In the 1970s "The Love Boat " promised its viewers romance on the high seas. The Princess Cruise Lines used the show to promote their business and marketed themselves as a floating singles bar. Today cruise ships gear their services to families and there are many activities for children.
Unfortunately, activities for children involve a lot of running around and that can result in injury. If your child gets injured on a cruise, there are certain actions you can take to recover damages for their medical bills.
A cruise line can be held at fault for any injuries that a passenger may sustain onboard one of its ships that is at sea. Parents of the injured child will generally file a personal injury claim. If the accident took place while you were docked at a port, there's a good chance that the cruise line will say they are not responsible for the injuries.
You will have to establish that the cruise line was at fault in some way and caused the child's injuries. The crew may have been negligent in their duties or the ship itself may just not have been safe. Many ships today feature things like water slides and playgrounds for children. A faulty piece of playground equipment may cause an accident.
What Evidence to Collect
Whenever you are injured in any accident, it is very important to document everything. When the accident happens you are likely to have to fill out an accident report with a cruise line. They may try to get you to say that the accident was not their fault. Be very careful about the language you use when describing the accident. Read the report before you sign it to make sure it is accurate.
You should get the names of any witnesses who might have seen the accident and take pictures. Save all the medical bills and get a report from the pediatrician who treated your child. If the ship's doctor treats your child, you should get a report of that as well.
You should save all of your receipts for any prescription and non-prescription medication your child might need. If you had to take time off of work to take your child to the doctor, you should get your company's HR department to write you a letter documenting the time you had to miss.
Hiring an Attorney
Although it may seem as though hiring a personal injury attorney would be appropriate in this case, you should actually hire a maritime lawyer. Cruise ship accidents are more complex than regular personal injury cases. A maritime lawyer will be well-versed in laws that pertain particularly to cruise ships and to accidents that occur on the high seas.
Going on a cruise should be fun for the whole family. When accidents happen, they can put a damper on a trip. Getting the proper compensation for an accident can set you on the course to recovery.
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