Cruise ship vacations are not always the relaxing, smooth-sailing affairs the advertisements lead you to believe. As the popularity of ocean voyages increases and cruise ships themselves grow larger to accommodate more passengers, the risk for personal injury also increases. Recent years have brought horrifying tales of on-board sexual assaults, food-borne illnesses, unsafe conditions and unsanitary practices. Cruise line ownership as well as the contractors and subcontractors who work on cruise ships may be held liable for injuries that occur while the ship is at sea or in port. When your dream vacation turns into a nightmare, you need the experienced Florida cruise ship personal injury attorneys at Best Law Firm Florida P.A. to help you navigate the choppy legal waters of cruise ship claims and get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Cruise Ship Injuries
Some of the most common causes of cruise-related injuries are:
- Assault, including sexual assault, or battery by crew members or other passengers
- Food-borne illnesses
- Inadequate safety precautions during planned activities either on-board or during shore excursions
- Medical negligence
- Shipboard emergencies, such as fires, collisions or abandonment
- Swimming pool, wave pool and water slide accidents
A majority of cruise ship injuries are attributable to negligence related to inadequate maintenance or safety precautions, lack of proper security, or poor hiring practices.
The Fine Print: Why You Need a Maritime Attorney
If you are injured—or if a family member dies—on a cruise due to negligence, the cruise line may attempt to shift responsibility for the incident in an effort to reduce its liability and get you to settle quickly for a minimal amount. Most cruise lines also insert tiny print on your tickets that limits the amount of time you have to pursue a claim against the company, often less than is generally stipulated by maritime law. In addition, many cruise lines designate where they can be sued.
For example, if you are from the Midwest, depart on a cruise from California and sustain an injury while in Mexican waters, you may have to file your claim in Florida where the cruise line’s main port is based. It’s critical to contact an experienced cruise ship attorney as soon as possible following an injury to evaluate your claim, investigate the circumstances, gather evidence and collect witness statements.
The accomplished Orlando Cruise Ship / Maritime Accident Attorneys at Best Law Firm Florida P.A. understand the evasive tactics of cruise lines and their insurance companies and will work with safety experts, accident reconstruction professionals and other specialists necessary to build a strong case for you. We have helped numerous cruise ship accident victims and their families recover financial damages and get justice. If you’ve been injured due to cruise line negligence, please contact the knowledgeable Florida maritime attorneys at Best Law Firm Florida P.A. for a free case consultation.