Cruise Line Liability for Injuries and Severe Weather Conditions
We like to think that for the most part, cruising is safe. However, with any type of transportation, automobile, railroad, plane, or cruise ship—accidents may happen. When the negligence of the cruise ship operator, staff captain lead to injuries, the cruise line may be liable. Experienced cruise ship injury attorneys in Miami, Florida help these victims obtain the maximum compensation available under the law.
Most cruise lines sail all year long even during hurricane season. Our firm has represented cruise ship passengers in situations where severe weather was in the immediate forecast. For instance, during hurricane season, cruise line operators still decide to stay the course and thinking they can out run, or maneuver around some of these storms. Some cruise ship captains have testified that the cruise ship is made to withstand extreme weather conditions. But are cruise ship passengers? Probably not. Cruise line officials should monitor weather conditions to ensure their passengers will be safe during their cruises. If it appears that inclement weather, high seas, or winds may compromise the safety of cruise passengers, the cruise should be rerouted to avoid the storm. Perhaps not even depart from port. If a storm arises after a cruise has embarked, the captain must determine what reasonable steps should be taken.
However, cruise captains and staff do not always make the best decisions, and passengers are injured as a result. If a captain fails to heed warnings about bad weather, the ship may sail into rough waters. The ship may rock violently, causing passengers to fall and injure themselves. In extreme cases, windows may break and other parts of the ship may be damaged.
In these situations, the cruise line may be liable under federal maritime law. For example, if a passenger falls from a top bunk bed because the ship entered rough waters unnecessarily, the passenger may be able to recover for his injuries. Such a fall could easily cause broken bones.
However, the decision whether or not to sail around bad weather is not the only factor involved in injury claims. Poor maintenance on a cruise ship may also lead to injuries. For example, if windows are poorly maintained, they may shatter if hit by a wave. Cruise ships have hundreds and hundreds of windows on board, and, if broken, they may cause numerous cuts and lacerations. Additionally, if a window is broken, passengers may be exposed to the exterior of the ship, putting them at risk for falling overboard.
The failure to implement proper safety drills may also lead to an injury claim. If an emergency arises on a cruise ship, staff should jump into action to ensure passenger safety. This includes making sure passengers are gathered in a safe place and verifying that all passengers are wearing life jackets. The failure to maintain order in an emergency can quickly lead to chaos on board, increasing the odds of injury and death.
Pursuing a claim for injuries suffered during a cruise involve a mixture of laws. However, the right injury attorney in Miami will understand how to navigate these laws and present a strong claim.
Call now to discuss your cruise injury claim
If you were injured while on a cruise ship, do not wait to seek legal advice. Many laws limit the amount of time injure passenger have to file cruise ship injury claim. For more information or to seek a free consultation, contact the cruise ship injury lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz, PA at 1-877-475-2905 .