Though there is some competition from ports further north in Florida, data on cruise lines in Miami reveals that demand for vacations at sea remains high. Officials from PortMiami report that 4.02 million passengers boarded cruise ships in 2022, and the numbers are expected to increase in 2023. Part of the reason is being able to move more passengers efficiently and effectively through new, upgraded terminals funded by the cruise lines. Another factor is that cruise vacations are even more affordable than ever, with packages, perks, and discounts available to attract travelers.
As passenger volume increases and cruise ships are able to accommodate thousands of guests, the risk of accidents is also on the rise. Onboard amenities and activities on a water-based vessel could lead to injuries, and the cruise line is liable in most cases for not keeping the ship safe. However, actions by a victim also play a role, so you should consult with a Miami cruise ship accident attorney about the effects on your rights. An overview is also useful.
How Comparative Negligence Works
Negligence is the theory of liability that applies to personal injury claims, including those based on cruise accidents. To recover compensation, you must prove that you were hurt because the cruise operator breached the duty to exercise reasonable care in keeping a safe vessel. Examples include failure to clean up spills, not repairing balcony railings, and neglecting to protect passengers from criminal activity.
However, even if you have proof of the elements of negligence, the cruise line could turn the tables by blaming you. Comparative negligence puts the focus on misconduct by victims and how their own unsafe actions contributed to a cruise ship accident. If the operator has evidence showing negligence by you, your compensation will be reduced. The concept of comparative negligence works according to the percentage of fault, so your damages are lowered according to the amount of fault attributed to your actions.
Examples of Negligent Acts by Victims
To better understand how comparative negligence works, some common scenarios of cruise ship accidents are helpful.
- Your compensation could be affected if you were intoxicated and your impairment was a factor in a slip and fall.
- You entered an area of the cruise ship that is off-limits to passengers or a space where a warning sign about dangers was posted.
- You were hurt during an extreme sports excursion after ignoring warnings about being in physical shape to participate.
- You suffered a medical emergency by staying in a hot tub too long or while under the influence of alcohol.
- You accompanied a passenger you do not know to their cabin and suffered injuries in an assault.
Contact a Miami Cruise Ship Accidents Lawyer to Discuss Strategy
This summary shows how your claim could be affected by your own negligent acts, but there are strategies for overcoming challenges. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA, is ready to support you through the legal process, so please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL, to set up a free consultation.