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At Morgan & Morgan, our lawyers understand that cruise ship injury claims can differ from typical personal injury lawsuits and may be subject to Florida state, federal, and international maritime laws. Because our office handles both personal injury and maritime lawsuits, we have the resources and experience needed to handle even the most complex cruise ship injury claims.
Were you or a loved one injured on a cruise ship? If so, contact our Florida cruise ship injury lawyers today for a free consultation. Cruise ship injury lawsuits are typically subject to a short statute of limitations, which is the time limit in which a claim must be filed, so do not hesitate to contact our attorneys today. Failure to take legal action quickly may prevent you from seeking compensation for your injuries.
Duty of Care and Liability
In general, cruise ships are considered “common carriers,” which means they are obligated to exercise a “special duty” beyond reasonable care to their passengers. Cruise liners must exercise the highest degree of care to protect their passengers from physical harm. They also have an obligation to ensure their passengers arrive to port safely. When the cruise liner fails to live up to this duty, and a passenger is injured as a result, they may be liable for any resulting damages.
If an injury is sustained on board a cruise ship, a claim may be filed against the owner of the vessel, the company chartering the trip, the company operating the ship, or the company that sold the ticket for the cruise ship. Additionally, if the injury was caused by a third party on the ship, the victim may also be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against that individual or entity.
Types of Cruise Ship Injury Claims
The cruise ship injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan handle claims involving:
- Slip and falls or trip and falls
- Falling overboard
- Injuries from fires on the cruise ship
- Norovirus infection (Norwalk virus) or other illnesses from contaminated food or unsanitary conditions
- Pool or water slide accidents
- Injuries sustained during on-shore excursions
- Injuries sustained during recreational activities aboard the ship
- Dock accidents
- Falling object accidents
- Injuries resulting from navigational errors
- Medical malpractice or medical negligence
- Sexual assault or physical assault because of unsecured or unsafe premises
Liability for Cruise Ship Rapes
Cruise ships have a duty to provide safe transportation to their passengers, and this includes protection against rape and sexual assault aboard the ship. Cruise liners are required to follow certain rules, which are recognized and accepted in both the cruise and security industries, to ensure the safety of their passengers. To help protect passengers against rape or sexual assault aboard a cruise ship, the liner should:
- Monitor activities of crew members and others aboard the ship
- Install security cameras
- Run background checks on applicants
- Employ an adequate security staff-to-passenger ratio
- Light public areas
- When a cruise liner fails to uphold its duty of care to protect passengers from assault and rape, the company may be liable for the victim’s damages.
Restrictions on Cruise Vessel Injury Lawsuits
Cruise ship tickets typically contain contracts highlighting the cruise line’s scope of liability in terms of the safety and well-being of its passengers. It is the passenger’s duty to read and comprehend these provisions to protect their legal rights in the event they are injured on a cruise.
The contract may state that there are various prerequisites that must be met for a lawsuit to be filed. For example, it may require the passenger to warn the cruise line with a written statement of their plan to file a claim. This window of opportunity is very narrow and may pass in as little as six months. The contract may also state that the lawsuit be filed within a certain time period, such as one year from the date of the accident.
Cruise lines have recently begun to add clauses into contracts and tickets that limit the location in which a claim can be filed, with many requiring that these claims be filed in Florida. These effectively require that every claim is handled by a Florida firm, regardless of the location from which the cruise departed or the victim’s place of residence. These clauses may make it difficult for lawyers inexperienced in cruise ship injury litigation to successfully handle these types of claims.
At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys have decades of experience handling personal injury claims and are offering free consultations to those who were injured aboard cruise vessels.
If you or a loved one has been injured aboard a cruise ship, do not hesitate to contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review.