accidental, the cruise line may be held legally liable. Many people who experience food poisoning on cruise ships assume that no one is technically responsible, but a skilled attorney can investigate your claim to see whether the cruise line kitchens were following proper food safety codes and procedures.
Cruise Ship Injury FAQs
The attorneys at Louis A. Vucci, P.A. pride themselves on their excellent communication with clients. It’s for this reason that we’re adding a few of the most commonly received questions in regards to injuries on a cruise ship. It can be easy to feel alone in the midst of a legal case, but it’s important to know that there are many people who have gone through this, and we’re here to fight for you.
What standard of care does a cruise line owe to its passengers?
Any shipowner with a vessel in navigable waters owes passengers a certain duty of care. Typically, this is a duty of reasonable care considering the circumstances. To prove negligence and recover in a lawsuit based on injuries sustained in a cruise, your attorney will have to show that the standard of care was breached or not upheld.
If the cruise line failed to exercise reasonable care and you were injured as a result, this will form the basis to hold the company monetarily liable. It is important in this context that the cruise ship company was aware or should have been aware of the condition that led to your injuries.
When it comes to providing medical care on board ship, the company has a duty to do so, but the company must be aware or have a reason to know of your injuries in order to treat them. With certain types of risks that are unique to being at sea, the cruise ship owner may have a higher duty to take precautions to protect you. An experienced cruise ship attorney will be able to evaluate the specific details of your case to determine the duty owed to you and whether the cruise line failed to uphold its duty to you.
What are common defenses a cruise line will try to use in a lawsuit?
While there are many defenses a cruise line will try to use, many of the cases for personal injury against a cruise line will involve slip and fall injuries. For this reason, it is very common that a cruise line will try to argue that the reason for the slip or fall was “open and obvious.” This means that it would be clear to the person in the situation that a certain risk was present based on normal perception and understanding of similar conditions. An experienced cruise line attorney will be able to counter this defense with the specific facts of your situation and make the best case possible for you.
Where do I have to file a lawsuit against a cruise ship company?
It is common that a lawsuit must be filed where the cruise ship company is based. Many of the major cruise lines are based in Miami, making this the place to file a lawsuit against the cruise line. In other cases, a lawsuit may need to be filed elsewhere. An experienced cruise line attorney will be able to assist you in determining where and when to file a lawsuit based on where the company is located or based on other information in the paperwork involved in purchasing your tickets.
What happens to the records of my accident that were created while I was on the cruise ship?
If you were required to give a statement or received medical treatment while on board ship for your injuries, you have a right to receive copies of these records. They may be obtained through certain processes that an experienced cruise ship attorney will be able to use so that all of the information in the records can be evaluated and used to help you obtain the most compensation possible.
How much is my case worth?
Generally, the damages you can receive are related to the severity of your injury and the recklessness of the party responsible. We have secured financial compensation of millions of dollars for clients in the past. The law realizes that injuries can be extremely costly. That’s why you can recover money for: past and future hospital bills, physical therapy, medication, specialized medical treatment, counseling, lost work wages, required lifestyle changes, physical pain, emotional stress, and a variety of other injury-related costs.
Why should I seek compensation?
Tragically, far too many people every year assume that the costs of their injury will be too small to warrant a legal case. Even a minor injury can wind up putting you in financial distress with follow-up medical checks and working days lost to recovery. The unfortunate truth is that you only have a short while after the injury occurs to seek legal reparations—generally one year. You may discover too late that you cannot handle the costs of your injury. If you have been injured on a cruise ship, you should consult with a legal professional as soon as possible. A skilled cruise ship injury attorney can discuss the specifics of your case and answer any questions you might have about the legal process. Often, seeking compensation is easier than people assume.
Why should I choose Louis A. Vucci, P.A.?
Our dependable legal team specializes in cruise ship injuries. While many other law firms claim they can handle the nuances and difficulties posed by cruise ship injury cases, we have the record of success to back up that claim. For example, we won $1,900,000 for a crew member who suffered from an internal hemorrhage. We secured over $100,000 for a passenger with a broken ankle. Another passenger who tragically suffered a traumatic brain injury received over $400,000 in damages. These are just a few examples from our long list of legal victories.
We understand that our clients have already been through a traumatic experience. That’s why we strive to earn our clients’ trust by communicating openly and honestly throughout the legal process. Additionally, you will not owe us anything unless we win your case, and we make our first consultation completely free.
Contact A Cruise Ship Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury during a cruise, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Not only can getting hurt ruin your vacation, but the costs of an injury can put you in serious financial distress. You may be facing high medical bills, time lost working, physical suffering, emotional stress, and even serious lifestyle changes. According to the law, if someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to your injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
At Louis A. Vucci, P.A., we know that you should not have to bear the financial burden of an injury someone else caused. We have extensive experience handling cruise ship injury cases, and our long history of legal victories proves that we have the skills to deal with your case. Call us today at (786) 375-0344 to discuss your cruise ship injury with a knowledgeable legal professional. We are ready to protect your rights and get you the financial compensation you deserve.