Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer Blog

Articles Posted in Cruise Ship Accidents/Incidents

9513572473_e39619123aCruise ship vacations provide for the perfect getaway. However, risks of injury and/or crime are relatively high for those embarking on a cruise. Recently, yet another cruise ship passenger fell off a balcony. This happens all too often. A Texas man fell off the balcony of a ship off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. He is currently being sought by search-and-rescue crews. This tragic event occurred about 36 nautical miles south of the Carysfort Reef Light. At around 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, David Mossman, age 46, fell 100 feet from the 10th deck of the cruise ship and into the dark water. This event was witnessed by another passenger and it was caught on security camera footage.

Cruise ship incidents, though not always fatal, can happen to any passenger, or crew member, at anytime. For this reason, it is critical that you take several safety precautions while you enjoy your cruise ship vacation. If you are injured, you may be entitled to compensation. It is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz PA have the experience and skill needed to take on your case. Our attorneys are experienced in filing claims against all major cruise lines. We know how to aggressively handle maritime lawsuits. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights and we will not hesitate to bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.    

How to Stay Safe on Your Cruise

1c919lp8While swarms of people embark on cruise ships annually, crimes committed upon them seem to run rampant. What is sad is that many individuals who commit crimes aboard cruise ships actually get away with their crimes. It is a mess. What makes it even messier is the existence of the jurisdiction issue. A congressional hearing in 2007 revealed that in the past three years, 28 people have disappeared while on cruise ships. Of these, only three have been found! There have been 200 reported cases of assault or sexual misconduct aboard cruise ships. There have been four cases reported of grand theft. True, this may not appear to be a huge number of incidents.  Yet, it is a large number when you take into consideration the several nuances of enforcing the law at sea. Most of these cases have not been sufficiently investigated and few have even been solved.

If you are a victim of crime or injury at sea, to best safeguard your interests, it is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. The experienced Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here for you. We have the experience and skill needed to take on your case.  Our attorneys are experienced in filing claims against all major cruise lines. We know how to aggressively handle maritime lawsuits. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights and we will not hesitate to bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.

Jurisdiction at Sea

P1070996Cruises have quickly become one of the most popular forms of vacationing. Each cruise is accompanied by its many activities to pick from and enjoy. For instance, several cruise lines offer whale watching. Whale watching is the practice of observing whales in their natural habitat. As with other vacationing activities, accidents tend to occur. One notable incident recently occurred. A 150-foot whale watching ship crashed into a wharf next to a downtown pier, injuring seven passengers and damaging the ship. There were 144 people onboard this ship. As it turns out, crewmembers reported that mechanical issues stuck the ship’s throttle in the forward position just prior to the ship’s crash. At the moment, the United States Coast Guard is investigating this accident.

This was certainly a horrific incident. If you or a loved one were injured on a cruise ship, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. It is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney for your case. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here to help.  Our attorneys are experienced in filing claims against all major cruise lines. We know how to aggressively handle maritime lawsuits. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights and we will not hesitate to bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.

If an Accident Occurs

file2021238176025Despite today’s poor economy, the cruise industry is certainly thriving. Cruise Market Watch, an online database, predicts that the cruise line industry will grow at a rate of 7% between now and 2017. People normally embark on cruises for one key reason: to escape the stresses of ordinary life. Yet, despite the opportunity to rest and relax, please be advised that you are not out of harm’s way.

For instance, a tragic incident recently occurred on a Disney Cruise ship when a grandfather’s thumb was amputated. Marco Acosta, 73, was enjoying his time on a Disney cruise ship preparing for the Captain’s dinner when the horrific injury occurred. Mr. Acosta was standing near a hallway door with his thumb on the doorframe, while his wife was also holding the door open with her foot. She moved her foot and the door “slammed shut with force” on Mr. Acosta’s thumb, severing it. Mr. Acosta visited a Cruise nurse who bandaged the wound and put the severed thumb on ice. It was days before Mr. Acosta had the opportunity to see a doctor. By this time, it was too late to reattach his severed digit.

