When you book your plans for a cruise on a Holland America Ship, the last thing on your mind is what to do if you are injured on the ship. You’re not thinking about how to pay for your hospital bills or how long it will take to recover from your injuries. You may not know that there are important provisions in the Holland America Line cruise contract that will limit your ability to hold the cruise line accountable for your injury. You may not know that any lawsuits against Holland America Line must be filed in Seattle, Washington by a lawyer admitted to practice in federal court in Seattle. You may not know that a lawsuit must be filed within one year and that you must file notice of a claim within 6 months.
What to do While You Are Still On The Ship . . .
If you are injured on a Holland America Line cruise ship, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Don’t assume that your condition will improve without medical attention or that you can wait until you get home for medical evaluation. All Holland America Line ships have an infirmary where you will have access to medical treatment. Although the medical provider on the ship is there to treat your medical condition, they also work for Holland America Line and these records will be available to the company to defend any potential claim. When you are speaking to the medical provider on the ship, keep in mind that Holland America Line will have access to these records.
You should obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses at the scene, including any Holland America employees. Try to obtain photographs of the area where you were injured, if possible, and anything that contributed to your injury. Make note of the weather and sea conditions if they were a factor in your injury. Obtain copies of any documents that you file with Holland America Line, including any incident report, any medical records, or any other witness statements.
If you slipped on a substance on the deck, it is important to know what substance you slipped on, where it came from, and how long the substance was on the deck. If you were injured transferring to a tender vessel to go to shore or returning from shore, what were the weather and sea conditions at the time of your injury? Can you document those conditions with a photograph or video? How many Holland America employees were present to help you make the transfer?
What to do When You Get Home . . .
After you return home, make certain that you get immediate follow up for your injuries. If you have a surgical condition, ask your family doctor for a referral to a qualified surgeon that can address your injuries and provide proper medical evaluation. In the wake of your injury, you will likely be contacted by the company about your injuries. You should be careful about any statements that you make to the company as these may impact your claim.
A Passenger Must File Notice of Claim Within 6 Months. Under the terms of the Holland America Line cruise contract a passenger must file notice of a claim with the company within 6 months of the injury.
All Claims Must be Brought Within One Year in Seattle Federal Court. All claims must be filed within ONE YEAR in federal Court in Seattle, Washington by a lawyer admitted in that court. If you fail to file a lawsuit within one year, your claim will likely be barred by the statute of limitations.
Our lawyers have litigated claims with Holland America Line for decades. Because of our experience handling claims against Holland America Line, we know the common causes for passenger injuries and how those injuries should be prevented. You should choose a law firm that has the experience and resources necessary to prosecute your claim and who has handled similar cases in the past.