Personal injury accidents can occur anytime, anywhere – including while on vacation. A serious injury might be the last thing you expect to happen during a Carnival cruise, but it’s an unfortunate reality for many people every year. Ship collisions, technical problems, passengers falling overboard, assaults by crew members, food poisoning, and slip and fall incidents can lead to serious injuries such as broken bones, concussions, and internal organ damage. In the event of injury or wrongful death, here’s how to bring a claim against Carnival Cruise Lines. For more information about hiring a lawyer you can read our Miami cruise ship accident lawyer page.
Read the Back of Your Ticket
When you purchase a cruise ship ticket, it doubles as a legal contract. Most of what you need to know about Carnival Cruise Lines’ liability is on the back or bottom of your ticket. By making your purchase and boarding the ship, you legally consent to the terms of the cruise line. This liability waiver can bar injured parties from pursuing certain claims against Carnival Cruise Lines. It can also list important claim information, such as your deadlines for filing.
The terms and conditions on your ticket are important, but they do not mean you can never file a claim against Carnival. If you believe the cruise line or one of its employees is guilty of negligence or intent to harm, your case will circumvent the stipulations of the ticket purchase. Otherwise, Carnival would be free to cause harm or conduct business negligently without fear of legal repercussions.
Gather Information About Your Incident
At the time of your accident and shortly after, gather as much information as you can about what happened. This includes statements from people who witnessed your incident, names of cruise ship staff members on the scene, and photographs of anything relevant to your claim. If you must go to the onboard hospital for immediate treatment for your injuries, have a friend or family member gather information for you. It’s important to record details of your incident while they are still fresh in your mind.
Report What Happened
In the infamous Carnival Triumph disaster of 2013, a Carnival cruise ship caught fire, leading to a power outage that left passengers stranded in the Gulf of Mexico with no electricity or working toilets for days. Injuries were mostly emotional and mental on this occasion. Carnival changed its policies thereafter in an attempt to appease future passengers. Today, cruisers can receive a full refund if they are dissatisfied with their experience – but only if they register their complaints within 24 hours of departure.
Report your accident and injuries to the cruise line as soon as possible, not only to receive a refund but also to have documented proof that the incident happened and that you reported it to authorities in a timely manner. Keep a record of whom you speak to, what he/she said to you, and how the cruise line responded to your incident and injuries.
Hire an Attorney
Once you receive medical care for your injuries, speak to a lawyer about your Carnival Cruise Line incident. An experienced cruise ship lawyer can walk you through the particulars of negligence laws, premises liability, and maritime laws that may come into play in your case. If you were an employee of the cruise line at the time of your injury, your case may fall under the Jones Act, a federal law that gives maritime employees the right to sue employers for negligence damages.
Bringing a claim against a cruise ship company is a bit different than typical personal injury claims in Florida. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the process and negotiate with Carnival Cruise Lines for a fair and just settlement.