When medical attention is required on a cruise ship, typically the only option is to seek care on board the vessel. Although a cruise line has an obligation to provide competent and safe medical treatment, this may not always be the case. If you have been injured, or lost a loved one as a result of incompetent medical care on board a cruise ship, you may be entitled to compensation. Our firm is experienced in handling complex medical malpractice cases involving cruise ship medical negligence.
Medical Malpractice On Cruise Ships
From a legal perspective medical malpractice cases can be extremely complex, especially if they have occurred on board a cruise ship. Cruise lines have a duty to exercise reasonable care when providing medical care to their passengers. This usually translates to a duty to provide competent doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who can handle a wide variety of issues ranging from simple cuts and bruises to emergencies. Unfortunately, cruise lines may fall short of adhering to this duty of care, which can result in misdiagnosis, lack of appropriate treatment, severe injury or even death.
Cruise Ship Liability for Medical Malpractice
Historically cruise lines could not be held liable for medical malpractice. Whereas previously, courts held that a cruise line could not be held vicariously liable for negligent medical treatment onboard, a 2014 case changed that. In Franza v. Royal Carribbean, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held a cruise line may be held liable for the negligence of its shipboard doctors.
A cruise line may be liable for medical malpractice if:
- The cruise line advertised the availability of medical care to passengers
- The cruise line retained the right to hire and fire medical staff
- The cruise line requires medical staff to wear the ship’s uniform and sail under the ship’s officers
- The cruise line pays the salary of the medical staff
- The cruise line stocks the ship’s hospital with supplies, equipment and medicine
- The cruise line sends the passenger bills for medical care expenses incurred onboard the ship
Our legal team can assess your claim to determine whether you can successfully assert a claim for medical malpractice. As these types of cases involve maritime law, it is important to consult with an attorney who specifically handles cruise line medical malpractice cases.
Contact a Cruise Line Attorney
If you have suffered injuries, or lost a loved one, as a result of a cruise ship medical malpractice, a cruise ship lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Our firm knows how to navigate the complexities of a cruise ship medical malpractice case to secure the maximum compensation possible for victims. Having worked on the defense side for the cruise lines for over a decade, Geoffrey Probst knows the strategies necessary to achieve a successful outcome for victims of cruise line negligence. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by phone or by appointment in Atlanta, Georgia or Weston, Florida.
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