What are Cruise Ship Accident Claims?
If you have suffered an injury on a cruise ship in an accident for which you were not to blame, you may be eligible to make a cruise ship accident claim for compensation. A compensation claim for a cruise ship accident is a legal civil action which can be made when the cruise company with which you were sailing has a responsibility for your health and safety and has failed in its “duty of care” to prevent an avoidable accident which has resulted in an injury.
The situation regarding cruise ship accident claims is complicated as, depending on how you booked your cruise, claims for accidents on a cruise ship can be made against the cruise company under the Athens Convention or – if the cruise was booked through a USA-registered tour operator – against the tour operator under the Package Travel Regulations 1992. A lawyer will advise you the most appropriate method of making a cruise ship accident claim for compensation.
What is meant by a Cruise Company´s “Duty of Care”?
In order to successfully claim compensation for an accident on a cruise ship via the Package Travel Regulations 1992, it has to be proven that the cruise company was negligent by failing to identify a risk of injury and remove, replace or repair the hazard in order to prevent an accident from occurring – and that the cruise company´s negligence in failing to make the vessel safe resulted in you sustaining an injury. This breach in their duty of care makes the cruise company liable for your injury and gives you the right to claim compensation for a cruise ship accident.
It is not necessary to prove negligence when you claim compensation for a cruise ship accident under the Athens Convention as cruise companies accept liability for any injuries sustained on board as a condition of carriage. However, how much compensation for a cruise ship accident you are likely to receive will be less if the cruise company is registered outside of the USA. For this reason, it is always in your best interests to discuss the accident and injuries you sustained on the cruise ship with a lawyer to establish that you are qualified to make a claim for an accident on a cruise ship.
Your Health Comes before a Claim for a Cruise Ship Accident
When making a claim for a cruise ship accident, in addition to establishing that the cruise company was in breach of its duty of care, it is also important to prove that the accident resulted in a quantifiable injury. Consequently it is vital that, when sustaining an injury on a cruise ship accident, you received professional medical attention as soon as possible. By immediately attending the cruise ship´s doctor, the injuries you sustained in the cruise ship accident will be officially recorded and can be added to your medical notes along with any ongoing treatment or long term consequences to your health on your return home.
If you waited until you returned home to seek professional medical attention, or relied on first aid you received on the cruise ship, it could be claimed by the cruise company or USA-registered tour operator that your injury was not significant enough to warrant hospital attention at the time, or that you contributed to the severity of your injury by delaying a professional examination. You may still be entitled to claim compensation for an accident on a cruise ship, but how much compensation you receive may be reduced to reflect your own lack of care.
Making Compensation Claims for Accidents on a Cruise Ship
Once it can be determined that you have suffered an injury due to a cruise company´s breach in its duty of care, you can make compensation claims for accidents on a cruise ship accident against the cruise company or USA-registered tour operator. Your lawyer will write to the negligent party, advising it that you are making a claim for an accident on a cruise ship and the cruise company or tour operator – or more frequently, their public liability insurers – then has 90 days to conduct its own investigation into your claim for a cruise ship accident and advise your lawyer whether they will accept liability for your injuries.
If liability for your injuries is accepted by the negligent cruise company or tour operator, your lawyer will liaise with their public liability insurance company to obtain the maximum possible settlement of compensation for a cruise ship accident. Should liability for your injuries be contested, your lawyer will issue court proceedings – an action which often prompts an offer of settlement from the negligent party´s public liability insurers, who may be reluctant to take a chance on the outcome of your cruise ship accident claim for compensation and keen to save money on potential court costs.
As offers of settlement for cruise ship accident claims may be made to you directly by the insurance company, it is advisable to be aware of how much compensation for a cruise ship accident you may be entitled to, in order that you do not inadvertently accept an inappropriate offer and are undercompensated. Should you accept an offer of compensation for an accident on a cruise ship accident which is inadequate for your needs, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more!
How Much Can I Claim for a Cruise Ship accident?
How much compensation for a cruise ship accident you will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injury in relation to your age and your general state of health prior to your cruise holiday. The way in which the injury affects your quality of life will also be taken into account if the symptoms of the injury remain after you return home, and it is advisable that you maintain a diary in order to record the occasions when you are unable to perform day-to-day tasks or participate in social and leisure pursuits as a consequence of the injuries you sustained in the cruise ship accident.
Any expenses you have incurred for medical treatment can be recovered in a claim for an accident on a cruise ship, along with any sundry costs and any loss of earnings you may have experienced if your injuries prevent you from working. Consequently, no two cruise ship accident claims are the same – even when the nature of the injury is identical – and this is a good reason why you should always seek professional legal advice when claiming compensation for a cruise ship accident.
“Contingency Fee” Cruise Ship Accident Claims
Most lawyers will offer a free initial assessment of your cruise ship accident and injury, and advise you whether you have a claim for an accident on a cruise ship which is worth your while to pursue. Should you have a cruise ship accident claim which has a strong probability of success, you will be offered legal representation on a “Contingency Fee” basis.
“Contingency Fee” cruise ship accident claims enable you to pursue compensation for your injuries without having to worry about lawyer´s fees if your claim for an accident on a cruise ship is unsuccessful. However, as you may be liable for the cruise company´s or tour operator´s legal fees if your case is lost, lawyers offering “Contingency Fee” cruise ship accident claims will want to know of any legal fees insurance you may have attached to a household contents or car insurance policy and will recommend that you to take out additional protection if necessary.
Free Legal Advice about Cruise Ship Accident Claims
If you, or somebody close to you, have sustained an injury in a cruise ship accident for which you were not to blame, you are invited to call our freephone service and discuss the circumstances of your accident and injury directly with an experienced public liability lawyer. Our lawyer will provide you with practical and helpful advice which is relative to your personal circumstances and answer any questions you may have about claiming compensation for an accident on a cruise ship.
There is no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for a cruise ship accident once you have spoken with us and all conversations between yourself and our lawyers are completely confidential. We would advise that you speak with us as soon as practical after you have received professional medical attention for your cruise ship injury to maximise the likelihood of a successful compensation claim for an accident on a cruise ship.
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