A lot of individuals choose to have vacations on cruise ships. Every year, more than 20 million people travel by cruise ship, with more than half being Americans.
Although cruise ships are quite popular, the media only really pays attention to the cruise ship business when something terrible happens, such as when the Costa Concordia sank in 2012, or the Carnival Triumph was left adrift in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire in 2013.
Do Cruise Ships Pose a Risk?
Although serious cruise ship mishaps like the Costa Concordia catastrophe don’t happen frequently, cruise ships provide several risky situations. Almost any incident that can occur on land, such as food poisoning or an assault and battery, can also occur on a cruise ship because it is effectively a floating city. Slip and fall incidents, which can occur anywhere, account for nearly half of all passenger accidents each year.
There are more potential sources for catastrophes because cruise ships are on the sea and are frequently out in the open ocean. If a large wave strikes the side of the boat, passengers could be hurt or tumble overboard. Furthermore, due to the ship’s close quarters, infections, such as the dreaded norovirus, can spread quickly if the crew does not take the necessary procedures to manage the illness.
What Might Take Place While I’m on a Cruise Ship?
Most cruise ship incidents are brought on by the crew or the company’s negligence. Common ailments and wounds sustained on cruise ships as a result of negligence include:
- Accidents involving slip-and-falls (notice that not all injuries are actionable);
- Food-borne diseases;
- Sexual assaults committed by crew members or fellow travelers;
- Issues with the ship (such as fires or boat sinkings);
- Drowning, becoming lost at sea, or other incidents involving water (such as a boat collision);
- Medical negligence; or
- Numerous additional illnesses or injuries could develop while you are aboard.
Additionally, anyone traveling on a cruise ship runs the risk of being a victim of crimes like piracy, kidnapping, murder, and theft.
I Was Injured On A Cruise. Can I Sue The Cruise Line?
The laws that apply to the case, the terms and conditions on the passenger’s ticket, the statute of limitations, and the case facts will determine whether or not the passenger can file a lawsuit against the cruise line for their injuries.
Reading the terms printed on the back of their cruise line ticket will typically provide passengers with the answers to these inquiries. This is so because buying a ticket establishes a legal contract between the traveler and the cruise line.
The relevant statute of limitations will typically be provided by the jurisdiction’s laws where the matter is being heard. Passengers who sustain injuries must file a lawsuit within the stipulated period to preserve their right to compensation for their losses. They cannot file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed.
The matter may be governed by federal maritime law and specific state legislation. For instance, the bulk of personal injury claims involving cruise line responsibility is tried in Florida and California, the states where most cruise line corporations are headquartered.
Federal maritime laws will be in effect if an injury happens when a cruise ship is in international waters. Additionally, certain cruise lines may provide time restrictions and jurisdiction information on the ticket.
A traveler should speak with a cruise attorney right once if they want to sue the cruise line. A cruise lawyer will be knowledgeable about maritime legislation and cruise lines’ litigation process. They can also evaluate whether the conditions of a ticket are void or whether they will bar a passenger from pursuing their claim.
How Liable is a Cruise Ship for My Safety?
A cruise ship is a common carrier, and a common carrier is responsible for keeping all its passengers as secure as possible. A cruise ship must take all necessary precautions to ensure that all areas are secure for passengers. Therefore, even though a cruise ship may not be required to completely prevent an unforeseen storm from occurring where the ship is, it is required to take reasonable precautions to protect the passengers from serious harm.
Through their agreements with each passenger as part of the cruise ticket they pay, cruise liners may try to restrict their liability. Cruise liners can, and frequently do, limit their personal liability for things like lost or damaged luggage, even though this may seem unjust. Other restrictions on a passenger’s capacity to sue the cruise ship or whether the case must go through arbitration first may also be imposed by the cruise ship. These restrictions could relate to where the cruise ship can be sued or other issues.
Of course, the Death on the High Seas Act may make the cruise line responsible for someone’s death if they pass away while aboard a cruise ship.
Compensatory damages are the most typical sort of damages granted in a cruise line lawsuit. The purpose of compensatory damages is to compensate a plaintiff for the financial burden of their injuries, including medical costs, lost wages, diminished earning ability, and other costs. A plaintiff may also be entitled to pain and suffering damages (e.g., emotional distress, reputational damages, etc.) if established.
A close family member may be eligible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit and receive compensation for their loss in situations where a person passed away or disappeared. You can utilize these damages to pay for things like funeral costs, lost benefits, and loss of companionship. However, it should be highlighted that only spouses of the fatally injured or seriously injured can make a loss of consortium claim.
Finally, a court may also grant punitive damages where a defendant’s actions are determined to be egregiously insulting.
A victim or the victim’s family should speak with a cruise ship lawyer for additional legal counsel if they want to learn more about the kinds of damages they might be able to receive in a cruise line case. A cruise ship lawyer can be retained to help the affected parties seek these remedies, in addition to being useful in determining the kind of available remedies.
Is it Legal to Sue for Wrongful Death After a Fatal Cruise Ship Accident?
A close relative of a deceased person may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or organization that was responsible for their death. A victim’s family member typically sues the cruise line corporation in wrongful death cases involving deadly cruise ship accidents.
Family members who win wrongful death litigation may be entitled to compensation for their loss of consortium, funeral expenses, lost benefits, the victim’s pain and suffering before death, and in some circumstances, punitive damages.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Lawsuit on a Cruise Ship?
It might be considerably more difficult to sue a cruise ship than to sue an individual. For instance, litigation can touch on several distinct legal disciplines, such as tort and marine law.
Additionally, any limitations in your contract with the cruise ship may make it more difficult for you to sue the cruise ship.
A wrongful death attorney will be able to inform you of all of your legal options and guide you through the process of bringing a claim against the cruise line and any parties at fault.