Today’s cruise ships are like traveling cities, with as many as 6,000 passengers and crew aboard a single vessel. And as with any city, dangers can abound.
Passengers on cruise lines are vulnerable to many hazards such as sea sickness, food poisoning, slipping and falling on wet decks, or sustaining injuries from shipboard activities such as rock climbing, exercise classes, or while poolside.
Also, the free flow of alcohol often available on cruise ships can encourage overdrinking, which can lead to reckless behavior and disagreements, which may result in fights and injuries.
Cruise ships are generally regulated by maritime laws, which means that passengers who sustain injury while aboard ship are subject to maritime regulations and not the usual personal injury tort law.
The passenger ticket typically holds the information on how, when, and where a passenger must file a claim after being injured in an accident. Several factors are critical to pursuing a legal cause of action to obtain compensation for shipboard injuries. A claim must be filed where the cruise line is registered and not where the ship was located when the injury occurred or where the injured passenger may reside.
The statute of limitations, or the time period in which a claim must be filed, is on average 12 months to three years from the date of the accident. Missing the deadline can be fatal to the claim.
If you have been injured in a cruise ship accident you should discuss your case with an attorney experienced in maritime law and cruise ship injury. You and your family will undoubtedly have many questions, such as:
The list of potential questions can be endless and the right attorney will help answer your questions. A cruise ship injury attorney can formulate a strategy for proving that the ship’s crew or cruise line were negligent and that negligence lead to your injuries. The attorney can advise you on the length of the statute of limitations and ensure your claim is filed before the deadline and in the correct state and court.