Walnut Creek Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer
Oceangoing cruises are among the most popular getaways for Californians. These ships are more like floating resorts than boats. Unfortunately, while there are lots of recreational possibilities on cruise ships, there are also lots of injury possibilities. Furthermore, many cruise ship employees have little time at sea. So, they are not accustomed to the close quarters onboard and the emotional ways that extended time at sea affects people.
Furthermore, these victims have a number of legal options, mostly depending on whether the ship was docked, in U.S. waters, or in international waters at the time of the injury. On a related note, many cruise ship lines have choice of law provisions buried deep within the terms of service. Therefore, these victims need an experienced Walnut Creek cruise ship accident lawyer from Venardi Zurada to handle their claims. Otherwise, these victims might end up settling for pennies on the dollar.
Types of Cruise Ship Injuries
Each new cruise ship that leaves dry dock is bigger and capable of carrying more passengers and crew than previous models. So, the risk of injury increases as well. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Falls: Cruise ships usually remain in relatively calm waters where the weather is relatively good. Nevertheless, heaving and pitching decks which are wet and slippery are a common hazard. In terms of medical treatment, most cruise ships have little more than first aid stations. So, a serious fall injury quickly becomes a catastrophic injury.
- Drownings: On a related note, victims who fall into the water often have little chance of surviving. Usually, the fall is at least two or three stories. The shock of that impact makes it almost impossible to swim under one’s own power or even call for help. Nighttime falls, when visibility is low, are even worse.
- Assaults: As mentioned, when people are isolated and confined in relatively close quarters, they behave differently. Everyday conflicts often become violent. That goes for passenger-on-passenger assaults, as well as employee-on-passenger incidents.
Normally, alcohol flows freely on board cruise ships. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and gives people a sense of euphoria. These qualities might be desirable at some parties, but they could also contribute to the aforementioned injuries.
Our Walnut Creek cruise ship accident lawyers do more than help these victims obtain compensation for their injuries. We also take care of immediate needs, such as advanced medical treatment. Usually, providers charge nothing upfront for these services.
Intentional torts, like assaults, work a bit differently from unintentional injuries, such as falls and drownings. Usually, the cruise ship line is financially responsible for damages in these situations. Some common theories include negligent hiring and negligent supervision.
The cruise ship is also typically responsible for unintentional injuries, provided the two key principles of such cases are present:
- Duty: In California, all landowners, including cruise ship owners, have a duty of reasonable care. The exact extent of this duty varies based on certain facts, such as the probable seriousness of harm and the owner’s control over the property at issue. However, as mentioned above, California law doesn’t always apply to cruise ship injuries.
- Knowledge: Additionally, victims must prove that the owner knew, or should have known, about the hazard which caused injury. Both direct and circumstantial evidence is admissible. In either case, the victim must prove negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Several insurance company defenses are available. Intentional tort claims often involve the foreseeability doctrine. Cruise ship owners are only responsible for such injuries if the company could have predicted, or should have predicted, that they might occur. Negligence defenses include comparative fault and assumption of the risk.
Damages in a premises liability claim usually include money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Contact an Experienced Alameda County Attorney
Injury victims are normally entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer in Walnut Creek, contact Venardi Zurada, LLP. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.