Suffering an injury is never fun, let alone while you’re on vacation. Not only can an injury throw a wrench into many of your plans, but you are also away from home—sometimes even in another country—away from doctors you know and trust, and often without loved ones and others who can care for you. If you’re on a cruise, an injury can be all the more unsettling, particularly if the accident occurred as a result of unsafe conditions on the ship.
After being hurt in a cruise ship accident, you may feel like you don’t know what to do or whom to turn to for support. Regardless of the circumstances of your cruise ship injury, it’s important to take the following steps:
- Obtain medical care – Of course, all cruises have trained medical staff and an infirmary. Your health and wellbeing are most important after an accident, especially if your injury is significant. Do not worry about fees the cruise line tries to charge you for medical services related to an injury; in the event of negligence, these costs will eventually be reimbursed through your injury claim.
- Report the injury – As soon as possible after receiving medical attention, report your injury and accident to a safety or security officer on the ship, or to another similar authority. You’ll likely be asked to fill out an accident or incident report detailing how your injury occurred and the circumstances surrounding it. In your report, be as clear, honest, and detailed in reporting the facts as possible, but avoid speculating about fault. Often, reporting an injury will initiate a further investigation into the accident or conditions that caused it. Make sure you request a copy of your initial report and of any findings resulting from the investigation. Follow up on the investigation’s status before you debark.
- Document everything – Along with your personal account of the accident and the report you file, it’s important to collect photos, video footage, and any other evidence of how your injury occurred. If there were unsafe conditions, take pictures. Ship management may try to remedy the hazards before photographing the conditions, so be sure to rely on your own documentation. Interview any witnesses and request their contact information for future support of your claim. In addition, keep all records of medical treatment you receive and require as a result of your injury.
- Read and retain your ticket – Your cruise ship ticket is a contract. That means that the cruise company may try to impose its own limits on accident reporting or free itself from certain liability, and you agree to those terms by purchasing the ticket and boarding the ship. These tricks are common, but do not prevent you from collecting rightful compensation when you suffer an injury due to negligence. Obtain the full terms of your ticket (either in print or online) and do your best to understand them. Follow parameters where you can (such as by reporting your accident within the time limits established) and consult a professional when you have questions.
- Talk to a lawyer – An experienced maritime attorney can guide you through taking legal action to obtain proper compensation for undue injury.
Consult a trustworthy and qualified injury attorney with ample experience in maritime law
If you were injured on a cruise ship, you can rely on Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers to guide you through the legal process and help you file a successful claim. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a consultation today, call (281) 645-5000 or contact us online.