Each year, millions of customers across the world board cruise ships and head off for a vacation of a lifetime. While cruise lines offer non-stop entertainment, cruises also feature a number of hazards that can cause a customer to become injured. Some of these hazards include burns from fires aboard the ship, injuries suffered in slip-and-fall accidents, and even outbreaks of foodborne or viral illnesses.
If you have suffered physical harm due to a hazard you encountered on a cruise ship, it is important to understand what a cruise line’s duty of care is. If your accident was the result of a breach in that duty, an experienced cruise injury lawyer from Baker Legal Team can tell you about the personal injury claims process that you can use to seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury.
What Is a Cruise Line’s Duty of Care?
A legal duty of care is the responsibility that an individual or entity has to take reasonable actions in a given circumstance in order to avoid causing harm to others. Because cruise lines transport passengers for a fee, they are required to exercise the greatest caution in ensuring that those passengers arrive at their destination safely. The types of reasonable actions that the line must take include having the ship regularly maintained in order to avoid risks associated with mechanical or structural failures.
Additionally, cruise lines are required to adequately vet the personnel they hire and to ensure that the cruise line’s staff is properly trained for the positions they hold. The vessel must be equipped with personal flotation devices, with enough vests for all occupants aboard, including the crew. They also must provide security measures to prevent guests from being harmed as a result of criminal acts occurring on the ship.
What Happens If a Cruise Line Breaches Its Owed Duty of Care?
If a cruise line fails to take guest safety seriously and take reasonable actions to prevent injuries, they can be liable for the monetary expenses and psychological impacts that guests suffer as a result of their negligent care and use of the vessel.
When someone has been injured due to a cruise line’s negligence, they can seek compensation by filing a claim against the line’s property liability insurance policy. An experienced cruise line injury lawyer can provide several services during this process, including establishing a value to the claim, gathering evidence needed to prove the cruise line’s liability and documentation needed to justify the claim’s value.
An injury attorney can also manage communication with the at-fault cruise line’s insurance provider and attempt to negotiate a settlement that fairly compensates the claimant for the economic and psychological harm they suffered. If the cruise line’s insurance provider fails to fairly compensate the claim, a lawsuit can be filed in civil court so that a judge or jury can hear the evidence and resolve the claim.
How Liability Is Proven in a Cruise Line Injury Case
In order to have a successful outcome in an injury claim against a cruise line, the claimant and their attorney must present evidence to prove that the cruise line was responsible for the accident. The elements needed to show the cruise line’s liability include:
- A duty of care was owed by the cruise line
- There was a breach in the duty that was owed
- The breach resulted in an accident that caused an individual to suffer physical harm
Depending on the type of accident that resulted in injury, the type of evidence that can be used to prove a cruise line claim includes documents showing maintenance that has been performed on the vessel, personnel records, photos or videos of the hazard that caused the injury, and statements from witnesses.
Because cruise ships typically feature a number of people in a relatively small place, the testimony of witnesses is often crucial to proving a cruise ship injury claim.
Injured Due to a Cruise Line’s Negligence? Contact the Baker Legal Team
Baker Legal Team has a deep understanding of the legal responsibilities that cruise lines have to protect their passengers, and we have the experience needed to provide quality assistance to those who have been injured due to the cruise line’s failure to uphold its duty of care.
If your dream vacation turned into a nightmare, it is important to have someone on your side who can help you move forward. To learn more about the claims process that you can use to seek compensation for the economic and psychological harm you suffered as a result of a cruise line’s failure to meet its legal duty of care, contact us online or call us at (561) 320-0000.