Why Hiring A Lawyer After Your Cruise Ship Accident Is Important

Often, cruise ship accidents may require a lawyer due to the fact that they are highly complicated and there are many different issues that could come up and lead to the loss of possible compensation when the individual harmed in the accident is not informed regarding how to proceed and what is required for the claim. This is why most incidents on a cruise ship will necessitate maritime law involvement. Here are some of the key reasons to keep in mind when you are dealing with a cruise ship accident and thinking if you need a lawyer or not.

How complex the injury/accident is- Other than the need to worry about maritime laws and how to pursue compensation for the damage that is caused, the individual that suffers harm through an accident will need to think about other complex matters within the claim. There are often many things to investigate regarding evidence and getting witness statements of those passengers who are still on the ship or who leave the ship. If the crew has a certain amount of involvement in the crime or accident, then this could cause other difficulties without a lawyer. The victim of the accident will require a lawyer to question, interview, and assist with preserving all the evidence they can.
Investigation- If you hire lawyers early on, they can help you with the full investigation into the accident from the beginning. This may mean coming aboard the cruise ship while the cruise is still going on and not set to return home until weeks or months later. Some lawyers may need to contact the cruise ship operator in order to coordinate the investigation long-distance until the legal professional can get near the ship. Lawyers will also assist with finding an expert witness and questioning crew/witnesses.
Fighting with the cruise ship company- One of the key problems in pursuing a claim against the cruise ship liner is battling the legal team hired by the company. The lawyer you hire to help with such matters will assist through fighting the legal processes on your side. Other problems come up in the contract signed when you agree to conditions the company set in the cruise paperwork, aka your ticket. This may put a brake on any attempts to initiate a claim against the company, and the cruise liner may dictate when and where the person is able to file a claim. This location and time may negatively affect the victim of the accident.
Assistance throughout recovery- Another way that a lawyer assists the victim of a cruise ship accident is through beginning the claim or investigation while the injured party is in recovery. He or she may have to visit the doctor, stay in the hospital, or handle pain. Throughout these trying times, the lawyer can conduct investigations in the background or directly for the client as he or she works on healing and getting past the pain and suffering incurred by the accident. The victim may also reconnect with family, go back to work, and go on with their daily life while the lawyer handles the legal aspects of the battle against the cruise company.

If you are seeking an attorney experienced in maritime law, call Madalon Law today.


How You Can Be Compensated For Theme Park Injuries

There are many different types of legal claims which are available to people who have been injured on an amusement park ride. Even though the specific claim will depend on the nature of the accident, two of the most common are negligence and product liability. If an amusement park accident was due to the carelessness or inattention of the park or a park employee, then the most like.y legal claim is for negligence. In a standard negligence claim, the plaintiff needs to prove that the law stipulated the defendant to be reasonably careful, that the defendant was not careful, and that this carelessness was what caused the plaintiff to be injured. Read on to learn more about how you may be owed compensation for theme park injuries and what steps you should take if this is the case. 

Firstly, note that the amusement park is responsible for all of the actions of its employees. This means that if an employee is negligent, then the injured parties involved can sue the park for that employee’s actions. The park or its employees may be negligent due to affirmatively doing something or by failing to do something. Examples of such negligence include:

  • Failing to post clear warning signs that, for example, customers with blood pressure or heart issues should not go on a ride
  • Posting signs that don’t warn riders adequately of the risks that are involved
  • Failing to train ride operators properly
  • Failing to maintain equipment in a safe condition
  • Failing to inspect the rides regularly
  • Operating a ride improperly or
  • Providing incorrect instructions to riders

Product Liability Injuries

Certain accidents at amusement parks can be the result of defective rides or components and not by improper maintenance, inspection, operation, or use. For example, if a lap bar is designed faultily, then the bar may unlatch mid-ride so that the rider falls to the ground. Structural or design defects in the ride itself may result in defective product liability claims against the manufacturer of the ride or the maker of the defective part. In such cases, the plaintiff has to prove that the structure, equipment, or part was defective and that the defect specifically caused injury or death to the victim. 

It is important to also be informed regarding the defenses that could be involved in a case. There are many defenses that amusement parks and ride manufacturers may raise in a personal injury lawsuit. Here are some of the most common ones in lawsuits with amusement park rides.

  • Assumption of The Risk- If somebody knows that participating in an act or event is inherently dangerous, but chooses to participate anyways.
  • Rider Non-Compliance With Safety Rules- If the injured rider did not comply with posted age, weight, or height requirements
  • Disclaimers on Amusement Park Admission Tickets

If you are involved with a personal injury lawsuit in an amusement park, it is important to know your rights and how you may be able to be compensated. Contact Madalon Law today to protect your rights and set up a consultation.


