Accidents can happen anywhere. If a mishap occurs and you get injured while enjoying a cruise, it could throw your plans sideways. And in that case, you might face a dilemma: should you go it alone and file a claim with the cruise liner, or is working with a maritime attorney worthwhile?
Enlisting the help of Aronfeld cruise ship accident attorneys does pay off. Here’s how they can help you maximize the value of your claim.
1. Filing the Claim Correctly
When you’re injured, you or your maritime accident attorney must file an injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party to stand any chance of getting damages for the injuries you’ve sustained. That means using the correct process and paperwork so that your claim sails through. Such a lawyer will know precisely what you need to do, including the deadline limitations you must be aware of.
You also need to submit specific documentation, such as your medical records, which prove that you were injured to some extent and are owed damages. An experienced maritime attorney understands the evidence you need to gather for your claim to have merit.
2. Determining the Extent of Your Injuries
Cruise ship accidents often result in severe and sometimes life-altering injuries. A knowledgeable maritime attorney simplifies the process of estimating your losses. This is essential for working out an accurate settlement demand. And if your injuries are permanent, the attorney can help you receive a fair amount for the pain and suffering you’ve likely experienced.
The period following an accident often compels victims to take time off to recover. If your injuries are severe, you could be out of commission for a long time. An excellent maritime attorney can ensure you’re recouped for your lost wages due to the injury.
3. Protecting Your Rights
Generally, maritime laws and regulations are in place to protect passengers and crew members. Unfortunately, some cruise ship companies choose to ignore these rules. A naval attorney can fight to ensure your rights are upheld and that the ship’s owners adhere to the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) Passenger Bill of Rights.
4. Filing a Lawsuit Against the Cruise Liner
Should negotiations with the cruise line fail to produce an agreeable settlement, your maritime attorney will help you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Plus, they can guide you through every step of the litigation process so you can focus on recovery.
Besides, maritime law is complex and different from personal injury law. As such, it would be unwise to file a maritime lawsuit without the help of an attorney who knows the ropes. What’s more, the law applicable in your case might differ based on various factors. For instance, if you’re a seaman, factors such as the number of hours you log at sea and the distance from shore where the accident occurred will be taken into account.
On the other hand, if you’re an ordinary passenger, the type of vessel you were sailing on before the accident will be the primary determinant of the applicable law. So, the general maritime law might apply if you were on a tugboat, barge, yacht, or other pleasure craft when the accident happened.
A cruise ship injury lawyer knows how to navigate the choppy legal waters, including aspects such as liability, the standard of fault and causation. Similarly, they can advise you on where to file a lawsuit (if it comes to that) and the time limitations for taking such action.
5. Maximizing the Attorney’s Network of Resources
Your maritime attorney will also want to speak to witnesses. Some of these people might be reluctant to get involved, but an experienced maritime lawyer can convince them otherwise.
What’s more, your attorney likely has a network of expert resources they can rely on, including medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts. The attorney can also help by gathering evidence, including photographs of the accident scene, to support your claim. These resources can help build a solid case, thereby helping to maximize the value of your claim.
An Experienced Maritime Attorney Is Worth Their Weight in Gold
You might be worried about the costs of hiring an attorney, but that shouldn’t be the case. Maritime attorneys often work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case or reach a settlement agreement. Hence, working with a lawyer who has successfully represented many injured cruise ship passengers and crew members is worth it.
Ultimately, there’s no denying that being injured in a maritime accident can be a trying experience. Fortunately, with the help of a cruise ship injury lawyer, you can get over the legal hurdles involved in filing or proving a claim, starting legal proceedings, or negotiating a settlement to ensure you get the outcome you have in mind.