Boarding a cruise ship is an exciting experience. You finally get to relax and enjoy all the amenities and activities the ship offers. Fortunately, if you are injured while on the cruise, cruise ship accident attorneys are available to help you.

What do cruise ship accident lawyers do? For starters, they are trained in maritime law and can handle various cases. These include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Food poisoning
  • Injuries sustained in onboard activities or excursions
  • Sexual assault or harassment

How can such an attorney handle your case? What are the benefits of teaming up with them? Typically, an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer can do the following:

1.Gather Evidence

Getting injured on a cruise ship often means dealing with different parties, not to mention that you may be in a foreign country. Besides, the process of getting evidence and witnesses to support your claim can further complicate issues. A cruise ship attorney can help by:  

  • Contacting witnesses
  • Collecting evidence
  • Gathering medical records

With all the moving parts in play, it can be difficult for an injured person to focus on their case. Remember, it’s your responsibility to prove the cruise line was at fault for your injuries. An attorney takes care of this, allowing you to focus on healing. In doing so, they can build a strong case on your behalf.

2.Navigate the Confusing Legal Process

Many diverse laws apply to cruise ships. Mostly, these laws are complex and confusing. And therein lies a problem – some cruise ships easily skirt the law by claiming they’re exempt from specific regulations. Plus, foreign laws tend to be laxer compared to U.S regulations.

In fact, these regulations keep shifting, making it challenging to keep up. An experienced maritime attorney can help you navigate these murky waters. They can also deal with loopholes that the cruise line might try and exploit.

3.Investigate The Accident

The least a cruise line should do is give you a full refund and a free ride home. But unfortunately, most times, they don’t even do that. An accident lawyer will investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to see if the cruise line can be held liable. For example, aspects such as overcrowding or faulty safety equipment on the ship can work against a cruise line. 

That said, investigating an incident while a ship is still at sea can be challenging, even for the initiated. For starters, they need to coordinate with witnesses who are often difficult to get a hold of. And if the ship has left port, it can be even more complicated. But accident lawyers have the resources and experience to handle these investigations. Plus, they can involve expert witnesses to help build your case.

4.Negotiate with the Cruise Line

They also negotiate with the cruise line on your behalf. To prove negligence, you must show the cruise line failed to provide a safe environment. This can be challenging, but a lawyer will know how to navigate the process.

What’s more, cruise ships typically have their legal team. With a legal representative, you can level the playing field by having someone fight for your best interests.

If you’re considering filing a claim against a cruise ship, you must also bear in mind the paperwork you signed – agreeing to specific terms. The company’s terms or clauses may also complicate matters. For instance, the cruise ship company may dictate where you can file a claim. 

Or, the terms might offer a short timeframe in which you can file a lawsuit. In short, such clauses are meant to dissuade you from filing a claim or pursuing legal action. Fortunately, a maritime lawyer will be well-versed in these types of situations and can negotiate with the cruise ship for a favorable resolution.

5.Take Your Case to Court (if necessary)

Sometimes, going to trial might be the only way to resolve your case. That said, taking a cruise line to court can be complicated and expensive. A maritime lawyer can streamline the process by:

  • Handling the paperwork and legal procedures associated with your claim.
  • Filing the necessary motions.
  • Questioning or cross-examining witnesses.
  • Dealing with opposing counsel.
  • Advocating for you in court.

The ultimate goal of every personal injury case is to get a fair and just outcome for the victim. This may come in monetary damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages or financial losses, pain and suffering, and more.

A lawyer can demonstrate a cruise line’s failure to adhere to specific standards relating to fire safety, lifesaving equipment, vessel control, crew competence – the list goes on. That way, you can stand a better chance of winning the lawsuit.

Having a knowledgeable legal professional on your side can tip the scales in your favor. Besides, it helps to partner with someone who understands the complex legal process and regulations. And given the upsides of working with a cruise ship attorney, it would be in your best interest to seek legal counsel if you’re injured on a cruise.

By Manali