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3 Risks to Avoid After Being Injured on a Cruise Ship in Florida

Being Injured on a Cruise Ship in Florida

Cruise vacations are a popular way to relax and see the world. With sunny beaches and tropical destinations, Florida is a top embarkation point for cruise ships. However, accidents and injuries can still happen, even during a dream vacation. If you suffer an injury on a cruise ship that departs from or stops in a Florida port, be aware of these three risks to avoid after your accident:

The Soffer Firm has been voted Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and “National Trial Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40” multiple years in a row because of how hard we work for our clients. We don’t get paid unless you get paid, and we have recovered millions for our clients. 

Our Florida cruise ship injury lawyers help you navigate the complexities of your legal case. Call us today at (786) 788-7344

1. Failing to Report the Incident Properly

After a slip, fall, or other injury on a cruise ship, it is essential to report the incident properly. According to maritime law professionals, injured passengers must follow specific accident reporting procedures to preserve their legal right to file a claim later.

What to Do Immediately After an Accident 

If you get hurt on a cruise ship, the first thing to do is seek medical care. The ship’s doctor can provide first aid and document your injury. Next, you or someone traveling with you should: 

  • Report the incident to security or the guest services desk immediately. Give details of what happened, where it happened, any witnesses, and request a copy of the ship’s accident report.

  • Take photos of the accident scene and any unsafe conditions that caused the injury. Blood, water, or debris on the floor can prove hazardous conditions.

  • Get contact info for any witnesses to the incident. Their statements can help prove liability later.

Preserving Evidence After an Accident at Sea

After reporting the incident, work quickly to gather evidence while still on the ship:

  • Review security footage: Ships have cameras monitoring public areas that may have recorded the accident.

  • Keep medical records: Have the ship’s doctor detail your injury and treatment in your onboard medical chart. Get copies of x-rays or lab tests.

  • Follow up: Check back with guest services before disembarking to get a copy of the accident report to add to your records.

Documenting injuries and accidents properly lays the groundwork for a personal injury claim against the cruise line later. Fail to follow protocol, and the cruise ship company could argue you did not suffer any injury during the cruise.

2. Accepting the Cruise Line’s Settlement Offer Too Soon

After an injury at sea, the cruise line may quickly offer settlement money as compensation. While money might be tempting, accepting it could harm your case down the road. It is important you consult a cruise ship injury or personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement. 

Why Settlement Offers Are Not in Your Best Interest

Cruise lines make lowball settlement offers hoping injured passengers take the money and give up their rights to sue later. But accepting an offer too soon has risks:

  • You may not know the full value of your injury claim yet. Treatment and lost income can continue for months.The offer likely won’t cover attorney’s fees. Most maritime lawyers work on contingency – they only get paid if they win your case.

  • You lose leverage to negotiate a larger payout. Once you settle, the cruise line has no incentive to increase compensation.Certain legal rights and protections are waived if you settle early. This can prevent filing a lawsuit if complications develop.

  • Tax issues – settlement money is taxable income so accepting a lump sum could have financial implications.

Consult a maritime attorney before settling. They can advise if the offer adequately covers your current and future losses. Settle too soon, and you lose the chance to recover full and fair compensation.

3. Missing the Deadline to Sue

Under maritime law, injured cruise ship passengers have a limited time to file a lawsuit against the cruise line. Miss this deadline, and you lose the legal right to pursue your case in court.

Cruise Ship Injury Lawsuit Deadlines

  • Personal injury claims must be filed within three years from the date of the cruise ship accident. 

  • Claims on behalf of a deceased passenger must be filed within three years of the date of death aboard the ship. 

  • Minors injured on cruise ships have until three years after their 18th birthday to file. Crew members have just one year from their accident date to file suit against the cruise line.

These deadlines are strictly enforced. Given the complexities of maritime law, speak to an cruise ship injury attorney to avoid missing your window to take legal action. They can also request the cruise line preserve evidence and initiate a claim within required timeframes if a lawsuit becomes necessary. Letting the deadline pass prevents filing a case, even if the cruise line was clearly negligent. This leaves injured passengers and families unable to recover damages.

Protect Your Rights With Experienced Legal Help

Suffering an injury far from home can leave cruise passengers confused about next steps. Complications and delays caused by accidents at sea can ruin a vacation. Don’t let the actions of a negligent cruise line company go unanswered. Get experienced legal help to protect your right to hold them fully accountable.

  • Review cruise ship accident reports and liability laws.

  • Build a strong case with guidance from a maritime attorney in Florida.

  • Negotiate a full and fair settlement for your injuries and losses.

  • File a lawsuit against the cruise line before legal deadlines pass.

Don’t let an accident at sea go unresolved. Know your options and work quickly to protect your right to hold cruise lines accountable for negligent behavior. With legal help, injured passengers in Florida can recover the maximum compensation they are owed.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cruise Ship Injury Claims in Florida

1. How do I know if I have a valid cruise ship injury claim?

If you suffered any injury due to the negligence of the cruise line, crew or medical staff, you likely have grounds for a claim. Common accidents like slips/falls, lack of proper medical care, assault/molestation, and more can support valid legal claims.

2. What damages can I claim after a cruise ship injury?

Compensation can cover medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation costs, physical and emotional pain/suffering, loss of enjoyment, and other current and future losses caused by the accident.

3. Is there a time limit to file a cruise ship injury lawsuit in Florida?

Yes, claimants typically have just 1-3 years under maritime law to file suit after an accident, depending on the specifics of the case. This deadline is strictly enforced.

4. What if I already settled with the cruise line? Can I get more compensation?

If the settlement was quick, you may still be able to file suit within the legal deadline. However, if time has passed, renegotiating or invalidating a settlement is very challenging.

5. How can hiring a cruise ship injury lawyer help my case?

Experienced cruise ship injury attorneys understand the complex legal framework, can fully investigate your accident, maximize provable damages, and aggressively negotiate with cruise lines. This typically leads to far higher settlements compared to self-representation.

Choosing Your Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer 

When you’re injured on a cruise ship, it can be difficult to navigate the legal system. It is important you select competent attorneys who can help you. 

The Soffer Firm has been voted Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and “National Trial Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40” multiple years in a row because of how hard we work for our clients. We don’t get paid unless you get paid, and we have recovered millions for our clients. 

Our Florida cruise ship injury lawyers help you navigate the complexities of your legal case. Call us today at (786) 788-7344