Costa Cruises is back in the news: another one of it's liners, the Costa Allegra, is adrift off the Seychelles Islands after a fire in the generator room left more than a thousand people in the darkness, according to Herald-Tribune.com.
No Injuries or Deaths Reported
Thankfully, no injuries or deaths were reported after the fire was extinguished by the ship's own special firefighting units. Yet, the ship is adrift in an area were attacks by Somali pirates have been reported, although pirates have never hijacked a cruise ship before. Nevertheless, according to a Seychelles government spokesperson, the ship has armed guards on board ready to defend it should pirates attack. Having armed guards on board is, the spokesperson said, standard practice for cruise ships these days.
Fires Onboard Cruise Ships Not Unusual
Very few accidents on board a ship are as dangerous (or potentially deadly) as a fire. Unfortunately these fires are not uncommon. Following are just a few of the most recent fires on board cruise ships:
- On November 17, 2010, the "Pearl of Scandinavia" caught fire off the coast of Norway.
- On November 8, 2010, the "Carnival Splendor" caught fire off the coast of Mexico, leaving 3,299 passengers and 1,167 crew members stranded.
- On May 31, 2010, Royal Caribbean's "Independence of the Seas" caught fire in Gibraltar with a result of a dozen injured passengers.
- On March 23, 2006, the "Star Princess" catches fire en route to Jamaica with 3,800 people on board. As a result of this fire12 people were injured and 1 died.
- On July 20, 1998, the "Carnival Ecstasy" caught fire after leaving the Port of Miami with 2557 passengers and 920 crew aboard. As a result 60 people were injured.
The Cruise Line Will Not Help Voluntarily
A cruise line's typical response when disasters like these happen will be to try to low-ball the passengers into accepting an offer for a future "discounted" cruise as compensation for their troubles. In the case of an injured passenger, they may offer a full refund as compensation for his or her injuries....The cruise line does not want injured passengers, especially passengers whose ships departed from the United States, filling a lawsuit against it in this country. Tort law allows American courts to subject the company to liability limits higher than those permitted in other jurisdictions.
If you have been injured as a result of a fire, a slip and fall, food poisoning, an assault by another passenger or a crew member, while diving, surfing, boating, parasailing, jet skiing, hiking, ZIP lining, or during an off road excursion on bicycles, motor bikes or on 4X4 vehicles like Jeeps, etc., don't let the cruise line take advantage of your situation and pressure you into accepting a refund as compensation. If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries or death while on a cruise vacation or have been the victims of serious crimes while on a cruise ship vacation, you may be entitled to financial compensation by the cruise line and should immediately hire a law firm with experience handling these matters.
Even if your injuries do not seem serious at first, but you continue to have pain or discomfort you should wait until you have seen a doctor and talked to an attorney specializing in this kind of cases before deciding on a course of action. Please note that these cases are usually governed by the conditions set forth in the tickets, which usually establish a term of six months to give written notice of the claim and one year from the date of sail to file suit against the company.
Therefore, it is essential to hire an attorney right away. If your hesitation to talk to an attorney is due to a concern for the costs, please note that a Florida lawyer will not charge you for the initial consultation and will work your case on a contingency fee basis, which means that he or she will not charge you at all, unless they win your case. The Cruise Lines Injury Lawyers of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. have handled many such cases against these cruise lines over the years and can help you obtain the compensation you may be entitled to.
Please note that our practice has been extended with a new satellite office in Aventura to better serve clients that reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Dania & Dania Beach, Miramar, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Aventura, Miami Beach, Surfside, Sunny Isles and Miami Gardens. If you or a close relative suffered an injury while on a cruise, we urge to contact a law firm with experience handling cruise ship injury cases. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today.