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Cruises are not inexpensive and often provide a once in a lifetime vacation experience.  While cruises offer convenience and a variety of activities, these activities, facilities on the ship, and organized shore excursions in ports of call can result in cruise ship accidents like debilitating injuries, illnesses, and wrongful death.  Cruise lines rely on a wide range of strategies to avoid liability for harm to passengers caused by negligent and/or intentional acts or omissions of employees of the cruise line.

The tactics utilized by cruise lines to avoid paying injury claims begin before passengers even board the cruise ship.  The ticket contract purchased by passengers is filled with language and provisions that are designed to limit a passenger’s rights and remedies in the event of an accident or malicious act that causes ticket purchasers to suffer injury.  Although few people take the time to read the fine print on the back of their ticket before boarding the ship, this is a prudent course of action that can assist you in making better decisions if you are the victim of a cruise ship accident.

Cruise Line Ticket Contact Provisions Used to Stack the Deck against Passengers

While there are many ways that the passenger ticket contract might be written to limit your rights and remedies if you are injured during your cruise, some common examples include:

  • Most cruise tickets significantly shorten the permissible period of time that you have to file a lawsuit against the cruise line for injuries on the cruise or a shore excursion. The time limit indicated might be as short as one year though you would have significantly longer under federal law or the laws of any U.S. state.  The time limit for a slip and fall, for example, would be four years under Florida law.
  • Almost all cruise ticket fine print specifies the location and court with jurisdiction to hear a personal injury claim, referred to as a “forum selection clause.” In many cases, the city/court designated to hear the case will not be a location that the passenger visited during the cruise.  Frequently, these cases must be tried in federal court in Miami where there is no right to a jury.  Because maritime law, admiralty law and the law of other countries might control your case based on the fine print on the ticket, it is important to talk to an experienced Florida Cruise Injury Attorney.
  • Cruise ticket contracts generally impose a mandatory notice requirement of 120 to 180 days on passengers before they can pursue a legal claim against the cruise company.
  • When you are injured by any worker on cruise ships under most ticket contracts, including physicians, nurses, entertainers, spa workers and other personnel, they are designated as independent contractors who work directly for you rather than the cruise line. In other words, the ship’s doctor is your service provider, rather than a service provider furnished by the cruise ship.  This provision is intended to insulate the cruise company from liability for negligence of people working on the cruise line.

Our Miami Cruise Injury Lawyers understand the strategies that can be used to navigate past these potential traps, which include limited exceptions to these rules.  Our lawyers have experience dealing with the limitations buried in passenger cruise tickets and successfully litigating these provisions when representing injured passengers.

Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

 If you are the victim of negligence or sexual assault during a cruise, our Miami Cruise Ship Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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Many people are injured every year because of the careless or malicious acts of others, but the injury victims decline to pursue compensation for their injuries.  While no injury victim should be forced to cover the cost of their own medical bills and lost wages when someone else is to blame for their injuries, a significant number of people never seek to hold the at-fault party responsible.  The most common reason that injury victims abandon their legal right to a monetary recovery involves concerns about the complexity of the process and a belief that the likelihood of success is low.  However, people who suffer physical injuries because of the negligent acts or omissions of others put the odds in their favor when they are represented by an experienced Miami cruise ship injury lawyer.

Complex Challenges Facing Cruise Injury Victims

When a person suffers an injury on the high seas or a foreign port while on a cruise, the overwhelming feeling of dealing with complicated legal, procedural, and insurance issues can seem even more daunting.  Passengers on a cruise ship typically are limited in their ability to obtain medical services and/or to report the incident.  Sometimes cruise ship personnel are directly or indirectly responsible for such injuries or exacerbate such injuries by failing to provide prompt medical attention.  Our Miami Cruise Injury Attorneys recognize the challenges associated with suffering an injury at sea and the sophisticated nuances of the applicable law.

