People are quickly returning to the major cruise lines after a multi-year disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data from Statista, approximately 14 million American passengers board cruise ships in an average year. All cruise companies that operate in U.S. ports have a legal duty to keep their passengers safe. Unfortunately, too many of them fail to live up to this responsibility. Here, our Gulf Coast cruise ship accident lawyer highlights five things you should do if you are injured while aboard a cruise ship.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Medical needs always come first. If you were hurt in an accident as a cruise ship passenger in the Gulf of Mexico, you need immediate medical attention. Getting the right medical care—and follow-up care once you get back to shore—is crucial. Your health and well-being matter. Further, you cannot file a successful cruise ship accident case without medical records to support the case.
2. Document the Accident—Secure Evidence
A cruise company is not automatically liable for an accident that occurs aboard a vessel. Instead, a cruise company will only bear legal responsibility if the accident happened because of negligence. For this reason, all cruise ship injuries should be carefully and thoroughly investigated. Gather and secure any evidence that helps to show why your accident happened.
3. Report the Accident to the Cruise Company
Cruise ship accidents should be promptly reported to the staff (management) of the vessel. You have a duty to notify the company proactively. If you fail to report to the cruise operator, it could undermine your ability to secure financial compensation.
4. Know What You Have Signed (Liability Waivers)
When you have a clear moment, you should assess the liability waivers that you signed. You may be required to sign a liability waiver for some activities that carry certain risks. To be clear, a liability waiver is not a surefire defense against a personal injury claim. You could still be entitled to compensation even if you signed a waiver.
5. Consult With a Gulf Coast Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer
The cruise company and its insurers are focused on protecting their financial interests. They are not going to willingly do what is best for you and your family. Beware of going up against a cruise company or insurer alone. They have made strategies to try to deny liability and limit personal injury settlements. An experienced Gulf Coast cruise ship accident lawyer can protect your rights and interests.
Set Up a Free Consultation With a Texas Cruise Ship Passenger Injury Attorney
At the Kolodny Law Firm, we are committed to helping victims and families secure justice. If you or someone in your life was harmed as a passenger on a cruise ship, our Texas maritime attorneys are here to help. Give us a call now or connect with us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent cruise ship passengers in personal injury claims throughout the Gulf Coast region.