What Happens When Washington, D.C. Residents Are Injured While on Vacation?

Many Washington, D.C. residents try to get away from their hectic and busy lives by planning a relaxing cruise vacation. These ships can travel all around the world and are generally a great way to unwind. However, just as in real life, accidents can happen on vacation. Sometimes a tragic incident can ruin a cruise and leave a plaintiff seriously injured. When this happens, Washington D.C. residents should remember that they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the cruise line to recover for the harm they suffered.

Take for example a recent federal case against Carnival cruise lines. According to the court’s written opinion, the plaintiff was on vacation with her family aboard a Carnival cruise ship. Tragically, while on one of the decks of the boat, her three-year-old daughter fell off the deck onto the deck below, suffering head injuries. Eyewitness accounts report that the toddler was climbing the railing, although reports vary as to whether the toddler fell over or fell through the railing. The plaintiff sued Carnival cruise line, alleging negligence in the creation and maintenance of the guardrail.

Generally, to be successful in a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove three things: (1) that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; (2) that the defendant breached that duty; (3) that the defendant’s breach caused the accident or injury; and (4) that the plaintiff suffered actual harm as a result. The court in this case was focused on the first requirement—establishing the duty of care—because the defendant had filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the case, claiming that they did not have notice of the danger or hazard and thus had no duty to fix it.

This argument was accepted by the district court, and the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the court reversed, finding that there was sufficient evidence to defeat summary judgment. Evidence in the record showed that Carnival was aware that railings posed a danger, and that they even warned passengers about them and that passengers had fallen off in the past. This evidence is sufficient to defeat a summary judgment claim. As such, the judgment of the lower court was reversed, and the plaintiff was permitted to move forward with her claim.

Do You Need a Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Attorney?

If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a Washington, D.C. accident, even while on vacation, you may be wondering how you can afford to pay all the medical bills and make up for your lost wages. Contact the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury lawyers, today to learn how we can help you. With decades of experience, our attorneys know how to obtain compensation for injured clients just like you, and will advocate zealously on your behalf. To learn more, and to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our Washington, D.C. slip and fall attorneys, call us today at 800-654-1949 or fill out our online form. Calling is risk-free, and we will not charge you for our services unless we can successfully earn you compensation.

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