Mr. Acosta filed a lawsuit against the cruise line, alleging that Disney’s negligence resulted in his injury. The lawsuit alleges:

cruise ship poolEmbarking on a cruise vacation is something that most of us truly enjoy. It is even more special when your family is all together. Yet, as with any other form of vacationing, accidents can happen. For example, just recently, on a central Florida-bound cruise ship, nearly 35 miles east of Cape Lookout, two children were discovered unconscious in a pool around 11:30 a.m. The older child was ultimately revived and flown by a Marine Corps helicopter to a nearby hospital.  Unfortunately, the younger child died onboard the ship.

This was certainly a tragic event that should not have occurred. The cruise line itself should consider several safety procedures to ensure this never happens again. There should have been a lifeguard, or two, watching over swimmers in the pool. Not all injuries to children on board cruise ships are fatal, but injuries to children on cruise ships are all too common. If your child is injured on a cruise ship, he or she may be entitled to substantial compensation. It is important that you hire an attorney for your case. The Miami maritime attorneys at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here to help! We know the relevant laws and have over 80 combined years of representing cruise ship passengers and crewmembers that are injured.   

Premises Liability on Cruise Ships          

12 Skagway, Alaska May 2015Are you contemplating suing a particular cruise line? These suits are not uncommon. Recently, a group of 33 Carnival passengers sued Carnival Cruise Lines for damages after an engine fire left the cruise ship adrift for five days. The affected passengers asked the company to pay $5,000 per month for the remainder of their lives for mental anguish and medical expenses.  Their cruise ship, after suffering an engine fire, was left without power, air conditioning, and operating toilets. A federal judge in Florida heard arguments from each side. Said judge found that the cruise line was negligent for the engine fire and awarded damages to the class.       

There are countless reasons why you may wish to sue a cruise line. Maybe you were injured on the ship or suffered sickness from undercooked cruise ship food. Or maybe you were the victim of a crime on the ship due to lack of security measures. Or maybe the suspect was actually a crewmember! It is important that you consult your cruise ticket. This is because cruise lines inoculate themselves against passenger lawsuits by printing stringent terms on their tickets that require passengers to waive their right to a class action lawsuit.

Whatever the reason may be for your desired lawsuit, the process of taking action against a cruise line is quite complex. It is therefore highly advisable that you retain an experienced maritime attorney like the ones found at Gerson and Schwartz PA. We know the relevant laws and have over 80 combined years of representing cruise ship passengers and crewmembers that are injured.

Closeup of assorted coins.

Closeup of assorted coins.

In our last post we discussed the process of filing a claim against a cruise line. This post will delve into  settlements. There is actually a lot involved with settlements in any case. Upfront, however, please be aware that often times cruise lines will not settle without a reason. In obvious liability cases, the cruise line operator may realize that the odds are against them. Other times, companies may settle as a business decision. However, that decision depends on the injuries involved, vialibility of the legal theories at issue. At times, the public may think that because they read about a court settlement that the cruise line company will just fold. What they do not always realize is that many settlements dont even happen until hours and hours of work take place. Sometimes, the cruiseline companies may settle just before trial.  Cases can even settle during a trial or before the case is presented to a jury.

If you seek to bring a personal injury claim against a cruise line company  you should always hire an experienced attorney for your best chances of receiving a fair and just settlement. The maritime attorneys at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here to help. Our attorneys know the relevant laws and value of personal injury claims while representing cruise ship passengers and crewmembers that are injured.

