Expert Witness Testifies on Cruise Ship Injuries


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Cruise ship injuries occur infrequently, but when they do, they are often severe with passengers falling overboard or suffering harm on the ship. Expert witnesses hired for these lawsuits generally explain the dangers of certain areas and how proper safety prevents these incidents from transpiring.

Some cruise ships have more incidents aboard than others. Because of these situations, lawsuits arise when the circumstances have not reached a resolution. The ship management and the injured face off in court or through lawyers attempting to negotiate the best possible deal. If no compromise is possible, the claim goes to court where an expert witness presents testimony have hire. He or she has tasks to examine and analyze the evidence, any audio or video surveillance and understand what actually happened aboard the ship. To do this, it is crucial to fully understand all aspects and elements that exist in the case. This leads to weeks or months of inspections and examinations.

Liability in Cruise Ship Incidents

The expert witness hired for the claim must prove that the cruise ship owner or management is responsible for damages. This leads to connecting liability to the ship. Analyzing the incident, the professional may associate accountability and the owner. However, this often conflicts with any documentation the injured signed when joining the cruise. These contracts could exempt the cruise ship from liability. The judge has the discretion to accept or throw out the contractual agreement, but he or she needs enough evidence to do so in the case. This could lead the expert witness to fully review the document and incident simultaneously.

Involving the Expert Witness

When an expert witness becomes part of a case, this is often due to the need to explain various details. The client knows that the professional may mean the difference between winning and losing. Some of the complications deal with maritime laws and when the passengers are no longer within the United States. Even when the circumstances appear in favor for the injured person, the lawsuits may last for years. Some are still pending after multiple years from the point of initiating litigation with a lawyer. Then, once the court claim begins, the plaintiff must prove the injury and liability.

Proving the cruise ship or owner of the line is responsible becomes difficult. These instances usually involve the three primary concerns. These include a duty owed to the passenger. This duty must involve a breach when the cruise ship takes responsibility for safety of those aboard. Then, the breach must cause the injury. Accidents where the passenger caused his or her own injury are not considered the duty of the ship. Other instances may warrant consideration by a professional. However, some of these claims are not supportable based on the evidence supplied. Even with an experienced lawyer and expert witness, the case may fail.

Complications with Cruise Ship Cases

Negligence is often the primary concern with litigation against a company or agency. The plaintiff must prove that the other party was negligent in a duty of care or through direct or indirect actions. The cruise line must first know, create or take part in the incident. With knowledge that an area is dangerous, the ship or owner could be held liable for damages. These are requirements through maritime law. Another complication arises in proving that actual harm occurred. An occurrence before the trip proven by the defending party may invalidate a claim of injury. The accident on the cruise ship could show that the plaintiff is at fault.

It is incumbent that the victim prove that the cruise ship is responsible for the incident. With any previous health conditions, this becomes difficult to demonstrate to a courtroom. Medical documentation is important. Any witnesses or other evidence should provide a basis of proof for the incident. An expert witness is often able to explain how the cruise ship is liable. Through is or her expertise, the courtroom may understand why the injury happened and how much compensation is necessary.

The Expert in Cruise Ship Accidents

Testimony of an expert witness is important. His or her knowledge and confidence in the courtroom may show the judge or jury that the victim is not at fault. He or she may also convince the judge or jury panel that the liable party is the cruise ship through overwhelming evidence and an understanding of the duty of care breached in the incident. Through his or her help, it is possible to increase chances of fully informing the judge or jury members.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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