People can pass away even on a vacation or cruise. Statistics show that cruise ship deaths are more common than previously thought. According to the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office, 91 people died on cruise ships arriving in Fort Lauderdale between 2014 and 2017. This is just Florida. Cruise insiders estimate that up to 3 people die per week on cruises worldwide.
Common Causes of Cruise Ship Deaths
The common causes of cruise ship deaths are slip and fall accidents. Normally, slippery floors or inadequate lighting cause victims to have moderate injuries like bruises, cuts or broken bones. However, unsafe environments can lead to life-threatening injuries like spinal cord injuries or even death.
In 2012, a young female passenger went overboard on the Royal Caribbean owned Allure of the Seas cruise ship. The young woman slipped and fell off the ship. Her surviving mother filed a wrongful death claim against the company since the ship’s crew failed to initiate an immediate rescue mission. These deaths don’t just happen to passengers but team members, too.
Even though slip and falls are the most common cause of death, poor medical care is a close second. A passenger onboard the Carnival Dream received substandard care for her bowel obstruction. This led to her death. Her surviving husband filed a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Lines.
It is possible to recover damages when a family member or loved one dies onboard a cruise ship have the legal possibility to recover damages. The Death on the High Seas Act provides recovery of monetary damages for all wrongful deaths occurred beyond three nautical miles from the shore. Descendants can file a lawsuit based on DOHSA when negligence, unseaworthiness, intentional behavior, and strict or products liability caused the death. The Act provides recovery of monetary damages such as burial costs and lost wages.
Family members must file these suits promptly since there is a short statute of limitation. The cruise ticket works as a valid contract. You must notify the cruise line of any incidents within six months, and you have one year to file any claims. Don’t miss out on your right for compensation by failing to act quickly.
Often times, passengers don’t know how to bring a lawsuit after they have been injured on a cruise. Cruise lines can mandate that claims are brought within one year of the accident. This time frame is rather short. As a complex litigation injury firm, we press upon our clients that they need to immediately speak with an attorney to discuss their slip and fall case. Don’t delay. Contact us today.