Getting hurt on a cruise, especially to a level that demands immediate medical attention, can lead to a lot more than just a ruined vacation. You may end up with injuries that could persist for years or even the rest of your life. If a cruise line operator was negligent or reckless in dealing with a situation, maintaining equipment or hiring personnel, you have the right to seek compensation for any resulting injuries.
The process of getting a settlement or suing can be very different from something like suing a store after a slip and fall. Let's take a look at some of the concerns a cruise ship injury lawyer will cover with you before moving ahead with a claim.
One major difference between filing a claim against a cruise line operator versus a retailer is that you don't usually sign an agreement when you walk into a store. You'll definitely want to make copies of any forms you were asked to sign prior to your cruise. If there's a version of the agreement on the company's website, download and print out a few copies of it, too. Many companies also include the agreement on passengers' tickets so you'll want to make a copy of your ticket.
In American law, the venue is the place where a legal proceeding is conducted. Beyond simply deciding where a case might be heard, it also dictates what state's laws will be applied when figuring out sticking points.
A lot of cruise lines are based in Miami. For this reason, they often include venue clauses in their contracts that determine any disputes or claims will be handled under the laws of the state of Florida. Unless you want to spend a lot of time traveling if the matter goes to court, you'll want to hire a cruise ship accident lawyer who's licensed to practice law in the state of venue.
Maritime Law and Liability
Adjudication of cruise ship incidents is done under maritime law. Liability is established by proving that the company failed to do something that a "reasonably careful ship operator" would have known to do.
For example, a defect in a step on a stairway in the ship might have led you to have a fall. The main question will be about whether the ship's staff had a reasonable chance to learn about the issue and fix it. If they did, then they may have to pay out your claim. For more information, contact a company like Eduardo J. Hernandez, LLC today.