Unravelling Cruise Ship Harm Claims

Unravelling Cruise Ship Harm Claims

We converse with Brett Rivkind, one of the crucial skilled maritime attorneys within the US, on the finer factors of litigating private damage circumstances that happen on a cruise ship and what victims ought to count on.

What are the commonest sorts of accidents that happen on a cruise ship?

I’d say the commonest accident on a cruise is a slip and fall accident. There are plenty of slip and fall hazards. For instance, on the pool deck, there may be water and spillage of suntan lotions, drinks and plenty of and different substances. In a resort such because the Marriott the place you may see concrete surfaces across the pool space to make it much less slippery, the cruise ships have a tendency to make use of surfaces that get unreasonably slippery when moist or overseas substances get on the deck.

Additionally, within the casinos and in different areas the place they serve meals and drinks, there may be plenty of heavy site visitors and sometimes spillage of liquids or meals onto the ground. Cruise strains have a tendency to make use of surfaces which are designed for look, resembling good shiny marble. Due to this fact, slip and fall hazards are sometimes encountered by a cruise ship passenger, leading to numerous slip and fall accidents on cruise ships.

What potential damages can be found for an injured occasion on this state of affairs?

If a cruise ship passenger does undergo private damage throughout a cruise and a negligence case is introduced in opposition to the cruise line, the everyday damages will embrace what known as financial damages resembling misplaced wages, medical payments and different bills. There are additionally non-economic damages, which refers to damages for the human parts related to an damage, which embrace ache, struggling, incapacity, disfigurement, inconvenience, psychological anguish and incapability to steer a traditional life.

In what circumstances may the cruise firm itself be thought of accountable for the damage in query?

A cruise ship is accountable for an damage provided that they’re negligent. Negligence is the failure to train affordable take care of the security of the passenger and can rely on the details of every particular case. A passenger should show the cruise line did one thing it shouldn’t have accomplished or did not do one thing it ought to have accomplished. So, for instance in a slip and fall case, if the cruise line knew or ought to have recognized of the hazard however did not act in a well timed method to get rid of or mitigate the hazard, which resulted within the damage, the cruise line can be accountable.

What constitutes affordable care below the circumstances will differ from case to case and the kind of case. I’ve dealt with nearly each conceivable sort of damage case on a cruise ship, having tried cruise ship circumstances since 1983. Every truth sample must be rigorously analysed to be able to correctly current the proof to ascertain legal responsibility on the a part of the cruise line.

What restrictions and potential obstacles exist when litigating in opposition to a cruise line?

There are a lot of obstacles and restrictions to think about in a case involving a cruise ship passenger submitting a negligence motion in opposition to the cruise ship firm. The legislation is federal maritime legislation, and there are distinctive points of the federal maritime legislation that have to be recognized by the lawyer which differ from many state legal guidelines.

I’d say one of many greatest obstacles is ensuring that you simply rent the proper lawyer who’s skilled in maritime legislation and who is aware of the intricacies and particular legal guidelines that govern the cruise ship passenger case. Along with the information of the maritime legal guidelines that govern, an skilled cruise ship lawyer may even know what proof the cruise ship firm has that is perhaps obtainable to assist set up the case in opposition to the cruise line. Having dealt with many maritime cruise ship circumstances since 1983, together with 5 years on the defence aspect representing cruise ship firms earlier than deciding I solely wished to assist injured individuals, I’ve huge information of the various kinds of procedures and proof a cruise ship firm has that must be obtained in a case to assist set up the negligence of the corporate and obtain success on behalf of the injured passenger.

One of many greatest obstacles is ensuring that you simply rent the proper lawyer who’s skilled in maritime legislation and who is aware of the intricacies and particular legal guidelines that govern the cruise ship passenger case.

One other very huge restriction that must be recognized is the existence of very particular deadlines that apply in a cruise ship passenger case that almost all attorneys who don’t deal with maritime circumstances have no idea about. For instance, on the passenger ticket for the cruise – which is taken into account a contract below the legislation – there are vital provisions that have to be recognized as a result of they’re enforceable. Considered one of them is a time deadline to present discover to the cruise line of the intent to say a declare in opposition to the cruise line for negligence. A very powerful deadline is the statute of limitation deadline, which is one yr to file the lawsuit from the date of the damage. In case you fail to file the lawsuit inside that one-year time period, you perpetually lose your proper to file a lawsuit in opposition to the cruise ship firm in your damage.

These are simply a few examples. Once more, a maritime lawyer will know easy methods to navigate round, above, or immediately by means of these obstacles and restrictions.

For a potential consumer who’s injured throughout a cruise, what first steps would you advise taking?

If a cruise ship passenger is injured throughout a cruise, ensure that to report it. Be sure that the cruise line is conscious of the accident. Take footage. Get the names and get in touch with data of any witnesses. Don’t be pressured into filling out an announcement concerning the accident if you don’t really feel that you’re able to adequately finishing the accident report since you simply suffered an accident. You must insist on ready. It could even be acceptable to say “I need to take the shape to my cabin and thoroughly put together it so it’s correct”.

In case you have a cellular phone that works from the cruise ship, and you might be unsure, you possibly can attain out to an lawyer. Our agency typically receives textual content messages, emails and calls immediately from the cruise ship from passengers who’ve suffered accidents asking questions easy methods to deal with the matter. Remember that the cruise ship’s main concern ought to be to rectify any hazards and to deal with your medical issues correctly, to not assist them defend any potential lawsuit chances are you’ll file later.

