For vacationers of all walks of life, boarding a cruise ship means setting foot into a world where little but leisure matters. From the hustle and bustle of top-deck dance parties to the tranquility of top-tier spa services, cruising can be one of the most fulfilling vacations for singles, couples, and families alike.
Unfortunately, cruise ship accidents and injuries sometimes disrupt the escapism of an on-board adventure — and cruise ship accident claims can be some of the more complex personal injury cases.
Most cruise ship excursions depart and dock without a hitch, aside from perhaps a regrettable sunburn. However, in spite of — and sometimes because of — the variety of activities and amenities they offer, cruise ships can also be hazardous.
Some common occurrences that may result in needing a cruise ship accident attorney are:
The cruise ship industry is a multibillion-dollar industry, and the prospect of filing suit against such mammoth defendants might be intimidating to some. This is especially true in cases where negligence may not seem as obvious to nonlegal eyes.
However, it is precisely because of the importance of holding corporate actors responsible for their negligence that passengers who have been injured should speak to an experienced cruise ship attorney. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the case means that injured passengers and their families can understand their legal rights and options and then decide if legal action is a good fit for their case.
In the event that people who have been hurt on a cruise ship decide to file suit, a cruise ship accident claim can help them and their families seek recovery for:
While even luxury cruises are often considered more economical forms of travel, the costs associated with being injured on a cruise ship can be astronomical — from being treated on the ship, hospitalized in port, or even medically evacuated.
Many standard health insurance policies do not cover health care costs associated with cruise ship injuries, even if the care is provided on the ship itself. When care is covered, it may be at the higher out-of-network rate, resulting in an increase in the out-of-pocket health care costs for the injured passenger.
Cruise ship accident settlements and judgments can be complicated by a number of complex legal factors. Because of the specificity of the laws that surround these cases, it’s crucial to have a legal team who is equipped to:
Although the typical statute of limitations for maritime matters is three years, the cruise ticket’s designation of jurisdiction may mean states’ statutes of limitations apply. In the case of Florida jurisdiction, this means injured passengers have only one year to file suit. The cruise ticket may also require injured passengers to provide notice of their injury to the company within a certain amount of time, usually within six months of the injury.
Failure to be prepared for the legal complexities of the lawsuit or adhere to the clauses on the ticket, which acts as a contract between the passenger and the cruise line, may result in a court refusing to hear the lawsuit.
When you make the decision to file a lawsuit in your cruise ship accident case, you will need to choose an attorney who is licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which the suit will be filed.
Generally, the lawsuit will be filed in the location of the cruise line’s headquarters — in most cases, this is Miami, Florida. Unfortunately, this means that you may be in the position to have to file a lawsuit in a faraway state that you may never have visited if your port of call was in another location, such as Galveston.
When choosing a maritime accident lawyer to represent you, you will want to be sure that you ask questions about how the firm will keep an open line of communication with you during the process, especially if you live in a state other than Florida.
Regardless of where you live, FVF’s Orlando team is committed to educating you about your options before filing and advocating for you, including advice on:
Our case consultations are always free, and we want you to walk away from the conversation informed enough to make a decision about whether to proceed with your case — whether you hire us or not. FVF accepts cases only when we believe we can add substantial value to your claim, and we work on a contingency fee basis, so you always know what to expect. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
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