Florida Cruise & Boating Accident Attorney


Personal Injury Attorneys Delivering Top Notch Representation for Cruise and Boating Accidents

Pilots of recreational boats and personal watercraft have a duty to pilot their craft with reasonable care, have speed limits and other requirements, as do cruise ships and commercial vessels like fishing crafts. With regard to cruise ships, many cruise lines require passengers to sign lengthy and often confusing contracts, which can be confusing for someone injured in a related accident to decipher when facing a personal injury suit.

Cruise passengers can be injured in slip and fall accidents, during offshore excursions, when swimming in a pool, by collisions with other vessels or even in assaults by other passengers or crew members. Passengers can even become sick from contaminated beverages or food. Difficulties are often compounded when cruise lines inadequately train their staff and crew to properly handle such situations. Victims and their families deserve, and are entitled to receive, compensation for these acts of negligence.

Cruise passengers are typically injured in the following ways:

Cruise lines are required to provide a safe environment for their passengers, but accidents often seriously injure passengers, and can sometimes tragically result in death.  Difficulties are often compounded when cruise lines inadequately train their staff and crew to properly handle such situations.  Victims and their families deserve, and are entitled to receive, compensation for these acts of negligence.

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Get Help From a National Firm That’s Secured Over $1 Billion in Recovered Settlements for Clients

Filing a personal injury claim following a cruise or boat accident requires navigating complex legal processes. Kanner & Pintaluga will help assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and any future medical or rehabilitation needs you may have to ensure you can get the most out of your compensation claim.

We will engage in negotiations with the responsible parties’ insurers to seek a fair settlement and are prepared to litigate and represent your interests in court if necessary.

Hiring An Attorney For A Boating or Cruise Accident

Making sure you find the right legal representation for a boating or cruise accident is key to receiving the settlement you deserve. Being headquartered in Florida, Kanner & Pintaluga has the confidence and experience mediating maritime cases. For more information or to schedule a FREE case evaluation call 800.586.5555 today!


Cruise & Boating Accident FAQ's

Anyone injured in a boat accident can file a claim for injuries, the main question is who will be held liable. If you’re the boat owner and operator and you cause a crash, your passengers may be able to file a claim against your insurance for damages. If another boat operator caused an accident and your passengers were injured, you and your passengers should file claims against the at-fault boater.

It’s important to remember that unlike auto insurance, which is required for all car owners and drivers in Florida, boat insurance is not legally mandatory to carry. People can own and operate a watercraft without insurance. The exception is usually scenarios in which you’ve purchased your boat with a loan, in which case your lender likely requires you to carry some kind of boat insurance. That doesn’t necessarily mean the boat owner will have any (or good) bodily injury liability protection.

A lack of insurance also doesn’t mean negligent boat owners or operators are off the hook for injuries. You can still attempt to sue them for damages to cover your medical costs or property damage expenses. That’s why it’s a good idea for boat owners in Florida to carry their own boat insurance and avoid the serious financial consequences that can arise from boat accidents.

Unlike private boat owners, cruise lines are required by law to carry significant bodily injury liability policies. They are also required to carry coverage like workers’ comp (required the by Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act) in case employees or dock workers are injured while performing their job duties. Additionally, individual vendors on a cruise ship may be required to carry their own separate insurance policies to cover both their property and their liability risks. There are generally added costs for “liquor liability insurance” because of the unique risks associated with a boat full of potentially drunk passengers out in the middle of open water.

There can be added complications for some passengers in the event that they are stranded out at sea. For example, if you had business interruption or lost wages because you were quarantined on the vessel or it lost power and your cruise took an extra week before you got home, would the cruise company pay for it or would you regular business insurance cover the loss?

There can be grey areas in these scenarios, and it may be helpful to consult with a personal injury attorney experienced with cruise injuries.

There are specific circumstances where you may be able to file a claim against the cruise ship operator if you become ill on the voyage. This is primarily an option when many passengers are made ill by poor sanitary conditions or outbreaks on the trip (norovirus being one of the most common). In order to file a successful claim, your legal team will need to prove the outbreak was due to cruise line negligence. Factors like poor sanitation practices, improperly stored or prepared food, overbooking or outbreak mismanagement may impact the success of your claim.

Large cruises do have doctors and medical staff onboard to deal with things like slip and fall injuries, food poisoning or norovirus outbreaks. When large-scale outbreaks or injury events happen, these medical professionals frequently become overwhelmed. In those scenarios, it’s not uncommon for patients to have legitimate medical negligence claims related to things like failure to diagnose or treat, misdiagnosis or improper care.

It depends on who the excursion or tour guide was and whether they were an employee of the cruise line. In general, cruise lines are liable for injuries that occur on the boat, but if a tour guide failed to check equipment for an excursion, eventually resulting in the injury of a passenger, the cruise line can be held liable. If your injuries were the result of negligence by a third-party tour operator or business in another state or country, it may be necessary to seek financial damages in local jurisdictions.

Recklessness is generally categorized as actions that are a result of a willful disregard for the safety of others. This is true for all types of negligence law, whether it’s an auto accident, boat accident or premises liability claim. Careless operations are actions that aren’t considered prudent or reasonable.

Both actions can potentially cause serious injuries, but recklessness can result in criminal first-degree misdemeanor charges whereas being carless through imprudence is a civil matter, not a criminal infraction.

Reckless behavior is considered more serious and may leave the the at-fault person open to punitive damages.

If you see signs for idle speed – no wake, you must slow down to the point where you can maintain forward motion and control without generating wake. This usually means minimum speed. Slow down – minimum wake means you need to be off plane and completely settled in the water. The goal is to prevent your wake from creating hazards for other vessels.

Boaters who cause injuries or property damage because they don’t follow posted speed and wake requirements can be held financially liable for the costs. If you were injured by a boater who failed to follow posted speed notices, you might be entitled to compensation.

It depends on who was liable for the injury and what insurance is available to cover your costs. The no-fault laws that apply to Florida’s roads do not apply to Florida waterways. If a boat operator’s carelessness or recklessness caused your injuries, they should legally be required to pay for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Things can get complicated if the at-fault party doesn’t have boat insurance or another bodily injury liability policy that can be used to pay for expenses. Your own personal health insurance may be able to pay for your injuries, but your health insurance company may want to be reimbursed if you’re able to file a successful claim against the at-fault party.

It may help to speak with a boat injury lawyer to learn about your potential options in pursuing damages in a boat accident injury case.

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