Articles Tagged with cruise ship accident and personal injury lawyer

Cruise vacations have always been popular in South Florida, but recent data indicates that they are becoming even more so since the unfortunate lockdowns of the COVID pandemic. According to industry researchers at Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the cruise tourism forecast for 2023 was predicted to exceed 2019 levels by 6%. These figures would mean around 31.5 passengers took cruises for 2023, though exact data is still being compiled. To support the industry, cruise operators employ approximately 200,000 workers globally. 

The vast majority of these employees do quality work for their positions, but there are some that do not act in the best interests of cruise passengers. Through intentional conduct or negligence, injuries can happen. Fortunately, you may have grounds to pursue the cruise line for damages if you were hurt. A Miami cruise ship accident lawyer can assist with your claim, but some information on liability is useful for understanding your rights.

Liability and Potential Parties 

Unless you are a naturalized United States citizen, it is difficult to appreciate how easy it is to travel to most countries with a U.S. passport. In many countries, you can simply buy a modestly priced visa when you arrive at the airport, and some countries will simply stamp your passport and allow you to enter without a visa. When you travel to Canada or Mexico by ground transportation, you can simply show your passport card instead of getting your passport book stamped. Of course, no matter what country you are from, it is easy to understand how not having your passport with you is an emergency. Perhaps you know someone who misplaced a passport when traveling abroad and made a frantic call to the embassy to get a replacement. Several years ago, a child suffered serious complications from a minor injury he sustained on a cruise ship because of the cruise ship’s policy about passengers bringing passports. If a cruise ship company puts you in a dangerous situation that causes or worsens your injuries, contact a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer.

Child’s Minor Injury Turns Serious Because of Lack of Access to Medical Facilities

Although everything would change a month later, the cruise industry was still in full swing in February 2020. Three-year-old Roman Mejias and his mother, Nicole, went on a Gulf of Mexico cruise operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. The cruise line advised passengers who were United States citizens not to bring their passports. While on the cruise, Roman accidentally scraped his eyelid while playing with a toy car. His mother applied over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, but the scratch became infected, and eventually, Roman’s eyelid swelled to five times its normal size. Nicole asked the ship’s administrators to make port in Mexico so that she could take Roman to a hospital, but they refused since Roman and his mother did not have their passports. Nicole even called the U.S. consulate in Mexico, but she was unable to arrange for Roman to visit a hospital in Mexico.

What can go wrong on a cruise ship? A lot of things, and that is why cruise ships have infirmaries. Children fall down after running on pool decks. Raw oysters and rare steaks cause foodborne illness. Anyone would get sick after a certain number of rum runners, especially if they consumed them after an unlimited buffet full of escargot, conch fritters, and cheesecake, which they attended only a few hours after a champagne brunch. Of course, cruises also carry hazards that are too big for the infirmary to deal with, such as shipwrecks and mutinies. Shore excursions are, in theory, the least risky part of going on a cruise, if only because the hospital facilities on dry land are much more advanced. In fact, cruise ships should make emergency stops at nearby ports when a passenger becomes severely ill and requires medical treatment beyond what the ship’s infirmary can provide. If your injuries got worse because a cruise ship’s infirmary failed to provide appropriate treatment, contact a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer.

Anteater Scratches are Not Among the Most Common Reasons for Visits to the Ship’s Infirmary

Going on a Disney cruise is about the least adventuresome way to experience South America. If it is a true adventure you are seeking, you go hiking in the Amazon rainforest or mountain climbing in the Andes. People go on Disney cruises because they want some peace and quiet, punctuated by champagne brunches, not because they want to come face to snout with wild animals.

In a story that is just as likely to make you squeamish as downright fearful about safety on cruises, a Florida cruise line received the lowest score ever for an inspection. A news report covered the April 27, 2023, inspection conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and which revealed more than 50 violations of Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), which was established to regulate cleanliness and hygiene on board. Not only do these violations threaten safety from illness, but some could even lead to cruise ship accidents.

The VSP exists for passenger safety, and cruise ships must meet the requirements to pass the inspection. In the recent case, the ship earned 67 out of 100; 85 points is a passing score. Operators will undoubtedly be working hard to get the vessel into compliance, and no injuries or illnesses have been reported. A Miami cruise ship accident lawyer is essential if you were hurt in any type of incident on board, but it is interesting to understand what could have gone wrong – at the cost of passenger safety.

