Accidents can happen on cruise ships just like any other location, but the significant difference if you suffer serious injuries is that medical treatment is limited on a vessel. Ships sailing out of Miami and the rest of the US must comply with the standards set by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), which are quite basic. The vessel’s infirmary must have wheelchairs, spine immobilizing backboard, oxygen, defibrillators, and equipment to assess vital signs, among other requirements.
Clearly, a cruise ship infirmary is intended to manage minor medical emergencies. However, many accidents require major medical intervention, possibly including surgery. Depending on the injuries, the staff may or may not be able to take care of your immediate needs. It is challenging to figure out your rights and remedies, so you should contact a Miami cruise ship accident attorney in such a situation. Some background information is also helpful for understanding how these cases work.
Cruise Ship Injuries That May Require Surgery
You may be on board enjoying the pool, casino, water sports, go-carts, rock-climbing wall, or any of the numerous amenities on the ship. You could be doing a shore excursion, such as parasailing, hiking, or snorkeling. Whatever the circumstances, accidents can occur and cause injuries that are serious enough to require surgery. Examples include:
- Compound fractures and other broken bones;
- Deep, penetrating cuts;
- Overheating and overexertion, possibly leading to cardiac arrest or heart failure;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, and other head injuries; and,
- Harm to internal organs.
Options for Treatment
Knowing how a ship’s infirmary is stocked with minimal equipment and supplies, you should consider various alternatives to get the care you need. For a minor laceration, onboard medical staff should be able to stitch up the wound. Qualified providers will also employ a defibrillator when necessary. However, when surgery is required, your options may include:
- Getting treatment in the port if you were on an excursion;
- Being transported from the ship to the closest medical facility;
- Getting airlifted back to Miami, where you have access to highly qualified surgeons and advanced surgical facilities; and,
- Having onboard medical staff stabilize your injuries until you can get treatment on shore.
Recovering Compensation After Surgery
When cruise ship negligence is the reason you suffered injuries, you may qualify to obtain damages for all associated losses. Costs of surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitative care would be included. Plus, the expenses related to emergency medical transportation can be astronomical. You can seek amounts for being airlifted. Plus, your compensation may include lost income, pain and suffering,
Trust a Miami Cruise Ship Accidents Lawyer for Legal Help
Cruise operators have a duty to keep passengers safe, so they can be liable whenever accidental injuries require surgery – onboard or on shore. For more information on your rights, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA, to speak to a member of our team. We can schedule a no-cost case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. After reviewing your situation, we will advise you on remedies.