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    Best Cruise Ship Injury Attorney in Miami

    A Miami cruise ship injury attorney will help you win damages you deserve to cover medical costs, pain and suffering and other financial hardships. 

    Cruise ships are “common carriers.” This means they must go above and beyond a standard duty of care when it comes to their passengers. There are a lot of risks associated with cruises, and they have a special charge to protect their customers.

    When you’re on a cruise, are you thinking about all of the ways you can get injured? Of course not!  They promote cruising as a way to forget all about the day to day worries and stresses of life.  You are there to relax and have a good time.  They push alcoholic beverages at you at every turn.

    You’re not worried about how the ship will go into port, weather conditions, or whether the carpet is secure when you’re walking down the hallway.

    Cruise ships and their operating companies have to take such care because a lot can go wrong. 

    Just think about it. You’re at sea on a massive ship with thousands of people. There are a lot of moving parts and security risks to cover.  A cruise ship is a floating city.

    It doesn’t matter if you injure yourself in a slip and fall accident or there is some sort of equipment failure, your cruise ship company is responsible for your physical safety while aboard. 

    Finding a capable Miami cruise ship injury attorney is imperative. They will know the laws around cruise ship safety and how to win you the compensation you deserve. Let’s take a look at some of the common cruise ship injuries and how an attorney can help.

    Common Cruise Ship Injury Claims

    If you or someone you know is injured on a cruise ship, you can file a personal injury claim against the company. 

    Filing a claim lets the cruise line, their lawyers, and their insurance company know that you and your legal team are pursuing damages. 

    Most of the time, lawyers file personal injury claims against the cruise ship company. However, if a third party on the ship caused the injury, it’s possible to file a lawsuit against that individual or organization. Likewise, you may have legal recourse against the company that sold you the cruise tickets or anyone else involved with your injury. 

    That said, here are some of the most common injury claims a Miami cruise ship injury attorney will deal with. 

    Slip and Fall Injuries 

    Slip and fall injuries happen all of the time. They’re so commonplace that people often overlook just how serious they are. People deal with serious injuries when they fall on a wet floor or trip over a cable buried underneath a carpet somewhere. 

    Yes, there are a lot of people and tons of work to do on a cruise ship. However, customer safety is paramount. They need to make sure walkways are safe, dry, and free from hazards. 

    Slip and fall injuries often result in spinal injuries, brain trauma, broken limbs, etc. It can take weeks, months, or even years to recover. Sometimes people never fully recover. Some injuries are catastrophic: paralysis and even death.

    Passengers Overboard

    Cruise ship companies must take serious measures to prevent any accidental falls overboard. Still, even though chances are small, it seems like every year some passenger falls over. Either they walk the wrong way or the boat operates erratically in rough seas. When people fall overboard, their lives are at stake.

    Food Poisoning

    With thousands of passengers onboard, food safety is a priority. Small slip-ups in food safety and proper preparation can make people sick. If contaminated food or poor conditions make people sick, there may not be sufficient medical resources on the ship. 

    Docking Accidents

    Cruise ships weigh a ton, and docking is one of the most dangerous aspects of being on a cruise ship. When such a large object collides unexpectedly with a cement port, objects and people fly in all directions. Likewise, if people are in the wrong place when going into port, injuries happen easily.  If the ship improperly handles the lines that tie up the ship, people can be injured and killed.  These are huge lines holding gigantic ships to the port.  They are under extreme stress.  If they snap or are caught in something, the forces are devastating.  Limbs and lives can be lost in an instant.

    Recreational Injuries

    These days, cruise ships have ziplines, waterslides, rock climbing walls, and more. There is something fun for everyone to do on a cruise ship. You run into problems, though, when untrained employees are handling activities or equipment. If something fails, it can send someone falling several feet onto the ground or smashing into someone or something. 

    Falling Objects

    Cruise ships are several stories tall, and if something shakes free or drops from a higher level, it’s a problem. Falling glasses, broken window panes, dropped chairs, and other objects happen more often than you’d think. 


