Articles Tagged with cruise ship accidents

Injuries and deaths on cruise ships are not exactly the most top-rating news stories as of late, but they are nevertheless happening. Recently, an 8-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool on one of the most popular cruise ships in the world. While reports have yet to determine whether the ship was negligent in its prevention and/or response to the incident, there is speculation that the family of the boy will take legal action against the cruise line.

If you or a family member has experienced a personal injury or death on a cruise ship, you will need experienced legal assistance to handle your case. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here to help. Call us at 1-877-474-2905.

Cruise Ship Death: Accident or Negligence?

Cruises 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 & 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

Despite 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:

Embarking 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 & 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          

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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 & 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.

Cruise 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 & 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

For cruise trips, shore excursions are rapidly growing in popularity and variety. Shore excursions help maintain the interest and attention of passengers of a particular cruise. Excursions typically offer access to a wide variety of tourist areas that are different from the ports and harbors where the cruise ship rests. They are also popular because by booking a specific excursion, the individual does not have to stress about sightseeing on this or her own. Instead, the cruise ship will take care of this. The cruise company will choose a relevant and necessary onshore tourist site and allow the individual to enjoy the highest quality of time there.

Albeit fun and convenient, excursion accidents do happen, and these accidents are sometimes tragic. Just last summer an Alaska sightseeing excursion plane crashed killing all nine passengers including the pilot! This plane was carrying cruise ship passengers on a shore excursion when it suddenly crashed near Ketchikan in the Misty Fjords area. Said plane was first reported missing at around 2:06 p.m., or 6:06 p.m. Eastern Time. Less than 30 minutes after the initial report, said plane was spotted by a helicopter crew against a granite rock face. Search and rescue teams then reached the crash site which was nearly 800 feet above Ella Lake.  

Maritime laws differ significantly from ordinary personal injury laws and are highly complex and unique. Maritime laws maintain several rules pertaining to the time you may file your claim, legal liability, and the amount of money recoverable from your case. Generally, maritime law consists of a combination of different bodies of law from federal statutes, international treaties, laws of contract, and even substantive foreign law. Many people are unaware that maritime laws may govern their accident. Thus, if you are injured in a maritime accident, you should contact a qualified Florida maritime attorney.

While the exact details of the accident are still under investigation, what is clear is that a crew member died in a Carnival Ecstasy elevator while passengers caught glimpses of the gruesome scene. The ship was in the last legs of a Caribbean cruise departing from Miami when Florida residents Matt Davis and his wife were walking toward the elevator and noticed it was malfunctioning, only partly open and dripping with a copious amount of blood. When they alerted the cruise ship’s staff, they were told to leave the scene and enter the restaurant.

Miami-Dade police are currently investigating the freak accident that killed electrician Jose Sandoval Opazo, 66, of Liguria, Italy. Carnival Cruise Line has been reluctant to provide many details regarding the incident but do extend their support to the victim and his family. Witnesses of the accident say that crew members told them that Opazo was working either inside or behind the elevator when the elevator came down. If you were injured or lost a loved one aboard a cruise ship consider contacting a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney.

Carnival Cruise Line has been fraught with controversy surrounding various catastrophic accidents in recent years. In 2012 the Costa Concordia capsized off the coast of Italy, killing 32 people. The cause of the accident was the hubris of the ship’s captain who intentionally steered the ship too close to shore. In 2013 the Carnival Triumph caught fire, which knocked out the ship’s power, leaving the cruise stranded for four days without working toilets.

While aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, an 8-year-old boy drowned in one of the ship’s swimming pools. The ship named “The Liberty of the Seas” was traveling from Galveston, Texas to Cozumel, Mexico when the tragedy occurred. The child’s body was discovered by one of the passengers and removed from the pool. A member of the ship’s medical team performed CPR on the child for over an hour but was unsuccessful. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a cruise ship accident, consider contacting a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney.

Despite the many risks involved with swimming children, most cruise lines do not have lifeguards stationed at their family pools. It is telling that in this situation a passenger and not a cruise ship employee had to be the one to first attempt to rescue the boy from the pool.

While signs are always posted to warn passengers to swim at their own risk, it makes you wonder if that is enough to protect children on cruises. Especially when you consider the scenario of a long cruise where there are many opportunities for a child to be separated from his or her parent and swim unsupervised, the lack of lifeguards is baffling.

Cruise ship season has begun in Florida. As cruise ships leave the coasts of Europe and Alaska, seeking warmer waters in Florida and the Caribbean, many Americans are choosing cruise ships as the venue for their wintertime vacations. Cruise lines have been reporting increased numbers of bookings from last year, with Carnival Cruise Corp. boasting a 20% increase in early 2016 bookings from the previous year. With an increased number of Americans choosing to sail on cruise ships comes increased numbers of accidents that cruise ship companies could be liable for. If you were injured or lost a loved one aboard a cruise ship, contact an experienced Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney today.

Cruise Ship Season in Florida

Cruise ship season in Florida typically stretches from November until April. Americans suffering cold winters flock to Florida for reprieve from blizzards and subzero temperatures. 62% of all people who have left the US on a cruise ship has done so through a Florida port. With Hurricane season ending in October, the winter months are some of the safest times to travel the sea.