Every year, thousands of cruise ship passengers are injured. While some passengers are injured on the cruise ship itself, others are injured during excursions or while ferrying to ports of call. The majority of these passengers will return home and eventually make an appointment with a local attorney to discuss their legal rights. However, if you reside in a location without an attorney experienced in cruise ship injuries, he may not know the ins and outs of the cruise ship regulations.
Statute of Limitations
For example, most cruise lines have a statute of limitations clause in their contract of carriage or tickets. This limitation can be anywhere from six months to three-years. Many times, these cruise ship companies include this clause in an attempt to ‘trip-up’ the naÃ¯ve ‘non-maritime’ (land based) practitioner.
Cruise Lines Attempt to Use International Law
Many times a cruise ship operator will try to complicate its liability by using international laws instead of U.S. laws. An experienced attorney has the knowledge necessary to filter through these attempts.
Nearly all cruise lines require that actions against them be filed in Federal Court. Lawyers, who are qualified to practice in Federal Court, must pass a rigid examination.
Cruise Ship Accidents
Ocean cruises on a luxury liner are meant to be fun with elegant dining, shopping and once in a lifetime experiences and excursions. Sometimes, a dream vacation halts when dangerous conditions lead to the injury or death of a tourist.
The law is clear stating that cruise lines have a nondelegable responsibility to ensure that their passengers are safe while being transported by ferry from ship to shore. Cruise lines are accountable for injuries sustained by their passengers on and off the ship.
Cruise Ship Injuries
Numerous injuries can occur during a cruise ship vacation.
These injuries include:
- Swimming pool, wave pool and water slide accidents
- Slip, trip and fall accidents due to the maneuvering of the cruise ship or uneven and wet surfaces
- Sexual assault by crewmembers or other passengers
- Physical assault by other passengers or crewmembers
- Accidents at ports of call during excursions that are approved by the cruise line
- Passenger disappearance
- Passenger falling overboard
- Consumption of a cruise line’s contaminated food that results in a dangerous illness including salmonella, gastrointestinal infections and viral infections
- Medical negligence can occur on a cruise ship if people are treated on the ship and then sent to foreign ports that do not offer adequate arrangements for proper medical care. Treating physicians may not have the appropriate medical equipment or be qualified to treat his condition. This could lead to an incorrect diagnosis, which may lead to improper treatment.
Seek Medical Care and Remember to Report the Incident
If you were injured in tender, port or on a cruise ship, you need to seek medical treatment immediately and report the incident. Reporting the incident is essential because cruise lines generally defend themselves based upon the ‘lack of a reported incident.’ You must also consult with an attorney that is experienced in passenger injury law and can to practice in Federal Court as soon as possible.
If the attorney you contact is not experienced in cruise ship injury cases, the attorney inadvertently jeopardizes your right to compensation. He may neglect to file your lawsuit in the appropriate court and within the cruise line’s statute of limitations.
To ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, do not take a chance. We are knowledgeable about handling claims against sophisticated Hawaiian cruise lines; we can offer you experienced representation, giving you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.