When you suffer an injury caused by negligent maintenance, such as a slip and fall caused by a foreign substance on the floor that is not cleaned up, or a violent assault, your legal claim for monetary recovery generally must be filed in Federal Court in Miami, Florida under the terms of your passenger ticket contract.  Injured cruise victims should seek legal advice from attorneys who understand the defenses and legal strategies that cruise lines use to avoid paying injury victims the full recovery they are entitled to under law.  Cruise line often try to limit the venues available to injured passengers for resolving legal claim by imposing stipulations restricting their rights or imposing deadlines in the ticket contract.  Our Miami cruise injury lawyers are well versed in applicable maritime and admiralty law, so we can protect passenger rights and pursue the fullest monetary recovery.

Investigating Options for Medical Care Prior to Departure

If you are injured on a cruise, the ship infirmary will be less equipped to deal with your injuries than a hospital.  Prudent travels should investigate their options for medical treatment before ever booking a cruise.  The travel agent should be asked whether the ship’s doctor is licensed in the United States and whether he or she speaks English.  In the event you are the victim of a physical attack, rape, or sexual assault, you should also ask your travel agent whether the cruise ship has the capacity to conduct forensic medical examinations.

Preserving a Cruise Ship Personal Injury Claim

 Admittedly, the task of gathering and preserving evidence supporting a personal injury claim is more difficult if you are injured onboard a cruise ship.  However, there are certain steps that you can take that will help to preserve your legal right to compensation:

  • Immediately report the incident in writing
  • Keep a record that indicates when the report was made, the person to whom the report was made, and anyone that accompanied you when making the report
  • Obtain a copy of the report
  • Gather the names and contact information for anyone who saw the incident
  • Promptly seek medical attention from the ship’s physician
  • See a doctor at the next port of call
  • Take photos of the scene where the accident occurred, the surrounding area, and your injuries
  • Speak to an experienced Miami Cruise Accident Lawyer as soon as practical about preserving your rights and pursuing a legal claim

Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

If you or a family member has been injured in an accident or criminal attack on a cruise ship, our Florida Cruise Injury Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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When people spend time planning a cruise and saving money to enjoy their excursion, passengers have many expectations.  These expectations almost certainly do not include becoming a victim of sexual assault.  Sadly, sexual assaults are more common on cruises than most travelers would care to imagine.  According to the FBI, sexual assaults are the dominant threat to women and minors on the high seas with the vast majority of the crimes occurring on cruise ships.  Approximately, 55 percent of crimes that the FBI investigate on the high seas are sexual assaults.  During one six month period, the federal law enforcement agency received reports of 41 sexual assaults with almost half involving activity typically characterized as rape.

Lack of Trained Law Enforcement Personnel Can Mean the Loss of Evidence

When you are the victim of a crime like sexual assault or rape on a cruise ship, you might have a legal claim for financial compensation from the cruise line.  When cruise passengers leave U.S. waters, they leave behind certain protections provided by U.S. law.  When you are the victim of a rape or other crime on a cruise ship, there are no police available to immediately secure the scene, obtain witness statements, and ensure that critical evidence is not destroyed.  While the cruise might have security employees, these individuals might lack law enforcement experience and forensic training.

The risk of evidence being compromised or contaminated is increased by jurisdictional complications.  While the FBI is involved in investigations of criminal offenses committed against U.S. citizens, another country also might have jurisdiction.  These jurisdiction issues might mean that the FBI does not board the ship until it docks or travels close to a port.  These delays increase the likelihood that evidence will be disturbed or destroyed because ship personnel typically will lack expertise in preserving forensic evidence.

Taking Steps to Protect Evidence in Criminal and Civil Sexual Assault Cases

If you are the victim of a sex crime on a cruise, you do not want your rights to justice and financial compensation to be compromised because of delays in gathering evidence.  While the FBI is charged with investigating the criminal case, the cruise company might be liable for the sexual assault if it is the result of improper security.  The cruise line’s alcohol policies or lack of security measures might mean that cruise line negligence contributed to the sexual assault.  Because of issues related to the preservation of evidence, applicable law, and jurisdictional disputes, sexual assault victims should seek prompt legal advice from a Miami Cruise Injury Attorney regarding their right to recovery.

