Jason Stephens | March 31, 2020 | Personal Injury
As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States, many individuals and families experience physical pain, emotional distress, and financial hardships. Some of the first Americans to suffer from the coronavirus were those on cruise ships like the Diamond Princess.
Individuals who were on the Diamond Princess want to know whether the cruise line took all precautions to protect them from COVID-19 while on the ship. Our personal injury lawyers are looking closely at these cases to determine if the cruise line took reasonable and necessary steps to protect its passengers. If not, the cruise line may be responsible for the damages and losses caused by its negligence.
Filing Coronavirus Lawsuits Against Cruise Ships
Cruise ships have a duty of care to provide safe premises for their passengers. Cruise lines are subject to lawsuits for passenger injuries and illnesses in many situations. The question in each lawsuit is whether the cruise line took reasonable steps to protect passengers.
With the coronavirus, it is unknown right now what steps cruise lines took to prevent the spread of the virus on the ship. It is unknown whether the cruise line did everything it could to protect passengers who were under mandatory quarantine by governments, including the Diamond Princess in Japan.
We also do not know what damages were caused by the quarantine and other actions. If a person did not sustain damages, the person cannot receive compensation for a personal injury lawsuit.
Also, most cruise lines include a waiver of class-action lawsuits in the ticket contract. Because this situation is unique, that waiver may or may not stand up in court. Only a lawsuit moving through the court system can settle that question.
Proving a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Cruise Ship Injuries
Coronavirus lawsuits against cruise lines require that the victim prove the cruise line was negligent. Legal elements of negligence include:
- A duty of care existed between the parties. A cruise line has a duty to provide safe premises for passengers.
- A party breached the duty of care. Cruise lines know viruses spread rapidly on ships. Failing to adequately clean the ship, use approved sanitizers, or warn passengers of the potential risk could be considered a breach of duty.
- The passenger was injured because of the breach of duty. A jury would need to decide if a passenger’s illness or injury was a direct result of the cruise line’s failure to act or negligence.
- The passenger sustained damages because of the injury. Damages might include loss of wages, medical expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
At this time, many questions must be answered related to cruise line liability and the coronavirus. Experienced personal injury attorneys are examining the facts and analyzing the various laws to determine whether liability exists.
Are There Deadlines to File Cruise Ship Injury Claims?
Yes, there are deadlines to file a personal injury lawsuit for injuries sustained on a cruise ship. In some cases, a cruise ship ticket may restrict your time to file a legal claim. When you purchase the ticket, you agree to the terms and conditions contained on the ticket.
There may also be statutes of limitations that restrict the time to file a personal injury lawsuit. These deadlines vary by state. Deadlines to file lawsuits vary by the type of lawsuit.
Protect Your Legal Rights After Contracting the Coronavirus
The best way to protect your legal rights is to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If you believe that a cruise line’s negligence caused your coronavirus illness, do not wait too long to seek legal counsel. Your time to file a claim is limited.
An attorney investigates the matter to determine whether the actions of the cruise line were reasonable. The lawyer analyzes various laws and legal theories of liability. Your attorney also works with you to carefully document your damages.
Each of the above steps is vital to prove that you were injured because of cruise ship negligence. An experienced cruise line injury attorney understands what steps are necessary to hold a cruise line accountable for your injuries and damages.
Protect Yourself Against the Coronavirus Now
Following the CDC guidelines can help you protect yourself and your family from coming into contact with COVID-19. If you have questions or concerns about coronavirus, call your physician immediately. Practicing social distancing and taking other steps now can help prevent the spread of the virus.