Cruise ship accidents are preventable, but you need to be prepared to deal with the fallout. If you get seriously injured while on a cruise, a maritime accident attorney should be on your radar. It’s impossible to predict when an accident will happen, but you can always control the response that comes afterwards.
1. Who Was at Fault?
This should be the first thing you ask before committing to any case. There are two prime reasons this matter, and they both affect your case.
Litigation against the wrong person wastes everyone’s time, and forces you to start a brand-new case with the correct party. Suing the wrong person happens all the time, especially in situations where you have to decide between a company and an individual.
If you’re the one at fault, then there is a high chance that a countersuit will be your undoing. Knowing who is at fault will be the biggest decider between mediation, litigation or avoiding a case entirely.
2. What Did Your Insurance Company Say?
If your insurance company has an opinion, then it is a good idea to listen. If they say mediate, but you choose litigation, then it can create a rift. Going against your insurance company isn’t always a bad thing, but it needs to be a well thought out process. Sometimes a lawyer sees the unfairness of an accident case better than the insurance company. And sometimes it is just a better idea to go through the motions without breaking rank. Take a close look at how your insurance is handling the situation. If they don’t have your best interests in mind, then it creates an opening for alternative options.
3. Is the Settlement Fair?
Mediation tries its best to prevent the case from going to litigation. If the numbers don’t add up and both sides can’t agree, then litigation is the next step. This is a delicate situation for multiple reasons, and no two cases are the same.
During mediation, both sides are equal. It is the best way to find common ground and get a settlement for a cruise ship accident. There will be a lot of back and forth over multiple issues, and not just the payout. Don’t ignore the smaller concessions offered on the other side since it can directly affect your payment amount. When you are not willing to budge while the other side is trying to make things right, then litigation is the next step. Unless you have an overwhelming amount of evidence, litigation puts both parties at a disadvantage.
4. Is the Other Side Stalling?
During the mediation process, common sense demands will make things go fast. But if your normal demands are being shot down for no reason, it may be a stall tactic. Litigation doesn’t have to be about a disagreement with the payment amount. Litigation can be due to an observation that the other side is disingenuous during the meetings. This will give you a big advantage in court when you seek retribution for a cruise ship accident.
Cruise ships will do everything they can to protect the passengers onboard. But ultimately, getting the law on your side after an accident is an individual responsibility. After assessing the situation you’re in, make the choices that put you in the best position possible.
Image Credits: Reynier Carl