Traverse Legal has spoken to many of the passengers who were on board the Crown Princess which listed on July 18, 2006. Many of those passengers have already retained Traverse Legal to pursue litigation against Princess Cruises for negligence as a result of the human error / negligence which caused the Crown Princess list accident. Many passengers suffered physical injury and nearly all are suffering from symptoms ranging from PTSD, anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, stress and other psychological problems. In an effort to help our Crown Princess clients and passengers understand their legal rights and further understand Traverse Legal's role handling litigation claims, we have launched this investigation and litigation FAQ to answer the most frequently asked questions.
Here are some of the most common litigation (lawsuit / lawyers / attorneys) and representation questions:
- What will it cost to hire a lawyer at a law firm to represent me in litigation? Lawyers handle these matters on a contingency fee basis. Many attorneys and law firms charge a 40% contingency fee. Traverse Legal only charges a 1/3 or 33.3% contingency fee for Crown Princess list passengers seeking to sue Princess Cruises for their physical and psychological injuries. If you don't receive compensation for your damages, you don't pay any attorney fee. If a litigant recovers a settlement or verdict as a result of pursing a lawsuit, the costs are deducted from the recovery and the settlement is split 1/3 to Traverse Legal and 2/3 for the client. Traverse Legal advances all litigation costs on your behalf through settlement and the filed lawsuits. If you are trying to understand your right to sue Princess Cruises for negligence, you may contact us now for a free consultation.
- How long would litigation against Princess Cruises take for injuries suffered on the Crown Princess? Injury litigation can take some time to wind its way through the courts. Settlement as an alternative to suing can take less time. We would expect that Princess Cruises will make an earnest attempt to settle many of the Crown Princess legal claims brought by injury plaintiffs because they have already admitted negligence as a result of crew / human error. We are expecting the Princess Cruises will attempt settlement on Crown Princess listing litigation cases after the six month notice period has expired (at that point they will know how many claims they are facing) but before the 12 month limitations period for filing lawsuits in Los Angeles, California. We are preparing settlement demands for each of our clients, and asking each claimant to document their physical injuries with photographs and medical records. Our law firm is making it clear to each of our Crown Princess clients that the decision to settle is the client's decision alone. We will help you understand any settlement offer and give you our best attorney recommendations. We are a litigation law firm and we will aggressively pursue a jury verdict in a court of law on your behalf if Princess Cruises does not offer an appropriate monetary settlement. We will file litigation for all of our Crown Princess listing clients legal cases in court which do not settle prior to the 12 month limitation period.
- What if I did not suffer a physical injury? Can I still sue? Your passage contract says that you must have a physical injury in order to sue. US maritime law makes this provision illegal. All Crown Princess passengers were "at actual risk of physical injury, and such risk was caused by the negligence or fault of a crewmember or the manager, agent, master, owner, or operator" thus making this litigation prohibition unenforceable. If you have purely psychological injuries, you likely still have a claim and should contact an attorney.
- How much is my claim worth? It is impossible to say for certain how much your physical and/or psychological injury is worth before obtaining specific information about your situation. We expect that some permanent claims will be worth in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000) and, of course, a jury will be free to award any damage amount which they deem appropriate. Further, if Princess Cruises is found to be grossly negligent, they may be sued for punitive damages.
- Should a lawsuit be filed by our attorneys against Princess Cruises right away? You may have read in the newspaper or heard on the news that one or more firms have already filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruises for the Crown Princess listing accident. While filed litigation draws publicity, we don’t believe that immediately filing lawsuits serve our client’s interest. It may be months before the NTSB completes its investigation, key witnesses are identified and the real facts of this listing accident come to light. There is no reason to sue immediately and many reasons to wait (although you should still hire counsel so your attorney can provide notice pursuant to the passage contract within 6 months and file a lawsuit within 1 year). Most clients will not know how bad their injuries will be for some time. This is especially true for those suffering psychological trauma and for those whose physical injuries are still be medically diagnosed. The value of your claim will depend in part on the severity and permanency of your injury. If you don't know how bad things will be for you one year or two years from now, how can you or your lawyer possibly know how much your claim is worth? We believe that it is important to properly process your claim, understand and document your injuries, understand your prognosis for recovery and attempt settlement before rushing to court. We will not file a lawsuit simply for publicity or to draw attention to ourselves or when doing so would not serve our client's interests. We will represent your interests aggressively and competently, including a jury trial in a court of law if necessary and at an appropriate time consistent with your best interests.
- What other issues should I be thinking about before hiring a lawyer, attorney, law firm to pursue Crown Princess litigation?
- You must provide legal notice under the passage contract to Crown Princess / Princess Cruises within 6 months of the accident. If you do not provide adequate notice under your passage contract and maritime law, you will waive your right to sue or collect compensation for you injuries. Your Crown Princess litigation attorney, lawyer, law firm must file your case in court within 12 months of the accident date.
- Your cruise ticket requires individual lawsuits and precludes class action lawsuits arising from the Crown Princes listing accident. This class action restriction is probably enforceable under federal admiralty law. Princess Cruises may chose to allow an opt-in class action because of the large number of claims they will be facing.
See Crown Princess Passengers Retain Traverse Legal, Press Release 07-24-2006 here.