Articles Tagged with Florida maritime accident attorneys

Last year, passengers on a Carnival Cruise ship were horrified as their vessel crashed into a pier at a harbor in Baltimore. After returning from a weeklong trip to Florida and the Bahamas, the cruise ship approached the pier while traveling too fast, and was unable to avoid a collision. Luckily, no one was injured, but the incident raised questions about cruise ship safety. After a lengthy investigation into the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board has finally released its report on the episode.

Incident like these are not uncommon. If you were injured on a Carnival Cruise ship or any other type of cruise ship, our South Florida cruise ship accident attorneys can help.

Investigators Blame Ship Captains for Cruise Ship Accident

Just when it seems that the cruise industry really can’t ignore common sense safety precautions any more than they have already, new information comes out guaranteed to surprise anybody with a modicum of common sense. This time it has to do with national news reports revealing the lack of safety precautions used by cruise ships at their onboard pools.

Report reveals Lack of Lifeguards

An NBC News Today Show report recently revealed that many cruise lines have no lifeguards at or around their onboard pools, despite more than 1.5 children million cruising every year (although lifeguards are a safety precaution for all passengers, not just children).

Well, it’s happened again. Although we seem to be told repeatedly by the cruise industry that norovirus outbreaks are sporadic and preventative measures are improving, in seems that once again, a cruise ship and its passengers have fallen victim to an outbreak.

Princess Cruise Suffers Large Virus Outbreak

This time it was a Princess Cruise line that experienced the outbreak. The cruise, leaving from Los Angeles, to Hawaii and then Tahiti, suffered an outbreak that affected 172 people on board. Most of the affected were passengers, but 14 crewmembers were sickened as well. The CDC, which conducted an immediate testing of the vessel, confirmed the outbreak was indeed norovirus.

We’ve discussed a lot about cruise tickets, and the burdens they put on cruise passengers who are seeking to sue a cruise line for damages and injuries. A recent case has come out that has unfortunately said nothing new, again emphasizing how restrictive the terms of cruise tickets can be.

Passenger Sues in Wrong Venue

The case involved a passenger who was seeking to sue Royal Caribbean for injuries she sustained on a cruise. Her cruise ticket had a one-year statute of limitations to bring such actions, and she narrowly beat that deadline.

We’ve often discussed in this blog that a major problem with cruise safety is simply lack of cruise safety information. There is no one clearinghouse or database where potential passengers can check a cruise line’s safety record, or see if anybody has been injured or assaulted on a cruise.

The department of Transportation, with the help of a Senator, has recently announced a plan that may at least take one step towards alleviating that problem.

New Website Consolidates Information

A young Clemson University college student died on a cruise ship recently after plunging 2 stories from an upper to a lower deck. The student had climbed a front mast with about 5 other friends, all to observe the sunset.

There are no reports that the student was drinking; in fact, most accounts state that he was just talking about life with friends.

The problem, however, was that he was actually standing in a restricted area, having climbed the ship’s mast, in close proximity to the ship’s radar. When the radar moved, as it often does, it apparently pushed the student off the ledge and onto a running track below, a fall of about 20 feet.

Yet another cruise ship has been stricken with an outbreak of the norovirus. Don’t be confused—this isn’t a repeat of a previous post. Norovirus outbreaks seem to happen so often on cruises that it often seems like the same news is being reported over and over again.

What happened now?

This time, guests on a Princess Cruise departing from Australia were affected, in an outbreak bad enough to prompt one guest to call it a “cruise from hell.” About 100 guests have been affected, but it doesn’t appear that the cruise will be terminated early.

If you are injured at sea, you may think that regular laws that will apply to you, and your rights to recovery would be the same as if you were injured on land. In fact, this is not true at all. As our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys have discussed before in this blog, there are many nuanced differences between maritime law and state laws. One such difference has to do with punitive damages.

What Are Punitive Damages?

As the name suggests, punitive damages are not designed to compensate an injury victim at all—the goal of punitive damages is to punish the negligent party for behavior so outrageous or unacceptable that an extra, often large, monetary punishment is necessary. Like a criminal law sentence, there is also an element of deterrent involved—other companies that see severe economic penalties assessed against a wrongdoer may be more likely to modify their behavior and take measures to protect their patrons or customers.

Despite recent news of the ill-fated cruise line Costa Concordia being raised from the sea after its tragic sinking in 2012, Carnival Cruise lines, the parent company of Concordia, apparently thinks the environment is right to start raising prices on cruises again. This is despite having a less than spectacular year when it comes to cruise ship safety. Our Florida cruise ship attorneys are monitoring these developments closely.

Prices Going Up

Carnival Cruise line recently reported its intention to raise cruise prices, which had been trending cheaper in the recent years. Bad press has plagued the cruise line industry, due in no small part to the spate of near disasters that many mainstream cruise lines have suffered.

If you are injured on a cruise ship, part of the burden in proving your case is showing you have sustained an injury, and proving the nature, severity, and permanency of your injuries. If you have sustained a major injury—for example, one that requires surgery—that may sound like an easy burden. But despite how obvious your injuries may be, the law allows a defendant cruise line to force you to attend what is known as an Independent Medical Examination, or IME. An experienced Florida cruise ship attorney can help you understand the process.

What is an IME?

An IME is a medical examination that an injured person is compelled to attend while their case is pending. Although the name may imply that the examination is “independent,” in most cases, the physicians are hired and paid by the cruise line, and may even receive significant money from the cruise through repeated referrals of injured passengers. IMEs are fairly routine, and are used by defendants in all kinds of cases.

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