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How Do Cruise Ship Injuries Work?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Suffering an injury in a place you are familiar with is confusing and stressful enough for the average person. When you sustain an injury on a cruise ship, in a foreign country or out on the open water, you may not know where to turn for assistance. Understanding the basic legal remedies and rights of cruise ship passengers can help you learn your own options if you’ve suffered an injury on a cruise. Always consult with an attorney for professional advice concerning your case.

About Maritime Law

Injuries and accidents on common carriers such as cruise ships go through a much different process than injury claims on land. Land injuries go through tort law, while cruise ship injuries abide by maritime law. Maritime law is a distinct legal area that governs injuries and offenses concerning maritime activities, or those involving ships. Maritime law stipulates that a common carrier must use the highest degree of care during passenger transport. Common carriers are individuals or companies that transport people (or goods) on regular routes at set rates.

Since most cruise ships have registrations in countries such as the Bahamas or Panama instead of the United States, maritime law rules. Maritime law holds carriers liable for cruise ship accidents and injuries if the plaintiff can show that the ship’s operator knew or reasonably should have known about an unsafe condition, like land negligence cases. The defendant must have failed to exercise due care in some way to face liability for a cruise ship injury. The courts will also hold the operator of the ship liable for the negligent actions of crewmembers or ship employees in cruise ship injury cases.

Cruise Ship Tickets and Ship Operator Liability

On the back or bottom of your cruise ship ticket, you’ll find a legal contract. Most of what you need to know regarding your ship operator’s liability is on this contract. Your purchase of the ticket is your way of agreeing to the terms and policies outlined in the contract. The back of the ticket will list where you may file a lawsuit for a cruise ship injury – typically the state where the cruise line has its headquarters.

While it may be inconvenient for you to have to file your lawsuit in a state other than where you live, most courts uphold this clause. The contract will also state the time limits for filing, which may be different than the statute of limitations for personal injuries in your filing state. Take your cruise ship ticket to an attorney to learn more about the individual contract to which you consented. It’s always a wise idea to read the back of your cruise ship ticket and understand ship operator liabilities before boarding.

When Can You Sue for Cruise Ship Injuries?

If you suffered an injury or illness on a cruise ship, you may not know your rights as far as whether you may sue the cruise line, ship operator, or third party. Like land injuries, maritime injuries must take certain forms for the courts to consider them the results of negligence. Cruise ship injuries that may constitute personal injury cases include:

  • Slips and falls due to dangerous premises
  • Elevator and escalator injuries
  • Illness due to unsanitary conditions or food poisoning
  • Injury from a negligent tour guide in a foreign country
  • Port-related accidents
  • Assaults or attacks on board the ship
  • Pool/waterslide related injuries
  • Theft and negligent security
  • Medical negligence
  • Wrongful death

There are many types of cruise ship injuries and personal losses that may give you grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a personal injury attorney near you to find out more about your case, cruise ship ticket contract, and rights by law.

Posted by admin at 9:34 pm

What are Common Problems Survivors of Catastrophic Accidents Experience?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Negligence is a common factor that contributes to catastrophic accidents – whether a person drove while using a cell phone, drank on the job, or failed to maintain his or her property. When this happens, the party who caused the damage can be taken to court and sued for outstanding expenses. However, Texas law also accounts for extenuating circumstances, such as loss of companionship or the inability to continue pursuing a career.

The following is a brief overview of the common problems survivors of catastrophic accidents face. If you have more questions or concerns about an injury you have received, contact an experienced legal professional in your area for more information.

  • Long-term physical damage. Catastrophic accidents often lead to paralysis, loss of limbs, severe brain damage, and other complications. For example, internal injuries may require special equipment to keep a person alive or functioning.
  • Long-term recovery. Coupled with physical damage, these victims often must relearn motor skills, such as walking, balancing, or speaking. Additional equipment, such as walking apparatuses or speech assistance devices, is often required.
  • Ongoing medical bills. The initial emergency room bill and related surgeries are likely the steepest charges victims ever face. Sadly, that is just the beginning. Continuing doctor’s visits, physical therapists, and live-in care commonly follow catastrophic accidents – and these are not one-time payments.
  • Loss of consortium. The physical consequences of these actions are apparent, but they affect more than just the victim. A settlement should account for losing the intimate relationship you enjoyed with a spouse or the ability to interact with your child.
  • The inability to return to work. Devastating accidents often keep a person from returning to his or her line of work or pursuing a career goal. Athletes, for example, may never play sports professionally again. Courts account for these types of long-term damages, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure these areas are considered.
  • Home modifications. Hand controls, bathroom modifications, ramps, machines to facilitate access to a bed, and vehicle modifications may be required to return at least some independence to these victims’ lives.
  • Emotional and psychological consequences. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a frequent result of a debilitating accident. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental and emotional consequences may accompany a catastrophe.