    Whenever you have so many people gathered in one place, it increases personal physical safety risks. People are drinking onboard, and fights break out frequently. Disagreements become fights. Likewise, sexual assaults happen on cruise ships. Operators, employees, and parent companies must take precautions to limit the risk of physical assault on passengers on board.  They owe passengers a duty of care to provide a reasonably safe premises.  This is especially true when they are promoting the use (some would say “over-use”) of alcohol.

    Medical Malpractice

    When you spend weeks at sea, someone is bound to get sick or hurt. Almost every cruise ship of any size has medical facilities and medical professionals working onboard. However, sometimes these doctors, nurses, and other staff are from different countries and fail to provide the standard of care necessary to treat injuries or illnesses. Medical malpractice happens all of the time. 

    These are just some of the many injuries that occur on cruise ships. If you or someone you love experienced any of these, contact a Miami cruise ship injury attorney right away. 

    How a Miami Cruise Ship Injury Attorney Will Win You Compensation

    Cruise ship injuries usually have a short statute of limitations. You may not have as much time as you think to file a personal injury lawsuit and pursue damages after you’re hurt.  The time to provide written notice to the cruise line is usually six (6) months from the date of the injury.  Most cruise ship contracts have a one (1) year statute of limitations to file the lawsuit, or it will be forever barred.  And the contracts have a venue provision, meaning you have to file suit where they say you file, most often in Miami-Dade County, Florida.  You need to carefully read the ticket for passage, which is now an electronic document. Failure to abide by these deadlines can wipe out your case before it is ever brought.  This is why you need to act fast if you have been injured aboard a cruise ship.  An experienced Miami cruise ship injury lawyer can help.

    We know that hiring a lawyer isn’t what comes to mind right after an injury, but it should be somewhere up there on the list. 

    Sometimes people experience slip and fall injuries that they shrug off initially. What’s a little knee sprain, after all? They take a week or two off work, though, and things still aren’t any better. 

    They decide to go to the doctor only to find they have an ACL tear. It will need surgery to repair the ligament. It’s going to take a year of physical therapy to return to normal. 

    Who is going to pay for this? Not only will the injured victim deal with medical costs, but what if they can’t work their job anymore? That’s a lot of lost income and a significant impact on the people they support. 

    An experienced Miami cruise ship injury attorney can help you or someone you know involved in a cruise ship incident. They’ll assess what happened and help you file a lawsuit to pursue damages for:

    • Medical Bills
    • Lost Income
    • Pain & Suffering
    • The Cost of the Cruise
    • Any Other Associated Costs

    A Miami Cruise Ship Injury Attorney Understands Lawsuit Restrictions

    When you’re buying cruise tickets and as you board the ship, along the way you’re going to sign some type of liability waiver. These waivers are usually industry standards. 

    Your typical cruise ticket is a quasi-contract that limits the scope of liability. Usually, these waivers or contracts include:

    • Requirements around filing a lawsuit like submitting a written statement before any legal action.
    • The time any injured passengers have to file a claim and notify the cruise company of an incident.
    • Limits on lawsuit filing locations.

    Most cruise lines now require passengers to file personal injury lawsuits and other claims in Miami, Florida. 

    They do this because of the significance of the cruise industry to Florida’s economy. There are laws there that are favorable to cruise companies and related third parties. Companies often lobby lawmakers to limit their liability in the event of any injury or other incidents. 

    Knowledge of restrictions around cruise ship injury lawsuits is one of the main things you should look for in a Florida cruise ship injury attorney. They’ll likely have experience working with and against all of the major cruise lines. A good lawyer will know the scope of liability in each type of contract and understands the intricacies of Florida law when it comes to wrongful death and other cruise ship injuries. 

    In short, they’ll know when you have a case and how much it’s worth in terms of dollar figures. Most of the time, your attorney will negotiate a settlement with the cruise company before the case goes to court. They may even win a settlement if the injury falls outside of the cruises’ scope of liability. Sometimes, a cruise line is worried about the public relations impact of an injury enough to want to keep things out of the public eye. 

    At Leighton Panoff Law, we specialize in cruise ship injuries and represent victims when bad things happen. If you or someone you love is involved in a cruise ship injury, talk to us today. We offer no-obligation consultations to discuss your case and whether a lawsuit is the best option. Find out how you can win the compensation you deserve. 

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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