If you are the victim of a sexual assault while on a cruise you should take the following steps (please note that this list is not exhaustive):

  • Avoid taking a shower or washing your clothes until a forensic examination can be performed by an experienced medical professional;
  • Immediately contact the U.S. Coast Guard and the FBI if the assault occurred on the ship;
  • Seek immediate medical attention, including a forensic examination;
  • Obtain contract information for any witnesses;
  • Report the sexual assault to the ship security officer and request the crime scene be secured for law enforcement authorities; and
  • Advise your nearest embassy or consulate if the crime occurs on foreign soil.

 Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

 If you are the victim of sexual assault on a cruise ship, our Miami Cruise Injury Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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If cruising is your travel option of choice, you know that you will see lots of kids swimming and enjoying water slides on any cruise.  Despite the vast range in ages and number of children that can be found in the pool on a cruise line at any point in time, the cruise industry generally has declined to adopt the commonsense safety practice of staffing the pool area with lifeguards.  Approximately 1.5 million kids spend time on cruise ships each year, but most of the major cruise companies do not employ a single lifeguard.  While the risk of child drowning incidents on cruise ships would seem to make this basic safety precaution a “no-brainer,” major cruise lines continue to disregard the danger of traumatic brain injuries from near drowning and drowning fatalities.

Pattern of Drowning Incidents on Major Cruise Ships

The failure of the cruise industry to acknowledge this risk has had tragic consequence as of late.  Media reports indicate that a 10-year-old girl recently drowned aboard a Norwegian ship while the vessel was traveling off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  A spokesperson for the cruise line reportedly told media sources that the ship’s medical personnel administered CPR and other lifesaving procedures, but they were unsuccessful in reviving the young girl.  This recent incident is especially troubling because the cruise company apparently elected not to hire lifeguards after another fatal drowning on the Norwegian Breakaway ship just last year.

While these stories might make it appear that the lack of basic pool safety is a problem limited to a single cruise line, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International all depart for their destinations without a lifeguard on board.  These incidents have been reported over the years on many of the leading cruise lines.  Several months ago, a 4-year-old boy was involved in a near drowning incident while traveling on Roya Caribbean’s Oasis of the Sea.  Fortunately, there were passengers with CPR training nearby who intervened and were able to successfully administer this life saving technique.

A similar incident aboard Disney’s Fantasy also resulted in disaster being narrowly averted because passengers came to a young boy’s aid when there were no lifeguards to rescue him and administer CPR.  Tragically, the rescue was not in time to prevent the boy from suffering severe brain damage.  Approximately six children have drowned on cruise ships during the last two years, according to a Today Show report.

Tragic Deaths and Catastrophic Injuries Have Not Led to Changes

These tragic stories are appalling given that cruise ships often are staffed with over a thousand people who prepare food, serve drinks, organize social activities and perform other functions unrelated to passenger safety.  Nonetheless, most cruise lines continue to rely on nothing more than posting a “No Lifeguard on Duty” sign to mitigate this danger.  Unfortunately, the economics of cruises make it more profitable to fill a space on a ship with another guest rather than a lifeguard who is trained to recognize a swimmer in distress and to administer necessary emergency assistance.

 Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

 If your child is injured or you have lost a loved one in a swimming pool accident on a cruise ship, our Miami Cruise Injury Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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At our Miami Cruise Ship Injury Law Firm, individuals who have been injured while vacationing on a cruise often contact us about their rights in bringing a legal claim for compensation.  Accidents and criminal attacks that befall passengers on a cruise raise complicated issues in terms of jurisdiction and choice of law.  These questions must be analyzed to accurately predict the outcome of legal issues regarding the substantive facts of the incident that resulted in injury.  This blog post provides answers to three preliminary questions we often receive from people injured on cruises.