The Rise of Uber and Lyft Accidents

Contrary to popular belief, in the years before Uber and Lyft started to appear on the scene in cities all across the United States, deadly car accidents were at record lows. By 2010, just before the ride-hailing services started to expand throughout the nation and take over, the total amount of traffic fatalities had settled down at 32,885 nationwide- the lowest number since 1949, according to data released by the government. However, once Uber and Lyft started to expand aggressively, these fatal accidents have started to be on the rise yet again. 

Researchers John Barrios from the University of Chicago along with Yael Hochberg and Livia Hayi Yi of Rice University note in a draft of their study that “The arrival of ridesharing is associated with an increase of 2-3% in the amount of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents.” These researchers examined the effect of ride-hailing on traffic safety by taking official statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and compared them with the dates that Uber or Lyft began to operate in a specific location. The authors then analyzes the accident rates in those cities per vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Unsurprisingly, VMT increased dramatically once Uber launched in San Francisco in 2010, which was quickly followed by other competitors, due to the miles drivers travel between the end of one fare and picking up another passenger. 

A study found this year that in New York, drivers travel an average of 2.8 miles in between fares. With the staggered introduction of ridesharing across U.S. cities, the researchers were able to illustrate how its introduction in a metropolitan area can lead to an economically meaningful increase in overall motor vehicle fatalities. This increase remains consistent with acknowledged macro trends in motor vehicle accidents. Of course, this study is also concerned with toal vehicle traffic within a given city and time, so it is also possible that the accidents are not necessarily related to any ride-hailing driver. The researchers note in the study that it “may be too soon to tell whether the effect we document is a short-term adjustment or a longer-term pattern.” 

Both Uber and Lyft have pushed back against the findings of the study, and each company have called the study’s results “deeply flawed.” An Uber spokesperson interviewed by Business Insider states that “Uber has contributed to safety in many ways and we take our responsibility to help keep people safe seriously.” Even though these findings have been disputed by ride-hailing giants, will still contribute to a growing list of research surrounding ridesharing and the entire gig economy. It could also function as a spark for those pushing for further caps on ridesharing. However, it’s important to continue research in order to have a more thorough understanding of the issue so that we can continue to improve on public health and safety, as ridesharing becomes ever more popular. If you were involved in a car accident, it’s important to seek legal counsel. Call Madalon Law for your car accident attorney consultation today.

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Amusement Park Accidents :: Rip Ride Rockit Reminds Us that Even the Biggest Theme Park Rides Can Malfunction.

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Universal Studios Roller Coaster ‘Glitch’ Strands Riders for Hours

Orlando is known for its theme parks. With Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Legoland, Sea World and Disney World’s four amusement parks; Orlando is home to many great roller coasters. For people who like a little height with their thrill rides, the tallest roller coaster in the state of Florida is the Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios. Standing over 17 stories high and currently holding world records for highest vertical lift hill and world’s first non-inverting loop, this ground breaking roller coaster is one of Orlando’s most popular rides.

Unfortunately, Orlando’s tallest rollercoaster recently came to a dead stop when a glitch caused the computer to go into safety mode and lock the ride. Twelve people were suspended in a midair vertical position over 150 feet high towards the top of the world record setting lift. It took nearly two hours for park officials to make sure the cars were in a locked position. Once they were able to confirm this, they gave the go-ahead for rescue crews to take the passengers down. This entire process took nearly three hours and left one woman with a neck injury.

Florida Theme Parks that Operate Free of State Safety Inspections

Many are not aware of the exemption that was originally written into Florida law for Walt Disney World and other theme parks. The exemption spares amusement parks from state safety inspections; leaving parks in a position to govern themselves.

Florida amusement park owners include:

• Walt Disney Company: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom • NBC Universal: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Wet ‘n Wild • SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment: SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay • Merlin Entertainment Group: Legoland
For an amusement park to qualify, it must have a minimum of 1,000 employees. If at any point the employment falls under 1,000, the park would become subject to regulation by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The law requires the exempt parks to employ full-time in-house safety inspectors. The amusement parks are also required to file affidavits annually with the state certifying the rides have been inspected. With the major Florida theme parks being exempt, the State of Florida focuses mostly on carnivals, traveling fairs and smaller attractions.

Theme Parks May Not Be Reporting Every Injury

It is safe to say theme parks are more than motivated to keep things safe. They do care about their guests and would like to avoid the negative publicity that would result from an amusement park accident. Still, many feel that the state’s reporting requirements are not enough. The fear is that many parks underreport the number of accidents and injuries that occur. Even though underreporting is a problem in many states that have this law exemption for parks, there is no state worse than Florida. Busch Gardens even went through a span of over three years without reporting one single incident.
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