Food Preparation Issues

Miami is the Cruise Capital of the World for good reason, being ideally located for sailings to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, and other exciting destinations. As of 2023 figures, there are more than 20 cruise lines at Port Miami, operating 55 ships that cater to a range of passenger ages, interests, and budgets. There are different reasons you might choose one cruise line over another, but they all have one thing in common: Guests are bound to numerous rules during a cruise vacation, and they exist for the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of all passengers. 

Rules might seem like a hassle when you are on vacation and just want to experience the fun, but it is a mistake to violate them. Breaking the rules could result in being removed from the ship, ruining your trip. However, the stakes are higher when you do not follow safety requirements. You put yourself at risk of injury, and you could even harm your legal rights. You should consult with a Miami cruise ship accident attorney about details and review some of the key rules to never disobey.

No Smoking or Vaping

After arriving in your cabin, getting settled, and preparing to head out for your favorite activities, the last thing you want to do is participate in the cruise ship muster drill. Few, if any, passengers look forward to the safety briefing on what they feel is a secure vessel. However, muster drills developed out of the last ship people mistakenly thought was unsinkable. After the sinking of the Titanic, the International Convention on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) developed standards for helping passengers understand safety basics. The muster drill has been an essential part of the cruise experience ever since. 

Cruise operators are required to conduct the muster drill within 24 hours after departure, so be ready to follow crew instructions. Failure to comply carries the serious consequences described below, and it could impact your rights if you are hurt in a Miami cruise ship accident. Some answers to FAQs should help you know what to expect.

What happens with a cruise ship muster drill? 

Despite the major disruption across the global cruise industry in 2020, key performance indicators spell good news for passengers seeking sea-based adventures. In its publication on the state of the cruise industry, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reported a major uptick in cruise activity over the last few months and signs that passenger volume is returning to normal levels. Projections reveal that passenger volume will spike more than 12% by the end of 2026. 

As more ships return to full capacity, you can also expect an expansive list of shore excursions to choose from to round out your cruise experience. There are adventures for all ages, interests, and fitness levels. While you mull options, it is important to avoid mistakes that could affect your dream trip. Some mishaps could even lead to injuries, so consulting with a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer is essential if you were hurt. Consider the following points when reviewing shore excursions.

Failing to Book Through the Cruise Line

Yes, there is a difference, and it can be a significant one. Singles cruises are geared toward younger individuals, with activities, excursions, and events planned around the themes of meeting new people and breaking the ice. Being a single ON a cruise means you are a passenger enjoying amenities alongside families, couples, and often other solo travelers. There are numerous attractions with both scenarios, but they do share a common element: You are surrounded by strangers, at least initially. Though you may meet new friends and rely on cruise ship crew to do their job in terms of security, you are on your own in terms of protecting yourself. 

As such, it is important to take into account a few safety tips for singles cruises and singles going on cruises. Plus, since you do have rights if you are injured, you can use some additional recommendations on what to do if you suffer harm in a Miami cruise ship accident.

Safety Tips for Singles on Cruise Vacations 

When you board one of the enormous cruise ships that sail out of Miami and South Florida ports, you are essentially stepping onto a floating city. Unfortunately, this means the potential for criminal activity exists just as it does on land. The US Department of Transportation maintains a list of cruise line incident reports, and the good news is that most are related to public intoxication and crew swiftly diffuses conflict. However, sexual assault, violent attacks, theft, and related offenses are still a threat. 

Cruise vessels have a wide array of amenities for passengers, but they are also equipped with much of the same infrastructure and personnel that you expect in a typical municipality. Despite efforts to establish safety initiatives and maintain skilled security staff, criminal activity is still a problem. You should consult with a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer if you suffered harm, though it is also useful to know how cruise operators handle onboard crime.

Investigations of Criminal Activity

You could be at risk of soft tissue injuries going about your average day at home, so it stands to reason that you could suffer this type of trauma while enjoying an action-packed cruise vacation. Soft tissue injuries are quite common, as they can impact almost any muscle, muscle group, ligament, or tendon in the human body. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine define numerous conditions in the category of soft tissue injuries, including:

  • Bruises;
  • Ligament sprains;
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