Good meals, warm days by the pool, and interesting excursions may come to mind when thinking of a cruise ship, but injuries can also occur there. These injuries can result from slips, trips, and falls on the ship or onshore, inadequate security leading to assaults or other crimes, faulty equipment or machinery, food poisoning, and contaminated water onboard, among others.
If you or a loved one have been injured while on a cruise, a cruise ship accident lawyer can help you determine what to do next and protect your rights. Here are some steps to take after such an accident:
File A Complaint With The Cruise Line
Cruise lines and staff are required to follow specific safety guidelines. They are required to investigate all accidents and injuries that occur on board their ships. Filing a complaint will start this process and help preserve any evidence that may be necessary to your case. Remember to be careful with what you say as you give your statement. Do not start blame games; instead, stick to the facts and ensure you have a copy of the report.
Before Signing A Risk Assumption Form, Ensure You Understand Your Rights
After a cruise ship accident, you will likely be given a “Risk Assumption and Release” form to sign. This document is designed to protect the cruise line from liability in the event that you are injured while on board their vessel.
However, it is important to understand that by signing this form, you may be waiving your right to seek justice for your injuries. An experienced marine lawyer can help you understand your rights and options for seeking the justice you deserve if you have been hurt in a cruise ship accident.
Get Medical Attention
If you were injured in an accident, your priority should always be seeking medical attention. If you’ve been injured in an accident on a cruise ship, it’s important that you seek medical help as soon as you can. In some cases, injuries sustained in cruise ship accidents can be serious, and you may need to be hospitalized. Even though they don’t seem serious, it’s still a good idea to have a doctor’s check-up on you.
Some injuries, such as internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent. And getting prompt medical treatment can help ensure that your injuries are properly treated and don’t become worse. So if you’ve been injured in a cruise ship accident, don’t delay getting medical attention.
Watch What You Say
As soon as an accident occurs, the cruise line will start investigating. They will interview passengers and crew members to try and piece together what happened. Be careful about what you say to them – anything you say can be used against you later.
Do not Just Write Anything
Often, after an accident, the cruise line will have passengers write a statement. They may ask you to do it in your handwriting for record purposes. If you feel unwell or in pain, do not write the statement. Don’t allow your company to make the statement either, even if they witnessed the accident. Your companion can only write their statement as a witness, not as a victim. Ensure the statement is brief, and remember to describe how you feel and that you believe the cruise ship is responsible for your injuries. You don’t want it to appear as though you changed your story afterward.
Concentrate On The Investigation
Cruise ship employees mostly conduct investigations that favor them, not you. Since they assume you will sue them, They will try to gather as much information as they can to use in their defense. You need to be just as diligent in your investigation.
Like any other accident, evidence is key in building a strong case for justice. Be sure to take photos of the scene of the accident as well as any injuries you sustained. It is also important to get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. These witness statements can be critical in proving how the accident happened and who may be at fault.
As much as cruise investigators may do a thorough job saving the evidence, what you’ve gathered could be more important.
Speak To A Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer.
Cruise ship accidents are complex in nature. That is why it is important to reach out to an attorney who has dealt with several ship accident cases. A knowledgeable cruise ship accident attorney can assist you to navigate the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. You may be entitled to justice for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. A lawyer will also be able to advise you on the best course of action to take to get the justice you deserve.
Do Not Sign Anything Without Consulting A Lawyer
You may be asked to sign several documents after an accident, but it is important that you do not sign anything until you have consulted with a lawyer. The cruise line will likely have you sign a general release of liability form. This form will waive your right to sue the cruise line for any injuries you sustained in the accident. It is important to have an attorney review any documents before you sign them to ensure that your rights are not being waived.
Don’t Hesitate To Report Incidents And Assaults
If you’ve been the victim of an accident, incident, or assault on a cruise ship, it’s important that you take action as soon as possible. The first step is to report what happened to the cruise ship staff. Many cruise lines have policies in place that require passengers to report any accidents or incidents within a certain time frame, typically 24 hours.
If you don’t report the incident within this time frame, it may be more difficult to get justice or have your case resolved. In some cases, you may even waive your right to file a claim or take legal action. So if you’ve been injured on a cruise ship, don’t wait to report the incident – do it as soon as possible.
Preserve All Records And Receipts
After an accident, it is important that you preserve all records and receipts related to the accident and your injuries. This includes medical bills, prescription receipts, insurance documents, and lost wages documentation. These records will be essential in building your case for the justice you deserve.
It’s also a good idea to keep a journal detailing how your injuries have affected your life. This can be helpful in documenting the physical and emotional pain and suffering you’ve experienced because of the accident.
A cruise ship accident can be a very traumatizing experience. If you or a loved one were injured in a cruise ship accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately and speak with an experienced maritime attorney about your legal options. An experienced maritime lawyer can help you get the justice that you deserve. Visit https://www.aronfeld.com/practice-areas/cruise-ship-injuries/ for more information.
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