If you’ve been injured while on a cruise, you may be wondering what your options are and whether or not it makes sense to contact an offshore injury lawyer. It’s important for anyone who has been involved in an accident on board a cruise ship to understand that they should never refrain from seeking legal counsel. Many victims may think their injuries are too minimal to warrant compensation, but are actually eligible to file a claim.
Let’s say the victim speaks with an offshore injury lawyer, who then determines that the cruise passenger is, in fact, eligible to file a claim. What then? How much can victim expect to receive?
It’s difficult to say with certainty how much can be expected, as settlements vary from case to case. Each situation is unique, and it all starts with determining whether or not the cruise line was, in some way, at fault. Cruise lines are responsible for maintaining a safe shipboard environment, which includes keeping passengers safe from both accidental injuries and those related to criminal incidents. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Failure to properly train crew members, failure to keep ships in safe working condition, and a host of other factors can contribute to an injury while on board a cruise vessel.
If the cruise line is found to be at least partially at fault for the incident, and that the incident could then have been prevented, then the next step is to determine the extent of the injuries sustained. Serious or catastrophic injuries will, of course, result in a greater settlement. An injury that causes victims to miss work or renders the victim incapable of employment can also merit a greater settlement. The settlement itself can include reimbursement for lost wages, medical expenses, and even money damages for pain and suffering.
Additionally, the settlement can increase if the cruise line failed to offer proper medical treatment to the victim on board the ship. Sometimes a ship’s onboard physician is not trained well enough to properly diagnose the victim, while other times they, quite simply, do not want to bother with a thorough examination, leaving the victim untreated. There are also times when treatment is delayed. Onboard medical facilities do not have the sophisticated equipment required to treat extensive injuries, at which point ship operators should notify the Coast Guard or other emergency services and request an immediate medevac. Failure to do so can lead to further complications with the injury, and in turn, a greater settlement.
But even when all evidence shows that a cruise line’s negligent actions contributed to the accident or exacerbated the injury, victims may not be offered the full compensation they deserve.
Passenger ticket contracts are designed to protect cruise companies from having to pay for your injuries. Cruise lines will usually try to avoid liability first, sometimes failing to even acknowledging any wrongdoing. For this reason, it is key that anyone who is hurt while on board a cruise ship consult with an offshore injury lawyer so their right to compensation following an accident caused by cruise line negligence will be protected.