Statistics show that over twelve million Americans take cruses annually, and while in many cases these vacations are fun-filled and sun-drenched days of fun, for some passengers these cruises become a real cause for concern. Although cruise lines do not release statistics about on-board deaths and injuries, families have been coming forward with tales of missing persons, accidental deaths, and serious injury onboard.
Florida is one of the most popular states for cruises, with many cruise ships leaving and visiting the Port of Everglades, the Port of Palm Beach, the Port of Miami, the Port of Tampa, and the Port of Canaveral each year. As a result, there is natural concern in the state about the safety of cruise ships and cruise vacations. The Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office reported 97 cruise ship deaths between 1999 and 2007 while the Miami Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office has reported 33 such fatalities between 2004 and 2007.
Part of the reason for deaths on board cruise ships is the older age of passengers. According to some cruise line industry sources, the average age on cruise ships is 49 and on some ships, the average age is much higher. Therefore, the majority of cruise ship deaths are due to natural causes. According to the medical investigators who investigate all cruise ship deaths in the US, the majority of deaths are caused by heart attacks, strokes, and other medical reasons.
However, some Miami cruise ship injuries and deaths are due to preventable causes. Miami slip and fall accidents, for example, can be common on cruises, as the ships are in motion and since water can get on board the decks in some cases. Some cruise ships have narrow stairs, which can also pose a fall hazard.
In the past few years, a number of legal actions have been initiated after cruise ship passengers have drowned, sustained pool accidents, and have sustained other accidents. Some lawsuits have also been launched due to Miami accidental deaths on board cruise ships. Cruise lines have a responsibility to keep passengers safe and when sliding doors or bunk beds do not function, when hatches are left open, and when mooring lines are not secured correctly, passengers do have legal remedies for any injuries they suffer as a result.
Passengers can seek to reclaim the costs of transportation to medical facilities, the costs of medical care, and any related expenses caused by an accident. Even with travel insurance, the costs of being injured aboard a cruise ship can be substantial.
If you have sustained a personal injury while on board a cruise ship, it is important to speak to a qualified Miami personal injury attorney right away. There is a one year statute of limitations on many cruise ship accident and injury claims, so delaying legal action could mean that you lose the ability to seek legal redress. Cruise ship lawsuits are also complex because cruise ship companies can choose which jurisdiction any legal cases will take place. Filing in the wrong jurisdiction could have a negative impact on your case.
If you have suffered an injury, contact the Flaxman Law Group for legal representation and advice. You can arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation today so that you can discuss your case with a Miami personal injury attorney.