Cruise Ship Injury Compensation
Claims for cruise ship injury compensation differ from most other types of personal injury claim for a number of reasons. Primarily, the need to prove negligence is removed when making a claim for cruise ship injury compensation as, under the “Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974”, the onus is on the cruise ship company to show that they were not negligent and that your accident and cruise ship injury was not their fault.
This does not mean that you should ignore the procedures that are required to make a cruise ship injury claim – indeed, they should be the focus of your attention as soon as you have received medical attention for an injury on board a cruise ship, as one of the other major differences when claiming compensation for a cruise ship injury is that you have less time in which to file a claim than you would if you accident was to happen on land in the United Kingdom.
Injuries Which Qualify for Cruise Ship Compensation
Practically any number of injuries can be sustained on a cruise ship from the moment you embark. Slips on spilled food and wet floors can ruin a holiday from day one. Accidents in any of the pools or facilities provided on the cruise ship can lead to you disembarking with a plaster cast, while food poisoning and norovirus illnesses can be contracted due to a poor standard of hygiene.
Injuries which are sustained on cruise line approved excursions, physical attacks and sexual assault by crew members also qualify as injuries for which you can claim cruise ship injury compensation, and there is also the risk of a double injury if the medical treatment you receive on board is negligent or you are put off the ship in a port without adequate arrangements made for your care and well-being.
Procedures to Follow After a Cruise Ship Injury
After you have sustained an injury on a cruise ship for which you were not at fault, your first consideration should be that of your health. You should seek professional medical attention, rather than First Aid or attempting to treat your own injuries, and have your injuries chronicled in the ship´s Accident Report Book. If you have a representative of the tour company through whom you booked the cruise on board, you should advise them of your cruise ship injury as well.
Once you return home, you should undergo a further medical examination by your family doctor, even if you have recovered from the injury or symptoms of an illness. In addition to ensuring that you have made a full recovery, your injury on a cruise ship will be recorded in your medical notes which – along with any other evidence you gathered – will be used to support your claim for cruise ship injury compensation.
Claiming Compensation for a Cruise Ship Injury
Thereafter, you should speak with a solicitor about making a claim for cruise ship injury compensation. The solicitor will assess your case, advise you whether you have a cruise ship injury claim which is worth your while to pursue and, if so, contact the cruise company to see whether they are prepared to admit liability for your injuries.
Provided that there is no dispute over who is to blame for your injury on a cruise ship, the solicitor will then calculate how much compensation for a cruise ship injury you are entitle to. This will be done by considering the extent of your injury and recovery period in relation to your age and general state of health before you departed for your cruise.
The solicitor will then account for any deterioration in your quality of life that is attributable to your injury and any financial costs that you may have incurred for medical treatment, repatriation and loss of income. In order to calculate accurately how much compensation for a cruise ship injury you are entitled to, it is recommended that you keep a diary about the day-today activities that your injury prevents you from doing, and any receipts or credit card statements relating to your expenses.
How Long Does a Cruise Ship Injury Claim Take?
Making a claim for cruise ship injury compensation can be a quick process when liability is acknowledged quickly and a swift agreement is negotiated on a compensation settlement. However, should the cruise company deny liability for your cruise ship injuries, a cruise ship injury claim for compensation may take much longer and litigation in court may be necessary.
Furthermore, if your injuries are of a serious nature, it may not be possible to compile a claim for cruise ship injury compensation until such time as all the consequences of your injury are clear and a medical prognosis indicates how long – if ever – it may take you to recover from your injury. However, a potential delay in establishing the outcome of a serious injury should note stop you from contacting a solicitor as time limits exist over how long you have in which to make a cruise ship injury claim.
Time Limits for Cruise Ship Injury Compensation
Whereas in the United Kingdom you are allowed three years from the date of knowledge of an injury in which to make a personal injury claim, when making a claim for cruise ship injury compensation you are allowed only two years from the day you disembark from the ship. Although this may seem like a considerable period of time, two years can elapse very quickly when waiting for responses from overseas companies and their insurers.
Indeed, some cruise ship companies include a clause in their terms of carriage that they must be informed on an injury on a cruise ship within six months of the injury occurring and a claim for cruise ship injury compensation being received within one year. Although this clause can be overcome if necessary, one delay in submitting a claim for cruise ship injury compensation may lead to another.
Offers of Compensation for a Cruise Ship Injury
It is often the case after you have sustained an injury on a cruise ship through no fault of your own that you may be directly approached by the cruise company or their insurers with an offer of cruise ship injury compensation. Although these offers may be welcome at a time when you injury prevents you from working and you are concerned about your financial future, such offers should always be referred to a solicitor.
Offers of compensation for a cruise ship injury are often compiled with no consideration of the consequences of your injury and, by accepting an offer of cruise ship injury compensation without a professional assessment, you run the risk of being under-compensated and unable to afford medical treatment or support your family. If short-term finances are a concern for you, a solicitor can usually apply for interim payments of cruise ship injury compensation until such time as your claim is resolved.
Cruise Ship Injury Compensation Summary
As claims for cruise ship injury compensation differ so much from claims for other types of personal injury, it is always in your best interests to speak with a personal injury solicitor at the first possible opportunity. Not only will a solicitor assist with any outstanding procedures which you are unable to because of your injury, but they will also deal with any approach made to you by an insurance company and ensure that you receive the maximum amount of cruise ship injury compensation to which you are entitled.
All articles are written or edited by Eoin Campbell.