OCEAN BUOY 2The cruise industry has significantly grown in popularity over the years. With this, however, comes an increase in crime on cruise ships. Crime at sea is now a serious problem. Just recently, near the Bahamas, an 11-year-old female was molested on a Disney Cruise Line (“DCL”) cruise ship when one of DCL’s chefs touched her breast. Stunningly, this crime was not reported until 16 hours after it occurred. This non-reporting occurred despite the requirement for cruise lines to make such reporting. What is more surprising is that, for one, the victim’s grandmother decided that she did not want to press charges on the suspect, and, two, Bahamian authorities did nothing more than fly, free of cost, the suspect back to his home! Justice was certainly not served in this case. Not only was the incident not reported until 16 hours after it took place, but an overlapping of jurisdictions (Bahamas instead of Florida) prevented this suspect from being fully investigated and prosecuted.

It is becoming commonplace that crime victims on cruise are not provided the help they need by the judicial system. With the blatant lack of reporting, despite a high occurrence of crime at sea, the cruise line business appears to be misleading the public. Perhaps this is to keep sales high. If you, or your loved one, are a cruise ship crime victim, it is critical that you hire an attorney. The Miami maritime attorneys at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here for you. Our attorneys have plenty of experience filing claims against all major cruise lines. We can provide you an ease of mind, as we know what do and know how to deal with the numerous complexities. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights.  

Serious Problem with Cruise Lines

OCEAN BUOY 2Cruise ship vacations have significantly increased in popularity over the years.  Cruise lines maintain that they are among the safest forms of travel. Yet, unfortunately, this is not always the case. For instance, some of the people that depart on a cruise ship never make it home. In some cases, they become lost at sea. The number of individuals who have gone missing from cruise ships is frightening. In the last two years, alone, 41 people have gone missing from cruise ships. According to the Cruise Victims Association, almost 170 people have gone missing at sea since 1995. Recently, off the coast of Florida, two passengers on a Carnival Spirit cruise ship experienced a similar tragedy. A lady, 26 years of age, was climbing on a rail outside of her room during the late evening hours.  She then lost footing and fell overboard. A few seconds later, a paramedic jumped into the sea in attempt to save the drowning passenger. The pair was described as missing once the cruise ship docked in Sydney. The pair has never been found.

If you or your loved one experienced a cruise ship accident or, if your loved one is missing, you need to hire an experienced maritime lawyer. The relevant laws that govern these cases are highly complex and significantly different from state laws. The maritime lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz PA know the law and are here to help. Our Florida Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers have experience filing claims against all the major cruise lines. We will fight hard to enforce your legal rights and to secure adequate compensation. We will even bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.

Complex Laws that Govern Cruise Ship Accidents

450894208_f1a963aa17On February 6, 2016, nearly 4,500 passengers boarded Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Anthem of the Seas and departed on a trip to the Florida and the Bahamas. Unfortunately, a severe storm began the next day. Said storm was accompanied by wind gusts of up to 120 miles-per-hour and about 40-foot tall waves! Due to the severity of the storm, the ship’s captain ordered everyone to remain in their rooms. One passenger, Mr. Simpson, brought a negligence lawsuit against the cruise line. Mr. Simpson alleges that the captain of the cruise ship had knowledge of the approaching storm and neglected the safety of the passengers. The captain negligently opted to sail through a hurricane. During the hurricane, the ship shook so violently that Mr. Simpson was thrown 18 feet across his room. He sustained a concussion, a bruise on his left eye, an injured wrist and pains and bruising on his torso, ribs, and neck. Mr. Simpson now seeks to recover damages in physical injury, physical pain and suffering, impairment and economic insecurity.

What to Do if You Suffer an Injury on a Cruise Ship

First of all, please be advised that you must act quickly if you or your loved one suffers an injury at the fault of a cruise line. As a matter of fact, at the moment you purchase your cruise ship ticket, you are entering into a binding contract with the cruise line. This particular contract, once in writing, specifies how long you have to file a lawsuit if you are injured, for example. What is noteworthy is that this time limit can be as short as six months to one year. For this reason, it is imperative that you retain an experienced maritime lawyer as soon as possible to begin working on your case.

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