Winter Cruises Can Be Dangerous
Winter and early spring cruises have become more popular in recent years, to the point where January to March is referred to as “wave season” because of the ‘wave’ of sales on offer for future bookings. However, with more popularity will unfortunately come more accidents, and if you are unfortunate enough to experience one, it can be confusing to try and determine what options you have. Contacting an attorney may be a good idea.
Potential For Personal Injury
Cruises are enjoyable getaways for countless people, and the majority of them have been made as safe as possible by dedicated professionals. However, no one is perfect, and there will be occasions where the likelihood for injury is higher than perhaps it should be. Some of the most common passenger injuries on board a cruise ship include slip-and-fall accidents, excursion-related injuries, food poisoning, harassment or sexual assault, and drowning – all of which generally include a moment where someone could have exercised more reasonable care, but did not.
If you are injured on a cruise ship, you should be aware that in order to receive compensation from the line, you must establish that they were negligent, unlike with many other modes of group transportation, where strict liability would apply. Be aware, however, that maritime law requires you provide the cruise line notice of your intent to sue within 6 months of your injury, and if you fail to do this, your suit may be barred. This is compounded by the fact that many cruise lines have a 1-year statute of limitations on injury cases – your best bet is to give notice as soon as possible and file suit equally as quickly.
Choice Of Law & Time Matters
If you determine that you have a case against a cruise line, you must still be certain that the right law would govern your case. When you purchase cruise tickets, a provision called a choice-of-law provision is frequently included in the ticket contract. This is legal and quite common, but it can create real inconvenience for some injured people, because very often, the cruise line will state that any disputes must be resolved in a place, or under a body of law, that an injured plaintiff will not necessarily have access to or understand.
For example, if you are injured on a Royal Caribbean cruise and you live in Miami, you are at least partly in luck because Royal Caribbean is headquartered in Miami as well. However, depending on your ticket contract, your dispute may be governed not by Florida law or U.S. law, but by arbitration rules. Alternatively, if you were injured on a cruise ship owned by, say, the Cunard Line, they are headquartered in the United Kingdom, with their ships registered in Bermuda, and any disputes with them would almost certainly be governed by U.K. law, and filed in a location that the Line deemed appropriate.
Call A Tampa Cruise Ship Attorney
If you are unfortunate enough to experience an accident on board a cruise ship, and you believe that it was because of someone else’s negligence, you need to contact an experienced attorney to help you determine what to do from here. The Tampa personal injury attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group are experienced personal injury lawyers, and we will work hard to get you the fairest possible outcome after what you have been through. Call our offices today for a free consultation.