Can You File a Lawsuit After a Cruise Ship Accident?
Cruise ships have a reputation of being one of the safest ways to travel. These large luxury boats can carry thousands of people to global destinations. However, it’s difficult to know exactly how many accidents occur on cruise ships. The Department of Transportation only reports criminal activity on boats. Additionally, independent research has questioned the thoroughness of accident statistics recorded by the International Maritime Organization.
One thing is certain: cruise ship operators have a responsibility to protect their guests from harm. Accidents can occur because of unsafe cruise ship maintenance, a lack of security, or over-serving guests alcohol. If a person suffers because of a cruise ship accident, they might be wondering if compensation for the costs associated with their injuries is possible.
Common cruise line accidents include the colling:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Illness caused by food
- Injuries from fires
- Malpractice by a ship’s medical staff
- Sexual assault
- Legionnaires’ disease from improper ventilation or contaminated water
- Faulty handrails
- Passenger Dissapaerance
Are Cruise Ship Injury Lawsuits Limited?
Yes, in most instances, an injured person has a limited amount of time to file a case. Most cruise line operators include lawsuit restrictions in agreements which passengers sign before boarding their ship. Often, these agreements include waivers regarding accidents which might occur from activities on the cruise ship. In many instances, passengers have 180 days from the day of an accident to alert a cruise line operator of their intent to sue,
The limitations listed above mean that a person should contact an attorney as soon as possible after a cruise ship injury. A lawyer will be able to examine any waivers or agreements, investigate your accident, and help you decide if compensation for your injuries is possible.
Where Do Cruise Ship Lawsuits Take Place?
Since federal regulations govern cruise ships, lawsuits involving them usually take place in federal courts. However, some cruise lines have passengers agree to settle legal matters in a specific location before allowing them to board a ship. If a person does not file a lawsuit in the area that their passenger ticket requires, their case has a likelihood of being dismissed. Unfortunately, a person usually needs to travel to the state of their trial for a deposition unless they are in poor health or some other factor prevents them from traveling.