 What are the types of cruise ship accidents that can serve as a basis for seeking financial compensation?

While there are a wide range of incidents that can merit financial recovery for injuries incurred on a cruise, common examples of such injuries include:

  • Food poisoning or related gastrointestinal disorders caused by contaminated or spoiled food
  • Swimming pool drownings, near drownings and accidents
  • Slip and fall injuries triggered by cluttered walkways or floors that are covered in slick, slippery or sticky substances and/or debris
  • Medical malpractice by doctors and other medical personnel on the ship
  • Physical assault and battery, sexual assault, or rape by a cruise line employee or another passenger
  • Injuries and loss incurred because of a collision with the dock, another vessel, or natural hazards
  • Smoke inhalation and/or burn injuries from a fire on the ship
  • Injuries that occur on excursions, such as falls, attacks, and other incidents

 What law will be applicable if I bring a claim for harm suffered on a cruise?

The question of which law governs a personal injury claim when you are injured on a cruise is one of the most important and complex issues involving claims arising out of incidents during cruises.  When you purchase your ticket before departing on the cruise, the ticket will generally have a provision on the back that is labeled “Choice of Law” or something similar.  This provision will indicate the state law that the cruise line wants to define company responsibilities and passenger rights when a traveler is injured during a cruise.

However, the judge might reject the cruise line’s choice of applicable state law and apply federal maritime or admiralty law, or the state law of another jurisdiction.  Because our personal injury attorneys often handle cruise accident injuries, we have experience selecting the relevant arguments to persuade the judge to enforce the laws that are most favorable for our clients.

In the event your injury occurs during a shore excursion or tour, the law of the state or country where your injury occurred might control your right to financial compensation.  If you have been injured on a cruise, you should speak to an experienced cruise injury lawyer about the jurisdiction in which your legal claim should be pursued and the law that will govern your lawsuit.

Can the cruise company be liable for injuries that occur while I am departing on a shore excursion?

A passenger may need to sue the company that operates the land-based business if the individual suffers head trauma from merchandise that falls from a shelf or a broken hip during a trip and fall in a restaurant.  However, there are accidents that occur while passengers are departing the ship or on an excursion for which the cruise company might share legal responsibility.  Examples of these types of accidents include:

  • Injuries caused by defective walkways and other hazards on the pier adjacent to the ship or on the gangway
  • Accidents or malicious attacks that occur during an excursion coordinated by the cruise company
  • Harm suffered by patrons while being transported from the ship to the shore
  • Mishaps or criminal attacks that occur on sites, islands, hotels, restaurants, and other destinations owned by the cruise line

 Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

 If your cruise vacation has been disrupted by a serious injury incurred in an accident or intentional act of violence, the Miami Cruise Ship Injury Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation

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With summer upon us, families have begun making vacation plans and arrangements.  Although the range of alternative activities and destinations for families during the kids’ summer break is virtually endless, cruises offer one of the most diverse, convenient, and enjoyable ways for families to enjoy the warm summer months.  Although cruises offer many benefits, they can also pose significant dangers to passengers when appropriate steps are not taken to prevent accidents or to provide adequate security geared towards safeguarding the safety of patrons.

If you or a family member is injured on a cruise, you should seek immediate legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer at a Miami cruise injury law firm.  When accidents or malicious attacks occur at sea, documenting the incident can sometimes be difficult.  However, a cruise injury lawyer can help you investigate relevant facts, obtain witness statements, secure documents including maintenance records and/or training materials, and comply with applicable laws and/or procedures to recover the full measure of compensation that you are entitled to receive.

Many cruise ship related incidents that result in serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, loss of limbs, severe burns and other debilitating injuries, are the result of negligent conduct or malicious intent.  The cruise company’s hiring and training procedures, safety policies and protocol, and maintenance of equipment often make these mishaps foreseeable.  However, companies that operate cruise lines might not be candid or forthright about mistakes or deficiencies that cause patrons to experience a serious injury or illness.

