Following a cruise ship injury, it is common to wonder if litigation is the right course of action. Filing an injury claim might seem confrontational, or the injuries might not seem to warrant a court claim. However, there are clear incentives to contact an accident attorney immediately after an incident aboard any cruise ship.
Following a cruise ship injury, many people believe their best option is to deal with the cruise line directly. In fact, for a passenger aboard one of the major cruise ships, the cruise company will probably provide contact and other information on how to file a claim for the injuries. Immediately after an incident this quickly becomes the most obvious path to covering medical costs and other expenses, but it isn’t always the best choice for recovery.
Cruise lines seek to pay as little as possible in damages, putting injured passengers at an obvious disadvantage from the onset. From strong-arming a fast settlement to offering an unrealistically low amount of money, a cruise line and its insurance provider will act in their best interest, not yours, after an injury. The process can become confusing and manipulative.
Most importantly, accepting compensation as settlement from the cruise line probably requires you to forfeit the right to further legal action. It can also preclude a personal injury claim due to timing.
Questions of Timing and Procedure
Frequently, the biggest obstacle to an injured passenger’s compensation and recovery is timing. Cruise passengers are often unaware that their cruise tickets are more than entry tokens onto the ship. A ticket also contains specific contractual provisions, and simply by purchasing the ticket, the passenger agrees to these requirements. One of these provisions will detail the time restrictions on filing a claim after an injury or accident aboard the cruise.
Most major cruise lines require passengers provide notice of intention to file a claim within six months of the accident. Similarly, cruise companies restrict the timing for filing a claim to one year. Moreover, a cruise company can dictate procedure for an injury claim, such as format for providing notice and where to file.
Navigating these reporting and filing requirements isn’t easy, but a cruise accident attorney will be familiar with the contractual provisions of the cruise company. Assistance with this aspect of a claim can make the difference between valid and void accident claims.
Compensation from an Injury Claim
A huge benefit of filing an injury claim is the lawyer’s knowledge of maritime law and personal injury remedies in the jurisdiction, which is most likely the Florida district court in Miami. A cruise accident lawyer can provide advice on the availability of other damages and remedies, beyond recuperation of medical costs. A cruise ship injury claim can cover a myriad of financial losses, including the expense of emergency care, hospital visits, doctor appointments, rehabilitation, and physical therapy. It may also include lost wages. These financial damages can be significant following a serious injury.
An injury claim can even include non-monetary damages. These might include pain and suffering, the loss of time with friends and family, and emotional distress. Often, seeking this type of compensation directly from the cruise line is impossible.
Contact a Cruise Injury Attorney
Our Miami personal injury law firm is among the most experienced cruise accident attorneys in Southern Florida. Our firm has handled cruise accident cases against the largest cruise lines with success for our injured clients. You can discuss your cruise injury with one of our knowledgeable attorneys by calling 1-866-597-4529 or 305-441-0440. Alternatively, reach us by email at [email protected] or even via SKYPE.