Cruise slip and fall law is quite complex. The personal injury lawyers at Brais Brais & Rusak have vast experiences litigating lawsuits against major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, NCL and Disney. It is very important if you are hurt aboard a cruise ship to make a record of your accident and preserve evidence. Performance of these tasks will add significant benefits to your case.
You fly to Miami, visit the sights and board a cruise ship for a family vacation bound for the Bahamas. After exploring the ship, you decide to go to the lido deck for some much needed rest and relaxation. You enter the elevator and press the Deck 10 button. The doors open to a beautiful atrium with highly polished marble floors. As you take your first step on the deck, you slip and fall hurting your knee. Turns out children swimming in the pool a half hour earlier did not completely towel off and while waiting for the elevator dripped pool water on the marble floor. Unfortunately, this scenario is routinely played out on cruise ships. If you are one of the unlucky people who suffered a slip and fall injury aboard a cruise, there are certain things you should know to prepare your lawsuit against the cruise line.
Be sure to report your slip and fall accident to the cruise line as soon as possible. It is important that your accident is documented. This helps establish that you were in fact hurt on the cruise ship as opposed to on a shore excursion. Also, since the cruise line is now on notice of your accident, many courts require the CCTV video depicting your accident be preserved. Brais Brais & Rusak has obtained multiple orders from court requiring cruise lines to produce the CCTV video. Recently, Brais Brais & Rusak obtained an order sanctioning Celebrity Cruise Lines for losing the video after the passenger notified the cruise line of her accident. The CCTV video is also important to establish the dangerous condition (here the puddle of water) existed for a sufficient period of time so that a reasonable cruise operator would have rectified the condition.
Seek Medical Care
Simply put, if you are hurt, go to the doctor! Be sure to tell the doctor your pain is a direct result of your slip and fall accident. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Injured passengers have the obligation of what is called “mitigating their damages”. This means if the doctor prescribed certain medical care which will help in the healing process and you don’t follow the advice and your condition worsens, the law precludes you from seeking compensation from the cruise line for the worsening of your condition.
Taking photographs of the accident scene at or very near the time of your accident is often time key to your case. Such pictures will show what the condition looked like at the time of the accident and help prove a hazardous condition existed. Photographs of the scene taken a few days after the accident will also help prove a personal injury case. This law firm prosecuted cases where the passenger’s spouse took photographs of the scene shortly after the accident. The photographs showed a wet surface with extremely worn-out anti-slip strips. A few days later the spouse revisited the accident scene. There he noticed the anti-slip strip had been replaced with new strips. He photographed the new strips. With these photographs, the passenger can prove the existence of a hazardous condition and the cruise line had the ability to make it safe but failed to do so until after the accident!
Let’s face it, no one wants to have pictures taken of them when they are hurt. However, such photographs are very important to your case. The old adage of a picture says a thousand words is very true in this instance. At trial you can explain to the jury how it was like when you were hurt, but, if they see pictures they will most likely understand the severity of your pain.
Independent witnesses are very important to personal injury litigation. The jury will hear testimony from you and your family as well as the cruise line and its employees. Jurors are regular people and will know the parties will put their own spin on the facts – its only human nature. However, hearing facts from an unbiased person is very powerful to a jury’s analysis in determining who was a fault.
Retaining a law firm is a big decision and should not be based upon advertisement. The law firm of Brais Brais & Rusak has two Florida Board Certified Admiralty & Maritime Attorneys and dedicates a large portion of their practice to cruise line personal injury claims. If you think you may have a claim against a cruise line and would like to learn more, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.