Cruise lines are required to follow specific protocols and procedures when someone is injured while a vessel is at sea.  The cruise company is required to ensure that sick or injured passengers receive proper medical attention.  Whether an injury victim is a vacationing passenger or a member of the crew, the cruise company has a legal duty to facilitate medical attention within a reasonable period of time.  When cruise ship personnel fail to provide timely medical attention, the cruise company can be entirely responsible for any subsequent complications that result from an unreasonable delay in delivering appropriate medical care.

Cruise companies take elaborate measures to mitigate their liability in the event of mishaps that cause serious injuries and illnesses to patrons.  A lawyer experienced in cruise ship injury litigation provides a valuable resource because companies that operate cruise lines anticipate the possibility of lawsuits and take steps to preempt judgments and settlements.  Tickets often include extensive waivers of liability, deadlines for bringing a legal claim, and limits on the cruise company’s exposure to financial liability to passengers and employees for debilitating injuries and fatalities.

 Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

If you have suffered serious injury or you have lost someone you love in a cruise ship accident, our Miami Personal Injury Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

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There are several major companies that offer insurance for your cruise vacation.  Cruise line insurance is something that all travelers should at least explore and understand before making the decision to purchase or forego.  It is important to note that many homeowner’s or renter’s insurance plans will cover losses associated with traveling.  However, it is often not wise to go through these sources as it may raise your premium well above the expense of travelers insurance and will only cover the costs of lost items, not anything dealing with medical issues or cancellations.

Our Miami cruise ship injury lawyers note that there are two basic types of travelers insurance: primary and secondary.  Primary insurance will cover you from the first penny put forth, while secondary insurance kicks in only after your private insurance has run out.  Primary policies are far more helpful, as you will not be stuck waiting months to see what your medical and homeowner’s insurance pick up.

Travel insurance is generally quite reasonable, at about five to nine percent the cost of the cruise.  As such, it can be well worth it to obtain this additional coverage.  You must be aware though of the limitations involved.

What Travel Insurance Does Not Cover

  • Bad weather: You cannot get reimbursed if it rained your entire trip.  However, if weather cancels or delays the trip, you may have the right to reimbursement.
  • Change of mind: You can’t simply cancel due to a change of mind and be covered, as cancelling a trip under these circumstances is at your own risk.
  • Pregnancy or childbirth: If it is a normal pregnancy and not a medical emergency, you will not be covered.
  • Change in itinerary: Even if the cruise changes courses somewhat, you cannot be reimbursed.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: In certain circumstances, this exclusion can be waived.

What Travel Insurance Does Cover

            For some travelers, travel insurance can be a life saver.  Answer the following questions to assess whether this insurance may help you:

  • Do you have a pre-existing condition that could cause your trip to become canceled or interrupted?
  • Are you worried about the health of a loved one that might worsen before your trip date?
  • Are you going on land as well as on the cruise?
  • Will you have a rental car?
  • Are you traveling during a period when weather conditions might delay or cancel flights, including winter weather or hurricanes?
  • Are you planning to engage in excursions, such as zip lining, helicopter tours, scuba, or the like?
  • Will your flight have layovers?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, travel insurance may be a good idea, as it will ensure you are not left with the heartache of losing your cruise ship fees or being strapped with medical expenses relating to a cruise ship accident.  Shop around and determine the best insurance coverage for you before booking your trip.

Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys of Excellence  

            Cruises should be a time of fun and relaxation.  Sadly, for some travelers, cruises can go majorly wrong and injuries or illness may occur.  If you have been injured or taken ill on a cruise ship, the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. are here to help.  Our attorneys will aggressively fight to see that you obtain the compensation you deserve due to the cruise line’s negligent conduct, which can include coverage for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our exceptional results have earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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Recently, a Virginia man traveling on a Carnival cruise perished in a Jet Ski accident.  The 31 year old passenger was traveling on the Carnival Conquest cruise ship.  He and his female companion decided to take a Jet Ski ride while at the port of call in Grand Cayman.  At about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, a 15 year old boy from New York similarly elected to rent a jet ski when his ship, the Carnival Paradise, landed in Grand Cayman.

