Face it, we all love vacations. They are a time to get away, clear your head, and simply relax. What we do not want is to face a tragedy while on vacation. Tragedy can happen anywhere and to anybody. For instance, just two months ago, a passenger fell off a cruise ship off the coast of Florida. Prior to falling overboard, the passenger was involved in a verbal altercation with several of the ship’s crewmembers. These crewmembers yelled many gay slurs at said passenger who was on a vacation with his husband. Following the verbal altercations the passenger was seen falling off the side of the ship and grabbing a hold of a lifeboat. Cell phone videos captured this scary scene. The passenger eventually lost his grip and fell into the dark, treacherous ocean. The frantic search that covered 931 nautical miles was unsuccessful, and the investigation is currently pending as to the cause of this tragic incident.
Tragic accidents, can happen to anyone anywhere, even on cruise ships. If you are a cruise ship passenger or crewmember and you are injured on the cruise ship, you should hire an experienced lawyer for your case. There are special laws, both federal and international, that govern injury and death claims at sea. Fortunately, the Florida cruise ship accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA have significant experience aggressively pursuing claims against all the major cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess Cruises, Disney Cruise Lines, Holland America, Celebrity, Costa, Seabourn, Regent, Crystal and many other vessels.
What to Do if You or a Loved One is Injured on a Cruise Ship
You must act fast if you or a loved one is injured on a cruise ship. When you purchase your ticket for the cruise, you are actually entering into a contract with the cruise line. This contract, in writing, indicates how long you have to file a lawsuit if you are injured, for example. This time limit can be as short as six months to one year. Thus, it is critical that you hire an attorney as soon as possible to beginning working on your case.
You should immediately contact the ship safety and/or security officer to report the accident. You should also provide, in writing, notice that you intend to file a claim. If you were assisted by anyone at the time of the injury, you should get their names and request a copy of any documents, especially those they ask you to fill out. Also get the names and contact information of any witnesses. If you are a victim of a serious crime, you should report it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). It is also a good idea to take photos of the scene where the accident occurred. This will safeguard you if the cruise line later destroys evidence. Of course, you should seek medical help as soon as possible on the ship. Once docked, you should seek medical attention off the ship, as well.
Take Action for Your Case by Hiring an Experienced Attorney
Due to the several complexities in these cases, it is critical to contact an experienced maritime lawyer if you or a loved one are injured at sea. Our Miami, Florida maritime Lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz PA are highly experienced and know what to do. Our attorneys are skilled at representing passengers and crew members who suffer serious and catastrophic injuries. If you are injured, we will fight to enforce your legal rights. We will not hesitate to bring your case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made.