Vacation cruise lines have a large amount of resources as their disposal.
Teams of attorneys, investigators, paralegals, and doctors are ready to
testify on their behalf should they be sued by an injured passenger. Unfortunately,
the laws regarding the rights of people injured aboard cruise ships protect
the cruise industry, not the passengers. Most cruise companies have a
1-year statute of limitations included in the fine print of their tickets.
This statute mandates that a passenger injured on a cruise ship file their
claim with the court within 1 year of the incident. In contrast, if you
were rear-ended by a cruise company’s vehicle at the port of Miami,
you would have 4 years to file a lawsuit. Additionally, cruise line cases
must be filed in federal court instead of state court.
A cruise ship operator must exercise reasonable care for the safety of
its passengers, in accordance with maritime law, and can be held liable
for injuries caused by negligence or willful actions, regardless of fault
or intent. Under maritime law, determining negligence depends on whether
or not a “reasonably careful ship operator” would have been
aware of the hazard if in a similar situation. If you plan to sue a cruise
line, you will want to find witnesses, particularly expert witnesses,
as well as present evidence pointing to the operator's negligence.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you with this process.
What if My Injury Was Caused by an Employee?
Usually, passengers can sue the operators of a cruise ship for injuries
caused by employees. However, courts vary on this issue. Most courts hold
the ship’s operator liable for an injury caused by a crew member’s
willful intent or negligence. This rule may also apply when crew members
and passengers are onshore during a port of call. Independent contractors
aboard the ship, like doctors or associated healthcare providers, are
exempt from this rule.
Have you been injured aboard a cruise ship? Thinking of suing the cruise
line? Let us help you today! We are passionate about helping you exercise
your rights. Contact our Hawaii personal injury lawyers
to find out how we can help build your case.