If you are injured aboard a cruise ship, you must take certain steps to protect your legal rights and your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries and losses. If you do not follow these procedures, your chance to get compensation for your injuries and losses may be jeopardized.
Unfortunately, the major goal of cruise lines is to protect themselves from legal liability. As such, the staff and crew members you interact with after being injured on a cruise ship may be equally concerned with protecting the cruise line from responsibility.
Seek Medical Help at the Ship’s Infirmary
Following an accident, your priority should always be your health. This may or may not surprise you, but the fact is that it is real. As a result, whether you believe you have incurred a major injury or are uncertain, the first thing you should do is seek first aid and medical attention as quickly as possible. In most circumstances, this includes going to the ship’s medical center and obtaining immediate medical attention from the ship’s medical professionals if an injured passenger or crew member is found while the ship is still in navigable waters.
Report the Accident
As mentioned, you must seek medical attention first, but you must also report the accident as quickly as possible. The filing of a report creates a record of the time and date of the accident. Thus, it is fair to expect the cruise line to initiate an internal investigation.
According to ilawyerup.com, “The United States Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) requires any cruise line that enters US ports to report any criminal activity to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. By reporting the accident, any illegal behavior that occurred may be documented with the assistance of a qualified cruise ship injury lawyer.”
Take Photos and Videos
You must be aware that the great majority of cruise lines have extensive video monitoring in all public areas of the cruise ship. However, it is a common policy for cruise lines of all types to keep any video surveillance proof of accidents hidden until the plaintiff has been deposed in the lawsuit. Close-up photographs and videos of the site where a fall or other accident occurred captured by the plaintiff are significantly more powerful in creating a case for a plaintiff than cruise ship footage, which is often filmed from a distance and at an angle. This makes cruise ship footage less effective in proving a plaintiff’s case.
Take Care of What You Say
Keep an eye out for those whose names appear on accident reports. However, the cruise line is not the only organization being investigated in connection with the tragedy. The crew members on board will investigate the event, beginning with interviews with medical staff.
It is a serious faux pas to claim that it was your fault or that the damage is minimal. Even though your injury does not seem to be serious right now, there is no assurance that it will not worsen in the future. When you are unsure of how you will heal, it is important to be honest about your grief and watch what you say.
Because of the treatment you received on board, you should feel as good as new when you exit a cruise ship. You now have a complete account of what happened, which will be useful if you decide to file a claim in the future.
Understand What You Have Signed
When you get a moment of clarity, you should take some time to analyze the liability releases you signed. To engage in some activities that require taking risks, you may be asked to sign a liability release. To clarify, a responsibility waiver is not always a viable defense against a bodily damage claim. Even though you signed a waiver, there is still a chance you are qualified for compensation.
Gather Eyewitness Contact Information
You must get the contact information of any possible witnesses to the accident that occurred on your cruise ship. Names, phone numbers, and addresses should all be included in the information provided for contact.
The testimony of eyewitnesses, which can be in writing or oral form, may help to explain the events that occurred before, during, and after your accident. Therefore, the testimony of witnesses may be extremely helpful to our cruise accident attorneys in showing that the cruise line was responsible for our client’s injuries.
Contact a Maritime Injury Attorney
You must contact a maritime injury attorney as quickly as possible after an accident or injury onboard a cruise ship. If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You may need the counsel of a maritime injury attorney to determine which course of action is best for your situation.