What Happens if Someone Gets Injured on a Cruise Ship?
While going on a cruise at sea is fun, things can go badly if you get involved in an accident. While such thought rarely crosses people’s minds when planning a ship cruise, it’s always best to be aware of what you can do in such situations. Contacting a cruise ship injury attorney is one of the first things you should do when you get into an accident aboard a cruise ship. This ensures that your subsequent pursuit of justice is not hampered in any way.
When you get involved in an accident aboard a cruise ship, do the following things:
1)Report the Incident
Whether it’s a minor scrape or an accident resulting in a serious physical injury, it’s always best to report all such incidents to the relevant authorities. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the body responsible for governing many aspects of sailing. Cruise ships are required to have emergency protocols in place as per the guidelines of the IMO and local laws. The idea is to ensure that there are proper procedures to document all incidents.
By reporting your accident to the cruise ship management, you’ll get the necessary medical attention. Such a report also helps you later on if there are ever any legal issues.
2) Be Aware of the “Assumption of Risk” Form
Cruise ships offer many exciting activities aimed at keeping their clients entertained throughout the cruise. Such activities include things like zip lines and water slides. In addition to the entertainment they provide, such activities also carry the risk of serious physical injuries when things go wrong. That’s why most cruise lines have come up with the “assumption of risk” form. This is a form that passengers are requested to sign before embarking on the ship cruise.
Essentially, it’s a way of releasing the cruise line from any liabilities in case passengers get injured. Many passengers have been known to sign it without fully understanding its terms. Once you sign this document, it becomes very difficult to file any liability claims against the cruise line in the event of an injury. That’s why it’s always best to contact a cruise ship injury attorney before ever considering such cruises. This ensures that you’re fully aware of what to expect.
Of course, accidents on a cruise ship don’t have to result from engaging in activities like water slides. Things like broken railings, elevators, or other occurrences like ship fires can all result in serious physical injuries while on a cruise ship.
Get the Necessary Medical Assistance
Once you’ve sustained injuries on a ship, reporting it to the management is the first step. You’ll then need to be checked by the on-site medical team to determine your injuries and treat them. This helps ensure that you don’t develop medical complications due to injuries sustained. Such treatment also ensures that there is an official record of what you endured. This can prove useful later on if you ever choose to sue the cruise line.
4) Watch What You Say
Much like in road accidents, making seemingly innocuous comments immediately after getting injured on a cruise ship can have consequences later on. Many people involved in accidents aboard cruise ships tend to say things like, “It’s my fault” or “I should’ve known better.” Such statements may not seem like a big deal, but they could provide the cruise line and its legal team the needed leverage to nullify any claims you make later on. Of course, it’s always best to be honest when being interviewed about the events leading up to an accident.
However, honesty doesn’t mean being chatty and volunteering information unprompted. If you can’t contact a cruise ship injury attorney immediately after an accident, say as little as possible until you get legal representation.
5) Watch What You Write
A common practice is for cruise line management to have you write a statement immediately after an accident. While this may seem like a good thing, it could also prove to be detrimental to your claims later on.
If the accident was serious enough, you might be in pain and mental anguish. Such a state of mind is not ideal for writing down statements that could work against you later on. Sometimes, the cruise line management may insist that you write such a statement. If you can’t get legal representation immediately, keep the statement very brief. It should only include the facts, not your opinions or things you didn’t see.
Also, if you’re traveling with a companion, never allow them to write a statement on your behalf. The last thing you need is for your written statements to be misinterpreted because of someone else’s inappropriate choice of words.
6) Do Your Own Investigation
You can’t always count on the cruise line management to be impartial and thorough in their investigation of incidents aboard their cruise ships. In some instances, they may even undermine it in a bid to conceal issues that may have contributed to an accident. That’s why it’s advisable to carry out your own investigation after any incident on a cruise ship.
Gather as much information quickly as possible. Most areas on a cruise will have heavy foot traffic at any given moment. That’s why you should gather evidence and information as soon as possible. Look for any witnesses to the incident and get their contact information. If you have a cell phone or camera, take pictures of the accident scene. Talk to staff if possible. Ensure to get as much evidence as possible.
These are some of the main things you can do if you get hurt on a cruise ship. You’ll need to avoid talking about the incident on social media platforms. This is because you could inadvertently post something that the cruise ship can later use to shift the blame for the accident in your direction.
Need Cruise Ship Accident Representation? Contact Aronfeld Trial Lawyers
You need the right legal representation when you get injured aboard a cruise ship. At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers, we have seasoned lawyers that can handle cruise ship accidents. Contact us today to set up a consultation. You can reach us here www.aronfeld.com/
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