COVID-19 UPDATE: Gerson & Schwartz firm operations continue uninterrupted. Click for More Information.

Articles Posted in Cruise Ship/ Maritime Law

As Florida and other US states go through various stages of reopening after the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, there are encouraging signs that the cruise industry will soon get back to operation. According to a May 13, 2020 article published by South Florida CBS News Channel 12, cruise lines are experiencing a 600% increase in bookings as compared to this time last year. The explosion in guest reservations occurred just after some cruise operators announced that they would be resuming trips starting in August 2020 from ports, including the Port of Miami. 

Of course, the resumption of vacations at sea means that the risk of cruise accidents and injuries will pick up, as well. If you were hurt, a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer can provide specific information on your legal options, but some answers to frequently asked questions may be useful.

What are My Legal Rights After a Cruise Injury? 

linval-ebanks-5829-unsplash-copy-300x169If you have ever been on a cruise or are currently planning one, you probably know that there is a wide array of shore excursions available at ports of call. From shopping and dining experiences to outdoor activities and extreme sports, there is generally an adventure that appeals to everyone. Onshore excursions are also a huge money-maker for the cruise industry. However, an article published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveals that the risk of accidents on these trips is high. On average, just over 31% of all injuries to passengers occur during shore excursions. 

Claims involving cruise injuries are very different from other types of personal injury accidents, so it is wise to trust a Miami cruise ship accidents lawyer who focuses on these cases. You might also find it useful to review some basic information.

Common Types of Shore Excursion Accidents

Travel, tourism, and destination online guide Oyster published an article on the 9 Worst Cruise Ship Disasters, which covers incidents from the RMS Titanic to the Costa Concordia in 2012. However, not all cruise ship accidents make headlines; in fact, many of these stories are brushed under the proverbial rug as cruise lines attempt to minimize incidents and avoid damaging their reputations. Still, accidents that cause injuries for passengers are common, ranging from a slip, trip, or fall, to shore excursion incidents, sexual assault, and other criminal acts. 

If you were hurt under such circumstances, you might be bewildered about what to do next. The top priority is seeking medical attention for your injuries, but you need to be cautious about your next steps. From the moment of the accident, cruise companies are already planning their defense so they will not have to pay your claim. As such, you should contact a Miami cruise ship accident attorney at the first possible opportunity. In the meantime, follow these steps to protect your interests.

  • Report the Accident: After you receive proper medical care, you should notify the appropriate crew members regarding the incident. This action preserves your right to file a claim for monetary damages under applicable international maritime laws. If you fail or delay in reporting the accident to officials, you may not qualify to recover compensation.

When you are planning a cruise from Miami, you want to make sure you have got planning down to the very last detail – from packing your essentials to scheduling activities and excursions. What you may not be able to predict or protect against is the potential for accidents on cruise ships. According to Cruisemapper.com, a website that tracks the safety records for various cruise lines, the risk is somewhat high. There are currently 490 ships with a negative safety rating, based upon 3,121 accidents that occurred at sea and on shore. 

An injury-causing incident may ruin your vacation, but there are implications that extend beyond your return to port. A Miami cruise ship accident lawyer can help with the legal complications and will fight to get the compensation you deserve for your losses. Meanwhile, you can protect yourself and your family by learning about the top five accidents that cause cruise ship injuries.

  1. Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents: Luggage in hallways, poor lighting, loose carpeting, and unsecure staircases are just a few of the reasons slip, trip, and fall incidents occur. If a cruise ship operator does not undertake necessary repairs, serious injuries are possible.

Cruise Ship Passengers Killed During Excursion

On May 13, 2019 two sightseeing planes carrying Princess Cruise passengers collided in midair in Alaska. The floatplanes were carrying passengers near Ketchikan, in southeast Alaska. According to Princess Cruises, one of the planes was carrying 10 guests for a shore excursion sold by the cruise line.The other plane was an independent flight tour and was carrying four people from the Royal Princess vessel as well.

The fact that the excursion was sold by Princess to cruise ship passengers in this case is an important legal detail. Princess may be held liable under various legal theories including joint venture, negligent selection or negligent retention of the excursion operator that selected the airplanes for the company being used to transport the passengers. Alternatively, Princess  may be vicariously liable if the plane was negligently maintained resulting in the crash.  The plane manufacturer, maintenance company will likely have legal liability for this case. However, given the catastrophic damages, all sources of legal and financial responsibility will need to be explored. This This is an egregious example of what can go wrong during cruise ship excursions. If you suffered injuries or a loved one passed away from a serious accident or injury resulting in a wrongful death  during a cruise ship activity or excursion, we recommend you call our cruise ship accident lawyers in Florida at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905. You also can reach out to us through our online form or email info@gslawusa.com to schedule your free consultation.

