Are Florida Cruise Ships Safe?
The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic around February 2020 saw countless cruise ships either barred from docking, due to sick passengers, or barred from sailing, due to the threat of the disease. Only in July 2021 have cruise ships begun to sail again, under specific vaccine requirements and regulations. However, there are still many who see cruise ships as unsafe. If you are on the fence about taking a cruise this year, it is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities before you book.
Potential Dangers Still Exist
Even when a global pandemic is not happening, cruise ships are often seen as dangerous places. The possibility of accident is high, whether from slipping and falling, from poorly maintained equipment or furnishings, or a shore excursion. In addition, cruise ships are often breeding grounds for illnesses, even without taking COVID-19 into account. The possibility of injury in a ship-related accident, such as a grounding or a collision at sea, also must be taken into account.
In terms of dealing with COVID-19, multiple cruise lines have made a fairly persuasive argument that cruises are among the safer options for vacations at this point – the line almost exclusively controls the environment, after all; sick people can be denied boarding. However, the risk of people using fake vaccination cards, or the risk of contracting the condition at a port of call, where the regulations may not be as stringent, still remains.
Liability Is Difficult To Establish
Whether due to COVID-19 or another type of accident or sickness, it can be quite difficult to establish that the cruise line should bear liability for the injuries you suffered. One of the major factors is whose law will govern the case. If your accident occurred while at sea, Florida law generally does not apply – your ticket may state whose law applies in such cases, such as the law of the place where the ship is registered, or U.S. maritime law may apply, depending on the specific nature of your case.
Another significant problem in terms of filing suit against a cruise line is the length of time one usually has to do so. While most cases based in negligence have a statute of limitation of at least 2 years, cruise ship tickets function as a sort of contract in many cases, and the tickets can limit the time in which to file to as little as 180 days. If one is not immediately on top of the case, they may lose their opportunity to file entirely, because obviously, cruise lines are not interested in making it easier for people to file suit against them.
Contact A Tampa Cruise Ship Accident Attorney
The impulse to go on a cruise as a way to leave problems behind – especially after almost two years of global pandemic – is understandable and common. However, it is crucial to be aware of the potential pitfalls in taking this course of action. The Tampa personal injury attorneys from the Rinaldo Law Group are ready and willing to try and assist you with your case. Call our offices today for a free consultation.