When you think of taking a cruise on the high seas, you may think of adventures in exotic places, breathing in the salty sea air, and having a shipboard romance or two. However, people sometimes get injured on cruise ships just like they do everywhere else.
If you are injured on a cruise ship, it is important to follow certain steps right after you are injured. Not only do you want to get better as soon as possible, but you also want to make sure that you document everything properly. You will need strong evidence if you need to sue a cruise line for negligence.
Normally a person would have two years to sue for an injury. However, you want to read your ticket agreement carefully; it is basically a contract. If may contain a provision that limits how long you have to sue to a much shorter period. Here are the steps you should take after an accident.
1. Report the Accident
Depending on the severity of the accident, you may be taken to the ship’s doctor and in other cases, might be taken ashore. In some cases, you may be able to get up and walk away. Even if you think you feel okay, you should still report the accident to a member of the crew. They will be able to assist you in filling out an accident report.
2. Get the Names of Any Witnesses
Be sure to get the name and phone number of anyone who might have seen the accident. The cruise ship should have cameras everywhere, but just in case they don’t, you may want to snap a photo or two of whatever it was that caused you to fall.
3. Do not be Pressured into Saying Anything or Signing Anything
Cruise ship employees can be unethical and cruise lines are staffed with teams of lawyers whose job it is to keep the companies money in-house. They may try to get you to say something about the accident that is not true. Don’t ever say that you remember anything that you do not. Do not ever let the person you report the incident to lead you into your answers.
Sometimes a cruise ship may get you to sign an assumption of risk form if you participate in activities such as zip lines and water slides. If you did sign such an agreement, be sure to save a copy of it to show it to your attorney.
4. Do not Talk About Your Injury Publicly
If you are thinking of suing someone for any reason, it is never a good idea to post about it on social media. You may end up saying something that will hurt your case or that might be considered slanderous.
5. Find a Good Attorney
The attorney you select should be well versed in both personal injury law and in maritime law. They should have a stellar reputation with the state bar and they should be located in the city and state from which the cruise ship operates Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkelman, PA can help you get compensation for your personal injuries. Their team of legal professionals will work hard to get you the money you deserve.