Two separate cruise ship collisions in February 2019 raise questions regarding passengers’ safety. First, a cruise ship collides with a port in San Juan, Puerto Rico and next, a cruise ship captain loses control and collides with another vessel at port. Both ships report that no passengers were injured. However, collisions between such large vessels have the potential to be devastating. If you are injured in a cruise ship collision with another vessel or object, do not hesitate to contact our Miami cruise ship accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. You can reach us through our online form or call (877) 475-2905 to schedule a free consultation.

Norwegian Epic Collides With San Juan Port

On February 9, the Norwegian Epic left Port Canaveral, Florida for the British Virgin Islands. The ship then allegedly lost power in one or two engines, which reduced the vessel’s speed. This required the ship to diver to San Juan, Puerto Rico. When it finally arrived in San Juan, the ship struck the pier, collapsing a portion of the dock. Thanks to social media, many were aware of the Epic’s power failure and collision right away. There are several videos of the vessel colliding with and collapsing the dock.

Cruise ships have the size and populations of smaller American towns and, at times, their problems such as accidents, medical emergencies and crime. Cruise ship accidents and crimes at sea have led to deaths and serious injuries while laws have not mandated adequate law enforcement, emergency services and remedies for passengers and their families.  Safety organizations such as the Internationale Cruise Victims and the Florida cruise ship attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz PA have been lobbying for tougher safety measures for the protection of cruise ship passengers.

Now, Congress is taking steps to address this problem and prevent further tragedies with introduction of the Cruise Passenger Protection Act. If passed, the bill would strengthen measures that were imposed in the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act by requiring improved and streamlined crime reporting and video surveillance on ships, mandating better medical standards and public reporting requirements and imposing responsibility on cruise line operators for deaths at sea.

Under the CPPA, families of victims could seek fair compensation following a fatality at sea. If enacted, cruise passengers would finally have the same rights afforded to airline passengers.The bill also addresses the problem of passengers falling overboard. It mandates technology that would capture images and detect a passenger falling overboard. Dealing with crime is an important component of the CPPA. The cruise vessel must notify the FBI of an alleged crime within four hours or before the ship goes out to sea for incidents occurring in port. Offenses involving a U.S. national would have to be reported to this country’s consulate located at the next port of call.

Cruise ships can offer an idyllic atmosphere and experience for passengers. However, poor shipboard safety and training may turn a dream vacation into the most unwanted nightmare for passengers and their families. The harm from these maritime accidents may be compounded by the antiquated laws that govern cruise ship accidents and fatalities.

An Alabama couple was killed in a cruise ship on the Amazon last April after a fire broke out in their cabin. The deaths may have been prevented if the ship was equipped with its advertised safety devices and the crew was properly trained, according to a Peruvian Navy report.

The fire was attributed to short-circuit in a power strip provided by the ship and connected to a CPAP machine used by the male victim. The flames were confined to their cabin. However, the poor construction and tragedy compounded the fire’s impacted.

Did You Fall on Your Cruise?

Imagine one minute you are enjoying a show on your relaxing cruise vacation. The next, you are exiting the theater and suddenly you are lying on the ground in serious pain. This is the experience of one Carnival Cruise passenger who slipped and fell on a wet tile floor just outside a carpeted theater on the ship. Like many cruise ship accidents, this happened when it was least expected.

Slip and falls can cause surprisingly serious injuries. In some cases, you may simply walk away with a bump or bruise. However, many slip and fall accidents can cause the following injuries, among others:

Once again, a tragic event has occurred in a cruise ship pool. This past Monday May 18, 2015  a ten year old girl drowned aboard the vessel Norweigian Gem. Our Florida cruise ship lawyers are monitoring the case closely. According to attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA, the cruise ship industry does not require lifeguards in their pools. It just does not fit in their business model, says Nicholas I. Gerson of Gerson & Schwartz, PA. This is alarming considering the number of children and pools on passenger vessels. Under federal maritime law, cruise ship operators only have a legal duty to provide reasonable care under the circumstances.

In the last several years, the cruise ship industry in general has been subject to scrutiny based on  lack of tougher laws and enforcement of its own rules and regulations. Numerous requests for stricter rules   and regulations make their vessels safe are needed for the public. Until recently, cruise ships were not even required to report violent crimes such as rape or sexual assault, nor were they required to cooperate with law enforcement. Accidents like drownings aboard ships are foreseeable and preventable. These ships should have trained lifeguards on duty whenever the pool is open. If the cruise line industry required it’s vessels operate recreational pools with an active life guard and increased safety measures like in you would find in a typical resort, would help make these floating cities safer for all. The cruise ship lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA represent passengers and crew members in all types of accidents. For more information on how we can help, visit www.injuryattorneyfla.com or call toll free at (877) 475-2905.

Contact Information