The Common Causes of Catastrophic Accidents

A person may encounter a variety of accidents, but most will not warrant a consultation with a lawyer. However, if you or a loved one is hurt in one of the following types of accidents, it is important to seek medical attention and schedule a consultation with a local law firm.

  • Trucking accidents. The trucking industry is tightly regulated, but thousands of fatal accidents still occur on our highways every year. Teamsters and the companies that employ them must diligently track their working hours, truck maintenance, miles traveled, and more. Overlooking or ignoring these details can lead to major damages.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is markedly dangerous. If you are involved with a drunk-driver collision, seek physical and legal help as soon as possible.
  • Workplace accidents. Many workers’ compensation claims are for minor aches and pains, but professional accidents can also be fatal. This is especially true for those in the construction, oil, and logging industries.

Partner with the Right Attorney in Texas to Protect Your Long-Term Care

Catastrophic cases are legally complex by their nature. Several negligent parties may be responsible, from a shift manager to his or her employer, a product manufacturer, or the distributer. This is further complicated when several insurers enter the mix. Victims of major accidents are routinely offered settlements, but failing to scrutinize the terms of these agreements can leave victims with expensive bills that accrue over their lifetime – which the person or organization responsible for the damages does not pay.

Work with a Dallas, Texas, attorney specializing in personal injury law for more information. The team at Aaron Herbert is ready to represent your claim, so contact us for a consultation. We get to the bottom of who is at fault for harming our clients, and we tirelessly explore the full extent of how catastrophic accidents affect these victims over the course of their lives.

Posted by admin at 10:50 pm

Boat and Aircraft Injuries: Crew Liability Issues

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If someone is injured on an airplane or boat, the individual or company responsible for the passengers is typically liable for the accident. However, the actions crew members take after the injury can help or hurt liability issues. Crew members must act professionally and follow certain standards when addressing injuries that occur in-transit.

Crew Member Responsibility

Crew members are responsible for using a certain standard of care during the course of work. On airplanes, for instance, flight attendants are responsible for ensuring all passengers have been adequately warned to wear seatbelts during rough weather, to reasonably accommodate passengers, to follow emergency protocols, and to secure food carts/baggage as needed.

On boats, including cruise ships and chartered vessels, the crew must follow safety protocols to reasonably provide passenger safety. As on aircraft, boat crews must secure items onboard in accordance with reasonable safety standards. They must respond to emergencies using the proper procedures and may need to keep working logs regarding their duties onboard.

Negligence Factors in Injury Cases on Water and in the Air

Many injury claims involving boats and airplanes focus on the initial cause of injury, but they can also include elements of negligence after an injury occurs. On water and in the air, an injured passenger may not receive immediate medical attention. In these cases, crew members must respond appropriately to the situation to avoid further liability.

Crew members must pass training on first aid, CPR, passenger management, security, evacuation and numerous other emergency situations. Any time a crew member fails to act in accordance with emergency procedure, the company in charge may face further liability issues. Every crew member must act with reasonable care towards passengers during the course of duty.

When Crew Members Are Not Responsible for Injuries

On boats and in aircraft, some events are outside the crew members’ control. An airline or boating company cannot control the weather or other freak accidents. Crew members are trained to respond in these situations, but they are not responsible for additional, unavoidable injuries.

What Should I Do if I Am Injured on a Boat or Airplane?

Always tell a crew member you are injured, and seek medical attention. Document your injury and pay attention to how the crew behaves in the aftermath. Did they offer first aid? Did they take steps to obtain medical attention in a timely manner? Did they reasonably accommodate your needs? If the answer is no to any of these, you may want to contact an attorney. Most airlines and commercial vessels follow a standard of care when handling onboard injuries. Your attorney can help you determine if the crew acted appropriately under the circumstances.

Who Do I File a Lawsuit Against if I Suffer an Injury on a Boat or Airplane?

Typically, an injured passenger will file a lawsuit against the company who owns the airplane or vessel. In some cases of extreme negligence, a passenger may hold an individual crew member liable. Dock workers, the FAA, and other air and water professionals may hold some level of responsibility for injury or the treatment of an injury. If you were a passenger on a private charter, the owner of the plane or vessel is responsible for your injury and subsequent treatment.

You can and should file a complaint if you experience an avoidable injury or unreasonable care after an injury on a boat or airplane. In addition to informing the responsible party, consider taking legal action. A personal injury attorney can help you develop a case for financial compensation. Contact the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. for questions about crew member responsibilities and injury from boat or airplane mishaps.

Posted by admin at 11:47 pm