Claiming compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland can be difficult when you are a tourist unfamiliar with the local rules and procedures – and especially difficult when you are unfamiliar with the language. However it is important that you follow these procedures if you wish to make a claim for cruise ship passenger injury compensation.
Most cruise companies include clauses in their booking contracts stipulating they will not be held liable for any accidents or injuries to passengers that occur during on-shore excursions. Although the cruise company may be able to provide medical or consular assistance when you return to your ship, they will be unable to help you claim compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland – even when the excursion was booked on board the ship, or booked through a travel agent as part of the cruise package.
Consequently you will likely have to claim cruise ship passenger injury compensation against the Irish tour operator responsible for organising the excursion, or – if you were injured during a non-organised excursion – against the party responsible for your injury. In many cases, legal representation is not necessary to claim compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland, but it is recommended. This article explains why.
Your Health Always Takes Priority
Even if seeking medical attention means that you miss the departure of your cruise ship, nothing is more important than your health. Therefore, irrespective of how, when or where your injury occurred, it is vital that you attend the Emergency Room of a local hospital and receive treatment for your injury. Any costs involved in obtaining medical treatment can be recovered when you claim compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland.
Not only will the administration of immediate medical treatment potentially accelerate your recovery, but it is necessary to support a claim for cruise ship passenger injury compensation in Ireland with an official record of your injury. The failure to attend a hospital – or unjustifiably delay seeking medical treatment – could have implications for the success of your claim or how much injury compensation you will be entitled to.
Reporting Your Accident to the Appropriate Authorities
Once you have received medical attention, you should report your accident to the appropriate authorities. In the event of an injury sustained in a car accident, your report should be made to the Gardaí (police); or, if your accident occurred in a shop, bar or restaurant, you should report your injury to the owner of the premises who will enter the details into an Accident Report Book. Please remember to keep a copy of any report you have made.
Complaints about injuries sustained on an organised excursion should be made to the Irish tour operator, while you suffer a food poisoning-related injury due to eating unhygienic food in a bar, hotel or restaurant, you should also make an online complaint to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (www.fsai.ie). If you are unsure of how to make a complaint – or if English is not your first language – the Gardaí or the Irish Tourist Assistance Service (www.itas.ie) should be able to help you.
Claiming Compensation for Cruise Ship Passengers Injured in Ireland
Ireland has a non-adversarial process for many types of cruise ship passenger injury compensation claims known as the “Injuries Board”. When claiming compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland, plaintiffs submit a request for assessment of their injuries to the Injuries Board, who then contacts the party responsible for your injury to obtain their consent in order to conduct the assessment.
Once consent is received, the Injuries Board calculates how much compensation you are entitled to based on the “Book of Quantum” – a publication that lists a range of physical injuries and assigns them a financial value based on the extent and permanence of the injury. If both you and the negligent party agree on the value of the Injuries Board assessment, an Order to Pay will be issued, and your cruise ship passenger injury compensation claim will be settled for the assessed amount.
Settlements of Cruise Ship Passenger Injury Compensation
In addition to compensating you for the physical injury you have sustained, settlements of cruise ship passenger injury compensation should also account for any quantifiable emotional trauma you have suffered, any temporary or permanent deterioration to your quality of life (known as your “loss of amenity”), and any costs you may have incurred as a result of being injured in Ireland due to somebody else´s negligence. Punitive damages are not awarded in any circumstance in Ireland.
These elements of compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland are not always easy to communicate when you request an assessment of your injury by the Injuries Board, and it is in your best interests to have a personal injuries solicitor – who will be more familiar with the application process – prepare your application and review the Injuries Board assessment to ensure it represents a fair and accurate assessment of your claim.
Making a Compensation Claim of Behalf of a Child
If your child has been injured due to somebody else´s negligence, the procedure for claiming compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland is the same as for an adult. However, as a child is not legally able to represent themselves, it will be necessary for you to represent them as a “next friend”. This means that you will have to apply to the Injuries Board on your child´s behalf to request an assessment of their injury.
Once the claim is assessed, and both parties agree on the value of the assessment, the settlement of cruise ship passenger injury compensation will have to be approved by a judge to ensure it is in your child´s best interest. Again, this is a procedure you can complete by yourself, but will be much easier to resolve your child´s claim for compensation for a cruise ship passenger injured in Ireland with the assistance of a personal injuries solicitor familiar with the court process.
Injury Compensation Claims and Third Party Capture
Third party capture is a term used to describe an unsolicited approach from an insurance company with an offer of compensation. Usually the insurance company will have been alerted to a potential claim for cruise ship passenger injury compensation by their policyholder after a report has been written in the Accident Report Book, and the insurance company will attempt to reduce its financial liability by intervening in the claim prior to the Injuries Board making its assessment.
The purpose of third party capture is to save the insurance company money by making a low offer of compensation in return for a quick settlement. Inasmuch as it may be tempting to accept the insurance company´s offer of compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland, if the settlement proves to be inadequate for your repatriation, or to pay for any medical costs when you return home, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for a higher settlement.
Situations Not Accounted for Above
There are many circumstances in which accidents and injuries may occur in Ireland, and not all situations have been accounted for above. For example, if you sustain an injury due to a faulty product or medical negligence, the Injuries Board may not have a remit to assess your claim. If the negligent party disputes liability for your injury, he or she will likely refuse consent for the Injuries Board to assess your claim, or contest how much compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland you are entitled to.
If you encounter a situation in which the Injuries Board cannot assess your claim, in which liability is disputed, or in which a compensation assessment is contested, there are two possible solutions to resolve your claim for cruise ship passenger injury compensation – settle the claim by negotiation or take your claim to court. Both possible solutions are best done with the assistance of a personal injury solicitor to ensure you receive a fair and accurate settlement of your claim.
Understanding how to claim compensation for cruise ship passengers injured in Ireland can be daunting – particularly when you may still be recovering from an injury and potentially thousands of miles from home. The procedures you have to complete in order to provide evidence in support of a claim for cruise ship passenger injury compensation may seem confusing if you are not familiar with them, but they are necessary in order to receive an appropriate settlement of your claim.
If you speak with a solicitor at the earliest practical opportunity after seeking medical attention for your injury, the solicitor will be able to guide you through the procedures as they apply in your particular circumstances. It will certainly be of benefit to you to have a solicitor compile your assessment to the Injuries Board and review their assessment, or negotiate an appropriate settlement of your claim if you receive an unsolicited approach from an insurance company.