Most people have a cruise ship adventure on their bucket list, but not many expect to get injured while having the time of their lives. Cruise ship accidents happen all the time and may leave the victim and their loved ones confused. The confusion is heightened because you’re in the middle of nowhere with no hospitals or urgent care centers in view.
While there are existing protocols for dealing with accidents and injuries on a cruise ship, it is ultimately left to you to document the tiny details that may be significant to your injury claim. An experienced Miami cruise ship accident lawyer in Aronfeld has highlighted the important things to do if you or a loved one has been involved in such an accident.
Report your accident and injury
The International Maritime Organization sets the rules and standards under which cruise ships operate. Within the standards, each cruise line is required to have a standard operating practice for safety management. A part of the operating practice oversees the investigation and reporting of accidents on the cruise ship.
This means that a cruise ship is expected to investigate and document your accident and injury. However, you should make the first report to trigger the investigation. You can begin your report at the medical office aboard the ship or visit the Purser’s desk.
Understand your rights
Cruise lines are after your fun and entertainment. They want to give you some of the most memorable moments of your life. However, to do this, they may need you to sign some documents, including an assumption of risk form. These documents essentially state that you understand the risks involved in certain activities and agree to partake in them nonetheless. Usually, activities like waterslides, zip lines, ice skating, rock wall climbing, and more may be included in this section.
You’ll need an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer to go over the document if you have signed one. Your lawyer can determine whether the cruise ship operator has been released from your injury liability or not.
Attend to your injuries
Cruise ships are often staffed with doctors and nurses aboard to cater to customers. You should leverage their medical experience and expertise to manage your injuries pending your arrival at the shore.
It is grossly important for you to follow the leading of the medical team in the treatment or management of your injury while aboard. You can also document your treatment regimen aboard the cruise ship as evidence.
Be careful of what you say and to whom
It is natural for injury victims to be sad and upset and to speak out of turn. However, words uttered in anger may come back to bite you in the back at a later date.
Take note that employees on the cruise ship will be in charge of investigating the accident. They aren’t your friends and will most certainly protect their employer over you. With this in mind, you should be careful of what you say and to whom you say it.
Uttering statements that claim the blame can affect your chances of seeking compensation for your injuries at a later date. Avoid using words like “I was being careless,” “it was my fault,” and other variations of it.
Think carefully before making a written statement or decline
You’ll be asked to make a written statement to keep for records if you’ve been involved in a cruise ship accident. This statement is physical evidence that can either corroborate you or stand against you and your insurance claim. Consider declining to provide a written statement if you’re unsure of what to write. If you must go ahead with the statement, ensure that you’ve stated only the facts that are clear to you.
You should also refrain from outsourcing the statement to a friend or family member with whom you are on the cruise ship. They may tend to make the statement from their perspective and not yours.
Pay attention to the investigation
The investigative process into a cruise ship accident can be short or long, depending on the type of accident and injury sustained. It is best to keep an eye on the investigation and request periodic updates. You can also go the extra mile by conducting your own investigations to gather relevant evidence.
If the accident happened in a public space, be sure to get the names and information of other witnesses. You can also take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and other relevant information.
Stay off social media and contact your attorney
Social media can make or mar your case. It is advisable to stay off social media and avoid discussing your accident and injury until the case has been finalized. Contact a reputable cruise ship accident lawyer as quickly as you can once you’re back on land and tell them everything. Ensure that you follow your accident lawyer’s advice until the case is finalized.
Suffering an injury on a cruise ship is no fun, so it is important to know your chances of claiming compensation for your damages. Follow the tips above and speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.