Authorities are reporting that the 15 year old’s Jet Ski collided with the 31 year old victim.  It is not yet clear how the accident occurred or who was at fault.  The boy received a minor injury to the nose and the female passenger was similarly unhurt.  The 31 year old male, however, was in critical condition.  Despite being transported to a local hospital, he died from his injuries.

An investigation has been launched by local authorities.  Local news sites state that the boy rammed the Jet Ski driven by the deceased.  It is not yet clear who offered the Jet Skis for rent and whether the cruise line directly offered the activity.

The Dangers of Cruise Line Excursions

            Cruises can be a great way to get away and relax.  Cruise ship excursions are often utilized to allow passengers to see different parts of the world while cruising.  The cruise line offers these excursions so that passengers can experience adventure and fun.  Passengers are often offered the opportunity to engage in activities such as parasailing, jet skis, scooters, or sightseeing tours.  The cruise line offers these excursions through third party vendors and will receive a percentage of the fee charged.  For instance, if the cruise line contracts with a parasailing company, about 60 percent of the fee will go to the vendor and 40 percent to the cruise line.  While these on-shore excursions can be exciting and fun, they can also go horribly wrong and result in injury or death.

Liability for Cruise Ship Excursion Accidents

            A cruise line’s liability can extend beyond the confines of the ship.  Several cases involving violence to crew members and passengers while traveling at the port of call have pointed to the cruise line’s extensive liability.  Courts generally hold that if the cruise line knew or had reason to know of the high probability of criminal activity in the area near the excursion or the ship’s docking area, and failed to warn passengers, the cruise line may be held accountable.  Similarly, evidence that the cruise line knew or should have known of the dangers surrounding an excursion activity could be sufficient to establish liability.

Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Assisting the Victims of Excursion Accidents

            Excursions can be great experiences for cruise ship passengers.  They can also go terribly awry and result in serious injuries or even death.  If you or a loved one is injured or killed while embarking on a cruise line excursion, the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. are here to help.  Our attorneys will aggressively fight to see that you obtain the compensation you deserve due to the cruise line’s negligence, which can include coverage for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our unmatched legal excellence has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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Those planning a cruise vacation will often choose cruises based on their ability to provide relaxation and enjoyment.  Cruise ships are supposed to have a number of security guards and officers in place in order to protect passengers so that they can enjoy a safe vacation.  Unfortunately, some cruise lines lack adequate security, opening the potential for minor as well as serious or even life threatening injuries to occur.  Sadly, the cruise line’s lack of security can lead to innocent passengers suffering serious harm on the vacation that they set out to enjoy.

Common Injuries Resulting from Improper Security

            Our Miami cruise ship injury lawyers know all too well how improper security can lead to a wide range of injuries that occur aboard the ship and while engaged in off-ship excursions.  These injuries can include:

  • Head injury
  • Excessive bruising
  • Spinal injury
  • Broken bones
  • Drowning

Some less common but severe incidences that can occur include kidnapping, sexual assault or rape, and murder.

Security Officers Often Lack Sufficient Training

            Many cruise line security guards will have prior experience in security or law enforcement.  Unfortunately, this is seen as merely a plus, not a requirement.  Ensuring the safety of 3,000 plus people aboard an isolated vessel is a difficult task for even the best trained security guard, let alone one new to the industry.

Cruise lines present unique security issues.  There are no law enforcement officials aboard and passengers cannot simply call 911 or escape from the ship to find assistance.  Due to these issues, it is critical that security officers aboard the ship be well trained in the position.  This should be a requirement, but sadly due to cost limitations, is not.

