Many individuals go on vacation on cruise ships every year. They do not always recognize the risks that are involved with such trips, though. Perhaps the biggest issue is that if an injury happens while on board a cruise ship, there is no fast way to get the victim to the hospital for treatment. Such incidents call for there to be medical professionals on the cruise ship. However, these medical professionals may not act properly and can cause more harm than good. If you were injured in a medical malpractice incident aboard a cruise ship, you should take legal action against the necessary party. Our team of attorneys at the Downtown LA Law Group is here to represent you and ensure that you are adequately compensated for your damages and losses.
Medical Malpractice on a Cruise Ship
Historically, cruise ship companies have denied liability for the actions of the doctors and medical professionals that are on board their vessels. The cruise companies are required to provide licensed medical professionals in case any passengers are injured, but most of the time, these medical professionals are licensed outside of the United States. The companies claimed that the doctors are independent contractors.
They also do not have proper equipment on board the ship, like adequate machines and medication. To make matters worse, the area where the treatment occurs may not be sterile, given how far a cruise ship travels, the fact that it is at sea, and how many different individuals are present on board.
After a landmark decision changed this law, it became possible for an injured individual to sue the cruise ship company as well as the negligent doctor.
Some examples of medical malpractice on cruise ships include:
- Improper treatment
- Administration of the wrong medication
- Usage of unsterilized equipment
- Wrong operation or incision
- Unnecessary surgery or extreme measures
In the most extreme cases, medical malpractice aboard a cruise ship can result in the wrongful death of a victim. The doctor may mistakenly kill a patient due to the wrong treatment, an allergy to medication, an error during surgery, and more. The doctor should always use proper judgment and if the victim needs to be evacuated to a hospital on land, there should be no hesitation.
How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit against a Cruise Company
Medical malpractice lawsuits are a form of personal injury claims. You must establish that there was negligent action on behalf of the cruise ship or the doctor. In order to do this, you must show this series of points:
- There was a doctor/patient relationship established between you and the medical professional
- The doctor acted in such a way that other professionals would not have acted under the same or similar circumstances
- The actions of the doctor led to an incident or a breach of the duty of care
- The incident resulted in actual physical injuries
The fourth point is quite important, as some errors in judgment result in small damages that heal quickly or have no noticeable effect on the victim. When going through a medical malpractice claim, your attorney will hire other medical experts who can testify that they would not have acted the way the cruise ship doctor acted. This will establish that the behavior of the doctor was out of the ordinary, unusual, unnecessary, or outright wrong.
To file a claim, you will need ample proof of the incident. You should follow these steps:
First, take as many photos of you can of the injuries you suffered, the scene of the accident, the treatment that was done to you, and more. You will need sufficient physical proof of the results of the incident.
Additionally, there may be videos that you can get from the cruise ship, such as surveillance footage. However, this could be very difficult to acquire, especially if the cruise ship company knows that the videos will be used against them. They may outright refuse to give the evidence to you.
You can provide your proof of attendance on the cruise ship. You may have a receipt, email confirmation, boarding pass, bank statement, credit card statement, or other piece of evidence showing that you were a rightful and legal passenger on the cruise ship.
If there were any eyewitnesses who saw the incident happen and can testify that the doctor acted negligently, you can ask them for their statements to add to your case. It will benefit you if there are other people supporting your perspective.
You will need to get as much information about the cruise ship company and the doctor as possible. All names, phone numbers, insurance details, medical licenses, and more must be acquired so that you can file your claim against the proper party.
Finally, you should reach out to a lawyer with experience n medical malpractice claims and cruise ship injury claims. This area of law is quite specific, and not many attorneys will be well equipped to handle it. They may only be oriented towards basic injuries and not know maritime law or medical malpractice law. Our attorneys are highly skilled in this area and have litigated numerous claims involving doctor negligence on a cruise ship. We will handle your case for you while you focus on recovering from any injuries or getting treatment to better address the damages you suffered.
Compensation from Medical Malpractice on a Cruise Ship
Medical malpractice lawsuits can result in large amounts of compensation if you were seriously hurt. However, there are some important regulations that are not present with other personal injury claims. The most important and limiting factor in medical malpractice lawsuits concerns pain and suffering damages. Normally, these damages have no limit, but in medical malpractice lawsuits, they are capped at $250,000. The other damages, like medical bills, have no limit, though. We will strive to win you the following damages from the cruise ship company or medical company:
- Medical expenses from the past and future to cover any treatments
- Lost income from the time you were unable to return to work, whether in the past or future
- Damaged or lost property
- Pain and suffering damages to account for emotional trauma, fear, anxiety, PTSD, mental scarring, and more
In the event that a family member or loved one dies on the cruise ship due to the negligence of a medical professional, you can pursue wrongful death damages. These damages include coverage for the funeral and burial payment for the costs of casket or cremation, lost income and inheritance, loss of relations and consortium, pre-death medical bills, pre-death pain and suffering damages, and more.
Our goal is to ensure that you are fully covered for any losses and damages. We will not give up on your case until we are satisfied with the results. You should not be expected to cover these debts if you were hurt because of the negligence of a medical professional or doctor aboard a cruise ship.
Deadline to File a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice on a Cruise Ship
The statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice while aboard a cruise ship is 1 year from the date of the injury. If you do not take legal action in this time frame, you won’t be able to receive any coverage and you will be barred from pursuing additional compensation in the future.
There may be some ways for the statute of limitations to be extended. Minors cannot legally sue, so the statute would begin when they turn 18 years old. Individuals who have been left physically or mentally incapacitated after the incident also cannot sue, so they can wait until they return to normalcy before the statute begins to count own.
Often, victims do not know when the statute of limitations ends. If you come to our firm, we will make sure your case is filed on time and you have the best chance of success.
Our Firm and You
The Downtown LA Law Group is here to help you with your medical malpractice lawsuit if you were injured while on board a cruise ship. We have a team of aggressive lawyers with the necessary skills to litigate your claim and win you every cent of the damages you deserve. Our expert attorneys are willing to go to court to defend you in front of a judge and jury.
For a free legal consultation with one of our lawyers, call our law offices today. You can reach us any time of day or night, and we will ensure that all your information is kept totally confidential and private. We will discuss your claim, its value, and what you can expect. If you hire us to represent you, we will also ensure that you pay us no fees at all. Our zero fee guarantee says that we get paid only if we win, and if we lose, we take no payment. Either way, the settlement from the cruise ship will provide us with our funds.
To sue a cruise ship company for medical malpractice, reach out to the Downtown LA Law Group today.