From the pristine shores of Alaska to the lush Hawaiian Islands, cruise ships offer a unique opportunity to see some of the most beautiful places in the world. Unfortunately, while more and more Americans are taking maritime excursions each year, cruise ship safety remains a troubling issue, as dramatic headlines continue to highlight.
While there are numerous cruise line safety guidelines and regulations, negligence on the part of operators may easily lead to a potentially severe or even deadly accident. When injured while on vacation, it is important to remember that cruise lines are profit-driven companies that may try to minimize their liability. Knowing what to do after an accident contributed to cruise line negligence may help to ensure that you receive needed financial compensation.
Document your injury
As soon as possible after an injury, make sure to document the incident thoroughly or have someone else do so. Take photographs and videos of where the injury occurred, and gather statements and contact information from any witnesses who were present.
Fill out an accident report
Under maritime law, cruise ship companies must have a safety management system in place, which should include a process for reporting and investigating onboard accidents. When you file an accident report for the cruise line, be careful about what you write. Keep in mind that cruise operators may try to use any information you give to minimize or deny liability for an injury claim. Make sure to keep a copy of the report for your records.
File your injury claim quickly
General and statutory maritime law usually apply in cases of cruise ship injury, and there is a three-year statute of limitations for claims. However, your ticket may include notices about a shorter time limit for making a claim and specific requirements for doing so. That makes it crucial that you begin the filing process as soon as possible.