Know Your Rights When Injured on a Cruise Ship

Attorney Jay KanterAuthor: Attorney Jay Kanter

Thousands of passengers depart daily on cruise ships that sail from ports all around the country. What most passengers do not know is that their ticket of passage is a contract that limits their rights should they suffer an injury aboard the ship caused by the negligence of the cruise line. Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines and others dictate in their contract that the jurisdiction where the case must be filed is Miami-Dade County, Florida. Regardless of where the accident happens, or where the injured person lives or receives medical care, or which port the ship sails from, the only place a lawsuit can be filed is Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Additionally, there are other notice requirements imposed on passengers when making an injury claim. Some contracts state that the cruise line must be put on notice within 180 days of the injury and given a statement of particulars as to the facts surrounding the accident and the injuries sustained. Most importantly, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained aboard a cruise ship is ONE YEAR. That means if a lawsuit is not filed within one year of the date of the accident, an injured person is forever barred from bringing a claim for compensation for injuries, medical expenses and pain and suffering. One year is a very short limitation. Most states have statutes of limitations ranging from 2 to 4 years, and some even longer. Unfortunately, the laws in your home state do not apply to cruise ship accidents.

If you are injured aboard a cruise ship due to the negligence of the cruise line or their employees, it is imperative that you contact an attorney licensed in the jurisdiction where the lawsuit must be filed. An attorney should be consulted immediately upon returning home, as not to jeopardize your rights which are severely limited by contract.

Contact Attorneys Dell & Schaefer for a free consultation if you have been injured aboard a cruise ship. Time is of the essence!

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