Florida residents and tourists from all over the world come to the state every year to sail out on a cruise from one of its many ports. The cruise industry is one of the leading tourist attractions in the state. It is very safe to take a cruise, but there are times when accidents happen and passengers suffer injuries while on vacation.
If you suffered injuries while on a cruise, you may not be sure what you should do next. Whether your accident happened while out at sea or while in port, it is possible you could have grounds to move forward with a civil claim. Maritime injury cases and cruise accident cases are complex, but you do not have to walk through the aftermath alone.
What you should know if hurt on a boat
Unlike car collisions, liability for accidents that take place on cruise ships is not always immediately apparent. One of the most complex aspects of these types of accidents is determining what parties are liable for what happened. Unless there is clear evidence that the ship operator was willfully reckless or blatantly negligent, he or she may not be responsible for the accident.
Ship operators cannot oversee every single aspect of a cruise ship. However, if your accident was the result of the actions of a crew member, you may still have a case. Whether it was negligent maintenance, slippery floors, dangerous ship conditions or other reasons, the ship's operator may still be liable for the negligent or willfully reckless actions of his or her crew.
Where should you start?
Simply determining what happened and identifying liable parties can be a complex process. It is in your interests to work with an experienced legal ally from the very beginning stages of your case. An easy place to start is to seek counsel and a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you get back to port after your cruise is over. Cruise accident victims have up to three years to file a claim, but taking quick action is smart.
Depending on the nature of the accident that took place on board the ship, the cruise line may offer you a settlement. Whether it is in litigation or settlement negotiations, you will benefit from having someone represent your interests who is committed to your recovery and who is familiar with the complex laws associated with maritime accident claims.