Couples, families, and groups of friends alike choose to vacation on cruise ships because of the all-inclusive promise of relaxation and fun. This type of travel caters to all demographics, —but what happens when your adventure-filled getaway results in an injury? If you were injured on a cruise ship, you need to find out how the location of your incident could create liability issues.
When dealing with an injury on a cruise ship, it often boils down to one central issue—the assumption of risk and how that determines whether the cruise ship company was liable for the damages you suffered.
When Is the Cruise Company Liable?
Depending on the nature of the incident, you may find that the cruise ship company should have done more to prevent your injury from occurring. Injuries involving crime on cruise ships, for example, might fall under the cruise company’s umbrella of responsibility. If, however, someone is injured on a ship while participating in a sports activity, but they signed a waiver stating they knew the risk of injury, the cruise company might not be liable for the resulting damage.
Also, if a third-party was liable for your injury, the cruise company may be blameless in the accident. Independent contractors associated with the cruise ship, like those who provide off-shore excursions, could be found liable for your injuries if their negligence or error caused you serious harm.
Common types of cruise ship accidents include:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Assault by other guest or crew member
- Staircase injuries
Steps To Take After an Accident
If you were involved in an accident on a cruise ship, and you suffered any injuries as a result, you should always take action to protect your health and your legal rights.
After a cruise ship accident, injured cruise members should take the following steps:
1. Seek Medical Attention: Each ship should have an infirmary with a doctor on-hand to treat the ill or injured. if you think the damage was minor, you should always see a medical professional just to be safe. Plus, having a record of your medical visit can also help strengthen your claim.
2. Don’t Sign Anything: Avoid signing any forms that waive the cruise company of any responsibility for your injuries. Always speak to an attorney before you put your pen to paper.
3. Document the Incident: Get copies of the appointment with the ship’s doctor, and if the incident that caused your injury was written up in a report—and it should be—get a copy of the report for your records.
4. Write Down What You Remember: After any accident, it’s important to write down every detail as soon as possible. You might forget about certain details as days pass, so gathering as much information as you can, as soon as you can, can help your case later on.
5. Contact an Attorney: Once you’ve taken care of the essentials, it’s time to talk to a professional. A personal injury attorney can help protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to hold the liable party responsible for their negligence. At Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyer, P.A, we’re prepared to provide you with the help you need.