There’s a certain thrill in being amongst the first few to enjoy a new experience, so it’s no surprise that many vacationers jump at the opportunity to be on a new cruise
Cruise Ship Medical Negligence Requires Maritime Law Experience
The close quarters and crowded public areas on cruise ships make them breeding grounds for nasty germs and bugs like the norovirus, and there are countless ways for you to get hurt, too – slipping on a wet area of the deck, falling down stairs, bumping your head on the bottom of the pool, and even being injured out on excursions. No one wants to get sick or suffer an injury when they’re supposed to be enjoying their cruise, but unfortunately it happens. When it does, you expect to be taken care of by the medical personnel and facilities present on board.
Obviously, they won’t have all of the same advanced equipment and procedures that you can find in a hospital on land, but you should still be able to expect a competent standard of care. Sadly, though, that doesn’t always happen. Cruise ship doctors may not always be as well-trained as their land-bound counterparts, and they can be easily overwhelmed if some sort of outbreak occurs and their offices are flooded with patients. Your care might be delayed, or, just as bad, rushed. This can cause the doctor to make mistakes and do more harm than good.
If you or someone that you love is injured through the negligence of a doctor while you’re on a cruise ship, you deserve compensation for the pain and suffering that you’ve had to endure. But you can’t just go out and find a medical malpractice attorney. You need someone with experience in that area of the law, certainly, but you also need to make sure that they are a licensed maritime lawyer with expert knowledge of the different rules and regulations that cover incidents at sea. The Law Office of Andrew Winston have not only the experience and qualifications you want, but also the drive to help victims get the compensation they deserve – even if it means going to trial against the cruise line. If they believe that it’s in your best interest to do so, they won’t hesitate to take the fight to court.
Kinds of Medical Negligence on Cruise Lines
There are all kinds of improper things that medical personnel can do that constitute negligence on a cruise line, but some of them are harder to prove than others. Some of the more common types of medical negligence that have been reported include:
- Failure to diagnose or treat. As mentioned above, doctors and other medical personnel aboard cruise ships can easily become overwhelmed if they are faced with an outbreak of illnesses or multiple passengers with injuries. When this kind of situation arises on a cruise, you might find yourself waiting and waiting just to get in to see the doctor, and sometimes passengers never receive the medical help that they’ve requested and their problem goes undiagnosed until they get back to shore and can see a doctor on land. If you can prove that you reached out to the medical crew on the cruise ship and had your issue ignored, this can be used to build a case of medical negligence against the cruise line.
- Wrong diagnosis. As bad as it is to be forced to wait and wait, only to never see the cruise’s medical doctor, sometimes it can be even worse if they misinterpret your symptoms and diagnose you improperly. In one such incident, a young woman with a ruptured appendix was repeatedly told that she was just suffering from the flu until she and her family disembarked and ascertained the real problem from a doctor on land. By that time, she had developed an infection and other complications that made the issue far more serious.
- Lack of informed consent. When doctors perform procedures or even diagnose medications to improve patients’ conditions, they have to let those patients know what they are doing to their bodies and whether there are any potential side effects or complications. If your cruise ship doctor skips over this part of the process and ends up harming you through their actions, you can hire a maritime lawyer to sue the cruise line because you weren’t warned about the dangers ahead of time.
- Incorrect medical procedure. This is something that actually happens far more often in large hospitals on land because doctors may confuse patients and perform a procedure meant for one person on someone else. However, that kind of thing can happen in cruise ship medical facilities, too, often in conjunction with a misdiagnosis or when a doctor is overwhelmed by too many patients.
In all of the above situations, the results for the wronged passengers can be extremely serious – in some cases they can even be deadly. No one should have to live with and pay for the mistakes of someone else if they enter a medical facility with a specific issue and have it mishandled by the so-called professionals there. Doctors and other medical personnel have to adhere to a certain standard of care, and if they hurt someone through a mistake, they should be accountable.
Do You Have a Medical Negligence Case Against a Cruise Line?
It isn’t always easy to know whether or not you have a viable medical negligence case against a cruise line. The best way to determine this is to come in to our offices for a free consultation and speak with our experienced attorney about the specific facts of your case.
Still, there are a number of helpful questions that you should ask yourself before calling our offices, including:
- Did you experience symptoms that got worse as the cruise continued, despite seeing the doctor?
- While in port, was it necessary for you to seek help from a different treatment facility or hospital?
- How did your treatment on the ship or at port compare to the medical help that you received once you returned home?
- Did the medical staff, assess, treat, and diagnose you correctly?
- Did you experience any undue pain or injuries as a result of the medical care provided to you?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s possible that you might have a viable medical negligence case against the cruise line. But the only way to know for sure is to get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can make a professional evaluation of your case. The statute of limitations for cruise-line injuries is only a year, so you have to act fast or lose out.
We can help you set up a free legal consultation with The Law Office of Andrew Winston today if you fill out a short online case review form or by calling us at 954-606-6606, or toll-free at 866-306-9606. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, because the Law Office of Andrew Winston works on a contingency basis – unless they recover compensation for you, there won’t be any charge for their services.