Medical Malpractice in Cruise Ship Accidents

Children of the 80’s would know all about “The Love Boat” television series which was squeaky clean and the ideal vacation for Americans. But that is television, and the reality is there are a lot of things to beware of when deciding on going on a cruise, especially the issues of medical malpractice and cruise ship accidents.

In general, it is not a good idea to be beyond the reach of the primary physician if there is an existing medical condition even if you are certain you can get adequate medical attention wherever you are going. But when circumstances force it, such as going on a cruise, it is reasonable to expect that you will at least get competent emergency care in case of cruise ship accidents or medical emergencies such as a ruptured appendix. Unfortunately, there are no regulations that force cruise liners to provide such competent service, so shipboard doctors may not provide the quality of care you will need. And to make things worse, even if the medical personnel causes injury or death because of some type of medical malpractice, the cruise liner has no liability because it is governed by maritime law and shipboard doctors are independent contractors.

Of course, a medical malpractice suit can be brought against the health professional but most shipboard doctors are not American citizens, and are therefore not bound by US laws. If the doctor is licensed in the US, there may be some hope of compensation. Louis A. Vucci, P.A., website states that for cruise ship accidents, there is a statute of limitations of one year in which one can bring a case for medical malpractice.

There is no doubt that you are on shaky ground when medical malpractice occurs on a cruise ship, but that is no reason to take it lying down. As pointed out in an article on the website of the Louisville personal injury lawyers of the Sampson Law Firm, medical malpractice victims often go through a horrendous ordeal of repeated surgeries, medical complications, and long-term health consequences. If it is at all possible to get compensation for these injuries, every effort should be expended to see that the matter is addressed, even if it occurs onboard a cruise ship. This can make a dramatic difference in your finances, as medical bills often force people into bankruptcy and sometimes homelessness.

A cruise ship is shielded from liability for medical malpractice by antiquated laws more than a century old. It is time to make some changes, and the only way to do that is to let the victims’ voices be heard. If you or someone close to you has suffered harm because of the negligence or incompetence of a physician or other medical professional, engage the services of a lawyer with extensive experience and knowledge of maritime law and cruise liners to have a better chance of recovering damages.

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