You don’t have to be interrogated or fill out plenty of particulars. You don’t want to depart out key particulars, resembling the truth that you slipped and fell on a slippery substance on the deck. However for the needs of the preliminary encounter on the cruise ship following an accident, there is no such thing as a requirement to present them detailed details about your accident. You merely must report that you simply had an accident, and in case you are injured it’s best to search medical remedy and provides a short description of what occurred and your accidents.

Oftentimes, the cruise ship staff, together with the docs are extra desirous about interrogating you to hopefully get you to say one thing that could possibly be used in opposition to you later whenever you file a lawsuit. I all the time counsel that you simply not full something until they assure you the power to make a photocopy earlier than you give it to them. Generally it could be acceptable to easily refuse to present an announcement, though typically it may be used in opposition to you later in a lawsuit as a result of it’s attempting to counsel you had been hiding one thing.

If a cruise ship passenger is injured throughout a cruise, ensure that to report it. Be sure that the cruise line is conscious of the accident. Take footage. Get the names and get in touch with data of any witnesses.

Cruise strains will typically attempt to counsel that alcohol is the rationale in your accident, so watch out of that. Nonetheless, don’t lie about drink consumption, as a result of they do have data of the quantity of drinks bought on the cruise ship though they don’t seem to be capable of precisely know for those who truly consumed what was bought.

Once more, it’s laborious to present laborious and quick guidelines apart from to say take footage, collect as a lot proof as you possibly can, and perceive that regardless of how good the cruise ship staff are being to you after your accident, their job is to assemble data to assist the cruise line defend any potential future lawsuit.

Why is it important to retain an lawyer within the aftermath of an damage on a cruise?

It’s important to get a maritime lawyer concerned due to the very quick statute of limitations and spot deadlines, and the truth that materials proof can disappear, together with surveillance video which will have captured your accident or in any other case seize vital proof that may assist set up legal responsibility of the cruise line. We instantly ship out our illustration letter so the cruise line is aware of you have got an skilled maritime lawyer representing you, after which we request any data from the ship that we’re entitled to obtain. We additionally request the surveillance video displaying your accident. When the cruise line is aware of our agency is concerned, more often than not they try and amicably resolve the case with us as a result of they find out about our expertise and success charges in opposition to the cruise strains.

What particular abilities and expertise ought to be regarded for within the splendid lawyer?

The perfect lawyer shouldn’t be the primary lawyer that pops up on a Google search, particularly in sponsored adverts that attorneys pay for. The perfect lawyer ought to be skilled in maritime legislation, in addition to anyone you could belief and that you simply really feel comfy speaking with. I all the time counsel you converse to your lawyer that you’re contemplating hiring and get a really feel for his command of the subject material, and the way you are feeling you’ll get together with that lawyer within the course of concerned, which typically will take a very long time.

I’m an AV rated agency by Martindale Hubbell, I’ve spoken in the USA Congress as an invited Maritime skilled to deal with cruise ship security legal guidelines, and I’ve been solely a Maritime lawyer since 1983. I all the time welcome a possible consumer to arrange a zoom, Skype or face time assembly with me to allow them to meet me face-to-face and never solely examine who I’m, however see who I’m and get an excellent feeling of confidence in hiring me to symbolize them in an important matter.

Usually, individuals merely rent a lawyer who was on the highest of the primary web page of Google, and that may be a huge mistake. Not solely could you not relate to the lawyer throughout the course of, however the lawyer might also not be the one who handles your case.

Are you able to inform us something about your personal experiences on this space of legislation?

I’ve already touched upon my expertise somewhat bit. However I began as a maritime lawyer with a big defence agency in 1983 representing the cruise strains. Throughout my 5 years there I gained huge expertise in dealing with each sort of maritime private damage and wrongful demise case. Nonetheless, my coronary heart was not with being a defence lawyer. After 5 years with the defence agency, I made a decision I wished to be a plaintiff’s lawyer representing injured individuals and members of the family who misplaced family members as a result of negligence of the cruise ship firm.

I’ve by no means regarded again, and I’ve helped 1000’s of injured people on cruise ships. I’ve dealt with many high-profile circumstances, a few of which have change into the topic of a ebook, a few of films, and others have resulted in essential case choices which have opened the doorways to holding cruise ship firms accountable. The congressional hearings I testified about finally led to the passage of laws to make cruise ships safer for passengers. I’m the previous president of the Florida Bar Admiralty Committee. I’ve written articles and lectured on maritime legislation, together with being chosen as a speaker at a judicial school the place I used to be a speaker addressing judges about maritime legislation.


Brett Rivkind, Founding Companion

Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A.

169 E Flagler St, Suite 1422, Miami, FL 33130, USA

Tel: +1 305=374-0565

E: Seainjury@rivkindlaw.com


Brett Rivkind is a famend maritime private damage and wrongful demise lawyer. Having spent 40 years dealing with maritime legislation circumstances, with expertise of each the defence and plaintiff aspect, he has devoted himself to serving to the victims of accidents and crimes. A lot of his circumstances have been high-profile, representing 1000’s of people a whole bunch of victims’ households following disasters at sea. He ceaselessly lectures on maritime matters within the authorized sector and better schooling and has made quite a few media appearances, together with on the Larry King Stay present thrice. He has additionally served as President of the Florida Bar Admiralty Committee.

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