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Accidents on ships - how do you claim compensation?

Passengers may be entitled to compensation not only for an accident on board the ship, but also food poisoning or contracting a disease such as Noro Virus depending on the circumstances.

In most cases it will be necessary to show that the ship’s operators were at fault for your accident.

But does it make a difference if you are sailing to another country or if you are travelling from one part of the United Kingdom to another by sea?

Regulation for compensation claims against cruise ship operators

There are two regulations in force for compensation claims made against carriers. One deals with international travel whilst the other deals with travel within the UK.

For international travel - that is when you are travelling by sea from one country to another- legal liability is governed by the Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea (“the Athens Convention”).

There are separate, but similar, Regulations dealing with travel by sea from one part of the United Kingdom to another.

How long do you have to make a claim?

For accidents on board of a vessel, both the Athens Convention and the United Kingdom domestic equivalent have a strict 2-year time limit.

Within these two years you must either settle the claim or begin court proceedings.

Please be aware that this is a shorter time limit than that which applies to other accident claims in the United Kingdom.

What to do if you are injured on a ship?

If you have been injured onboard a ship, our advice is to gather as much evidence as you can before leaving the boat to give you the best chance to secure compensation.

  1. Make sure that your accident is reported to the carrier and that an accurate accident report is completed.
  2. Take photographs of the area where your accident has happened.
  3. Record the names and contact details of any witnesses.
  4. If you have occurred expenses because of the accident, it is important that you retain all your receipts to prove your expenses.
  5. Retain details of any medical treatment you have received either on board the ship or at a foreign port.

It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible as claims of this type can take longer to investigate.

Getting the right lawyer for your injury claim

Claims for injuries sustained at sea are a very complex and specialist area of law. It is therefore crucial that you get a specialist solicitor to deal with your injury claim.

The lawyer you instruct should have considerable experience in this field and have a successful track record of recovering compensation for other people who have been injured in a similar way.

Another advantage to successfully securing compensation is if your lawyer has well established relationships with foreign lawyers and experts who can help with pursuing your claim.

No win no fee personal injury solicitors

The expression “No Win – No Fee” is often used in personal injury cases.  It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses. 

A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful. 

In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.

Compensate 'no win no fee' funding

Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.

If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing

On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer

Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.

In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website, or watch Joanne's story.

Beware of compensation offers which may be too good

We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.

  • How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
  • If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
  • Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
  • If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
  • It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
  • These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.

We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value. 

Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.

Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown

Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.

Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.

Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

For further information about no win no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.

Specialist lawyers in cruise ship accidents

It is essential for your personal injury claim that you obtain specialist advice. At Digby Brown we are Scotland’s largest specialist personal injury practice and have lawyers who specialise in foreign and travel law.

0333 200 5926

Monday to Friday: 8am - 8.30pm
Saturday to Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

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Complete our enquiry form and we will strive to reply within 24 hours

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