When you’re on a cruise, you probably don’t anticipate suffering an injury or illness that requires medical care. Yet when you need to see a doctor while cruising, you expect the same standard of care that you receive at home. If you experience medical negligence under the care of a cruise ship’s doctor, legal protection may be available to you.
In one court case, an elderly passenger fell and hit his head while trying to board the cruise ship when it was in port. The passenger was sent to the ship’s onboard medical facility for treatment. While he stayed in the facility, the passenger allegedly received such negligent treatment that he died a week later. A family member filed suit to hold the cruise line accountable for medical negligence.
What kinds of negligence actions can occur when you seek medical help on a cruise?
Types of Medical Negligence You May Experience on a Cruise
Misdiagnosis. Slips and falls like this one may be a situation for misdiagnosis, one of the most common ways medical professionals can be negligent. The five most misdiagnosed diseases are heart disease, heart attack, tumors, blood clots in the lungs, and infections. On a cruise ship, a doctor may not correctly diagnose an infection or blood clot, which could lead to life-threatening illness. If you can prove that the cruise ship physician was negligent in their diagnosis, you may have the chance to win a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Failure to Treat. Another cause of medical negligence is failure to treat. This applies when the doctor makes a correct diagnosis but does not treat you according to the recognized standard of care. Examples include premature discharge, lack of follow-up care, and failure to refer to a specialist or hospital. If an injury or an existing condition worsens due to a cruise ship doctor’s failure to treat, you may have basis to file a medical malpractice charge.
Prescription Errors. A cruise ship doctor may make an error on the original prescription or in the drug’s administration. The wrong drug may be prescribed, or a misdiagnosis could lead to an incorrect prescription. The dosage could be too strong or too weak. The doctor may prescribe a drug that has harmful interactive effects with the patient’s other prescriptions.
A few conditions apply to prove a medical malpractice charge in this scenario. For example, injury must occur in relation to the prescription given. Without injury, the charge will not apply. If the doctor made an improper prescription and a condition or illness occurred upon taking the drug, the claim of medical malpractice may hold.
Surgical Mistakes. If you had to undergo any type of surgery while cruising, here are a few of the mistakes that may happen. The anesthesia could have been administered wrongly. Too much anesthesia can be given, which can cause permanent injury. Other problems related to anesthesia include improper equipment and improper intubation.
In surgery, you may experience puncture to internal organs or have surgical items left inside your body. You may also not receive proper care after surgery, which can result in serious infection. Even if you only had to receive stitches for a cut, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit if the wound develops an infection.
Talk to a Florida Cruise Lawyer with Success Handling Medical Malpractice Cases
Check with an experienced cruise injury attorney to understand what applies to your specific situation. Medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated. It’s important to meet with a Florida medical malpractice attorney to determine the rights in your case.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.