You may never have heard of Tortola, even though it is the largest, most populated, and arguably the most beautiful island in the British Virgin Islands (or BVI). For many Americans, the British Virgin Islands are overshadowed in popularity by the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands. Over the years, cruise companies have similarly preferred the U.S. Virgin Islands as destinations for their passenger ships.
Filing a Claim for a British Virgin Islands Cruise Injury
Filing a claim for a British Virgin Islands cruise injury is complex process that requires the help of an experienced maritime injury attorney, and in most cases one located in Miami, FL, as most of the cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, Celebrity, MSC, etc. are headquartered here in Miami. Hidden in the fine print of your passenger ticket is the requirement for all claims against these cruise lines to be filed in Federal Court in Miami, FL.
Today, cruise lines are taking a particular interest in Tortola as a destination because of its natural scenery, world-class dining and shopping, location, and potential for growth. Tortola is only 22 miles from popular St. Thomas and Charlotte Amalie, which makes it another option for cruise companies porting in the Virgin Islands archipelago. Moreover, Tortola has already demonstrated its desire to accommodate more and larger cruise ships.
The island recently extended, widened, and deepened its cruise ship port to serve larger cruise vessels. The $52-million-dollar expansion known as Tortola Pier Park has resulted in a five-acre facility where mega cruise ships can dock and 60 retail operators can open shops. This allows for vendors, tour operators, cruise companies, and restaurants to operate in close proximity to cruise ships carrying in excess of 4,000 passengers and crew. The port itself is now 754 feet long and can accommodate two full-size cruise ships, making it possible for major cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian to dock overnight at Tortola.
Tortola’s decision to accommodate and entice this large number of cruise ships and passengers could provide significant benefits for its economy, but it will also lead to many more cruise ship injuries and accidents for passengers traveling to and from Tortola. Those passengers may at times sustain injuries as a result of their own actions or negligence; however, for a number of cruise passengers who slip, trip, or fall ill, the cruise line may be fully or partially to blame.
When these incidents occur, cruise passengers must make an important decision about seeking medical attention. Many larger cruise ships carry medical staff onboard, and reporting an injury or illness to those personnel is an important part of documenting the incident. However, the cruise company does employ these individuals, and passengers may feel that their diagnoses are biased or influenced by that employment. Therefore, seeking a second opinion is typically a good safeguard.
Unfortunately, the availability of quality medical treatment on Tortola is limited. Despite the larger island population and development of a brand-new port, there are few facilities and options for cruise passengers on the island. When possible, passengers should visit a doctor while on Tortola to document the second opinion and either confirm or dispute the diagnosis by the cruise ship physician. Nevertheless, passengers who wait until after the cruise to seek medical attention will still have a valid claim against the cruise line.
The law firm of Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has successfully investigated numerous cruise ship injury claims, and our office has represented people from around the world who have suffered accidents aboard cruise ships. We have helped individuals obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
To do this, it is helpful to compile as much documentation and information on an accident or injury as possible. This is why a second opinion or follow-up medical attention is particularly helpful. However, Aronfeld’s experience with cruise ship personal injury claims has also included individuals who waited to seek medical attention or whose claims were poorly documented. We obtain CCTV footage from the cruise ship, take photographs, and even inspect the scene of the accident.
We provide a free initial legal consultation to anyone who has been hurt while on a cruise to or from Tortola, or other ports in the British Virgin Islands, via telephone at 1-866-597-4529, SKYPE, or email at [email protected]. Contact us today and speak to an experienced maritime accident lawyer to evaluate your claim. We take every case on a strict contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless we are successful in recovering monetary damages for our clients.