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Admiralty & Maritime Claims
Trust the Law Offices of David C. Rash

Cruise Ship Medical Malpractice Attorney

Can I Sue a Cruise Line for Medical Malpractice?

All cruise ships should have a medical team that includes doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to ensure the safety and health of their passengers. If you experienced illness while on the cruise ship or believe that your medical condition was handled negligently by the cruise ship's medical personnel, then you may be able to hold the medical staff accountable for medical negligence. Recently, courts ruled that you may even be able to file a lawsuit against the cruise line for medical negligence.

Do you have a valid cruise ship medical malpractice lawsuit? Consider the following important questions:

  • Did the medical staff diagnose you incorrectly?
  • Did you experience pain or injury after receiving medical care onboard the ship?
  • Did your symptoms worsen during the cruise?
  • Did you require emergency hospitalization?

Passengers rely heavily on cruise ship medical staff to treat their injuries competently. There are limited options out at sea, so it is crucial that cruise line staff respond to your medical needs promptly and professionally. Talk to a Florida cruise ship medical malpractice attorney at David C. Rash, P.A. to help you determine whether or not you have a valid claim. We can review your case and file a claim on your behalf.

What is the Barbetta Rule?

In 1988, the ruling on the case of Barbetta v. S/S Bermuda Star determined that cruise ship companies were not in direct control of medical staff aboard their ships. Instead, onboard nurses and doctors were to be seen as independent contractors, not necessarily employees. This mandate disallowed any responsibility or liability for cruise ship medical malpractice cases to be passed onto the cruise ship company. People injured onboard cruise liners and subsequently mistreated by medical staff there were unlikely to find suitable compensation for their injuries.

A recent ruling by the 11th United States Court of Appeals, however, has brought a welcome change to the Barbetta ruling, citing it as outdated. It has been argued that modern cruise ships are essentially "floating cities" with state-of-the-art and well-stocked infirmaries. The medical staff working aboard them are not independent contractors but instead true employees of the companies who own the vessels on which they work.

List of Cruise Ship Accidents

Millions of people set sail on a cruise ship every year. With so many people entrusting cruise liners with their health and wellbeing, it is of utmost importance for safety protocols to be constantly met, and for medical staff to be properly trained. When and if an accident does occur, it can be seen as simply unreasonable to place all liability on the injured party, especially when medical malpractice makes the situation worse.

Some of the most commonly reported cruise injuries are linked to:

  • Food poisoning
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Legionnaires' Disease
  • Broken railings
  • On-board fires
  • Unsecured objects

Whether your injury was caused by general negligence of the cruise ship company or made worse by the medical malpractice of those who treated you, the responsible parties must be held accountable. Our firm can carefully assess the details of your case to determine the most effective strategies. At the end of the day, our mission is and always will be to protect and uphold your best interests.

Cruise Ship Drowning

Pool accidents that cause a drowning can stem from numerous situations and cruise ship employees and management have a duty of care to ensure a safe environment for their passengers. When negligent actions or hazardous conditions are allowed to exist on a cruise ship and an accident occurs, those responsible must be held accountable. Like accidents which occur on land, there are regulations intended to keep pool drownings from happening. When events such as regular inspections and maintenance are ignored, the likelihood of accidents increases.

Accidents can stem from hazardous conditions such as:

  • Missing safety equipment such as life jackets
  • Pool overcrowding
  • Lack of visibility due to unclean water
  • Broken equipment such as pool ladders
  • Faulty pool drain covers
  • Failure to correctly indicate pool depth

Cruise Ship Sexual Assault Cases

Seeking justice following a cruise ship sexual assault, whether perpetrated by another passenger or a crew-member, can put the victim in an extremely difficult, vulnerable and emotionally horrific situation. While he or she is not necessarily trying to prove the guilt of defendant in a criminal case, it can be helpful to approach the situation as if this was the case. Maritime law Attorney David C. Rash can manage all the complex portions of your case, making it easier for you and your family to focus on healing.

Allow our firm to worry about gathering and using evidence to your advantage, such as:

  • Security and closed-circuit TV footage from the cruise ship
  • Testimonies from passengers and/or crew
  • Physical evidence
  • Your medical record after the incident
  • Onboard security personnel statements
  • Criminal records and/or personnel records of the assaulter

Call (954) 914-7116 for the professional legal guidance you need.

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