You are on a cruise holiday with your family enjoying the sea breeze, sunny and yet cold weather. While the last thing you would want is all this being disturbed with an accident or any mishap like sexual assault, manhandling, rape or theft, suffering such incident is not very uncommon on cruise ships.
If you or a loved one gets into any such cruise ship accident, here are a few things you can do from your end:
In case of any incident while you’re on board a cruise ship, report it to a staff member as soon as possible. Once you report the incident, make sure you get a copy of your report since this will be work as the basis of any claims in future. Moreover, it is important that the standard procedure in accordance with the ship management policy. Insist on following the due procedure. If you have suffered a considerable loss or injury, make sure you contact US authorities from your end along with the ship management and document each of your reporting.
While the formal investigation is run by authorities and the ship management, you should collect your own evidence like the names and designation of the staff members you reported to, or the staff that points out any problems within the cruise or the management, the fellow passengers who either witnessed the incident or any portion of it. If possible, take pictures of the accident spot and the surrounding area. Keep in mind that the ship crew’s investigation may not be completely unbiased and thus may not help show your side of the case in a true light. An investigation on a personal end can help prove your stand in case of a court trial.
Read Assumption Of Risk Forms Carefully
Cruise ships have their own set of activities to entertain the onboard passengers. But before each of these activities, the crew gets each passenger to sign a form of assumption of risk. Make sure you read all the points carefully and sign only after understanding them. According to the Maritime law, ship crew’s negligence cannot be shed off with an assumption of risk form. If the form has any such statement that indicates the crew is trying to do so, clear your doubts with the crew and document the name and post of the staff who explains it to you.
Don’t Make Careless Statements
When you get into an accident and the cruise management starts its investigation, medical and otherwise, everything you say to the crew and medical staff will be reported as a statement. These statements can be used against you in the court of law. Even if you are not in the condition to make detailed statements, the management will ask you questions and get statements orally as well as in written from you to complete its investigation. It’s important to remember that they will be conducting their investigation in order to save themselves from any kind of claims rather than to help you. Thus it is important to not say or write anything under pressure. If you’re not feeling well enough to make a well-thought statement, make sure you mention it in your statement and give a vague statement instead.
Contact An Attorney BeFore the Deadline
After you get into an accident on a ship, you have a legal time window of 6 months to serve the cruise with a notice that you’re filing for a claim. You can only file a lawsuit within 1 year of the incident. Thus it is important you get legal advice within this time limit and take further action. Cruise ship cases are usually filed in the Federal court located in Miami. It is thus a good idea to hire a cruise ship accident attorney in Miami.
It is important that you stay aware and vigilant on your end in order to avoid any injury or loss due to your own fault. Make sure you follow the instructions you are provided. Attend the drill that each ship conducts to make the passengers familiar with what they should do in case of an emergency. But if you have been following guidelines and yet met an accident while onboard, contact an experienced cruise ship attorney to get the compensations and benefits you are entitled to.