Cruise lines provide only the most basic of trailing that is nowhere near the amount of knowledge necessary to thoroughly protect the many passengers aboard.  Coupled by a lack of training is often an insufficient number of security personnel given the high number of passengers aboard the ship.

The high number of overboard accident speaks volumes of the lack of security.  Had security personnel been patrolling the deck areas or monitoring surveillance footage, many of these overboard incidences may not have occurred.

Liability for Improper Security Related Accidents

            Cruise lines must provide adequate security for their passengers in order to ensure passenger safety.  If you have been injured or a loved one killed due to inadequate security aboard a cruise ship, it is imperative that you consult with a licensed cruise ship accident attorney as soon as possible.  Your attorney will review all evidence surrounding the incident and assess whether the cruise line could be held accountable for the injuries or death caused.  Evidence of improper security could include addressing the number of security guards versus the number of passengers, the absence of security at the time of the accident, and the training of the particular officers involved.

Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Justice for those Wrongfully Killed at Sea

            Experiencing an injury as a result of the cruise ship’s improper security can leave victims injured and confused as to their legal rights. The Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. believe no one should have to suffer due to the negligence of cruise lines.  Our attorneys will aggressively fight to see that you obtain the compensation you deserve due to the cruise line’s negligence, which can include coverage for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our unmatched legal excellence has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

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In 2010, a 21 year old cruise passenger who had just embarked on a seven day Caribbean cruise suddenly became ill after eating a cookie.  He died a short time later due to an allergic reaction to peanuts.  Five years prior, a 70 year old doctor died after being thrown from the top staircase aboard a cruise line when rough seas jolted the ship.  More recently, a young six year old boy drowned aboard a Carnival ship on the last leg of the Caribbean voyage.  All of these cruise ship accidents show that while death is not the first thing that comes to mind while planning a dream cruise vacation, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.

Each year, approximately 200 people die on cruise ships.  More than three quarters of these deaths will occur in a single disaster.  While cruise ship deaths are still less common than airplane or car accidents, they can still occur.  When they do, it is the family members of their departed loved ones left grappling with the difficult aftermath.

Causes of Cruise Ship Deaths

            Some cruise ship deaths are the result of natural occurrences.  Many cruise passengers are retired or nearing retirement age, and old age related health concerns claim the lives of some.  The other deaths, however, fall into the realm of accidental or even intentional.

Falling Overboard

            Overboard accidents are catastrophic, as it is nearly impossible to survive a fall from such a large vessel into open waters.  Overboard accidents do not merely happen.  It is difficult to fall overboard on ships due to the protections installed.  However, overboard accidents can occur when passengers are intoxicated, attempt to commit suicide, or are thrown overboard by another.  In 2006, a 15 year old student was traveling with her family.  One evening, she and some other children partied and drank alcohol.  Her sister observed the bartender serving her, despite her ship card being marked as a child.  The highly intoxicated teen fell overboard while vomiting, never to be seen again.

Murder

            Murder can occur on a cruise ship, just as it can on land.  In 2006, a 53 year old woman vacationing with her husband went missing.  Her body was later found floating at sea, but an autopsy concluded strangulation was the cause of death.  The husband was charged with her death some seven years later, after evidence was uncovered that he transferred considerable assets from his now deceased spouse to his own account.

Getting Sick at Sea

            Illnesses can plague cruise voyages due to the close quarters involved.  While most people readily recover from such illnesses, a few can die due to complications that arise.  A 53 year old traveling on a Holland ship suffered such a fate after cruise line doctors failed to provide the medical attention he needed.

Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.:  Justice for those Wrongfully Killed at Sea

            If your loved one was killed or vanished aboard a cruise ship, the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. can help you obtain the justice you deserve.  With over 130 collective years of experience, our attorneys have the experience you need to bring a strong wrongful death suit against the negligent cruise line.  Our attorneys will then zealously fight to see that you obtain compensation for all of your damages stemming from the loss of your loved one, including loss of income, loss of inheritance, loss of companionship and love, and much more.  Our unmatched legal excellence has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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