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Cruise ships are a realm of their very own. After you step on that large vessel you’re entering a place that is firmly controlled by the actual cruise line owner of the particular ship.
If that were not enough, the field that governs cruise ship accident claims is maritime law, which comprises a certain number of legal rules and guidelines that can easily complicate a potential lawsuit related to cruise ships and mishaps at sea. For this reason, if you’ve been hurt on a cruise ship accident you cannot underestimate the importance of contacting a cruise ship accident law firm as soon as possible for a cost-free legal consultation.
The Law Firm of Goldberg & Hirsh will be able to examine your case and the surrounding circumstances and advise you with reference to your mishap which may arise from:
- Slip and Fall Accidents (Tripping);
- Swimming Pool Accidents;
- Accidents at Cruise Line Approved Shore-Side Excursions;
- Accidents Caused by Engineering Faults & Cruise Defects;
- Negligence & Medical Malpractice by Cruise Doctors;
- Cruise Ship Crimes
- Cruise Ship Disappearances;
- Cruise Ship Food Poisoning & Viruses.
TYPES OF CRUISE ACCIDENTS
There are many different types of cruise accidents; here are only the most common of them.
Cruise Slip & Fall Accidents
The most common type of cruise ship accidents involve Slip and Fall incidents which may arise out of a variety of situations including:
- Objects out of place and uneven surfaces
- Debris and trash that cruise employees have not disposed of properly
- Slippery floors and wet-decks
- Automatic doors accidents
- Bad cruise maneuvering by the ship’s captain
- Many other scenarios…
Cruise companies carry with them a responsibility to have their cruise ships in sufficiently safe condition for the enjoyment of their passengers onboard. Legally they are bound to provide a safe atmosphere where their cruise passengers are allowed to enjoy their vacation without having to worry about an accident befalling them.
Regrettably, that’s not always the case. Sometimes cruise companies fail to conform to these necessary safeguards that are imposed on them in order to limit the occurrence of risky situations that can lead to people getting hurt on their vessels.
Cruise Water Slide & Swimming Pool Accidents
Cruise lines have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their passengers when they’re participating in water-related activities in or around their swimming pools and water-slides. Passengers should be able to enjoy these activities without the unfortunate event of an accident happening to them. As such, the cruise line must create an atmosphere of safety that limits risky scenarios which may result in accidents and injuries to their passengers.
Even if the cruise line cannot for some reason entirely eliminate a dangerous situation, it still has the legal responsibility of minimizing these potential risk-scenarios and to warn its passengers so as to avoid a tragedy or maritime mishap. Wet-floor signs and other types of potential-danger indicators are among some of the reasonable precautionary measures that cruise management should take in an effort to limit their passenger’s exposure to risky situations. The cruise line must make passengers aware of the risks they might encounter so passengers can take the necessary measures to avoid an injury.
Keep in mind that there might be some unconventional laws and regulations that apply to your cruise ship accident, most of them involving Maritime and Admiralty Law which include legal requirements (like the time-limit an injured cruise passenger has to file a lawsuit and forum selection clauses). So, for instance, should you be hurt on a cruise ship that belongs to Norwegian Cruises, you might have only twelve months to file a claim for monetary compensation for your injuries.
Cruise Shore Excursions Accidents
There are numerous shore excursions and related activities outside of the cruise ship’s premises, sponsored by the cruise line owner of the cruise ship you’re traveling on. Activities of this nature, some of an exceedingly-risky nature, include:
- Tours and Island visits;
- Archaeological Explorations and related expedition activities;
- Parasail, Jet Ski, Zip Line, and Scuba Diving activities;
- Shopping and dining on land;
- Other types of shore excursions and offshore events.
Maritime and Admiralty law may govern a lot of the issues involving your cruise ship accident, including accidents related to these shore-side activities. While you may feel you are still inside the strictly controlled world of the cruise line, the fact may be that once you stepped off the ship you may not be under the cruise line’s jurisdiction anymore and cruise personnel and crew may not supervise such off ship activities.
However, the jurisdictional issues controlled by many complex sections of Maritime and Admiralty law do permit certain legal arguments to be made that are known by experienced maritime accident attorneys. The team of personal injury lawyers from the Florida-based law firm of Goldberg & Hirsh has the resources and knowledge of Maritime Law matters to present unique legal arguments on your behalf if you suffered an accident during one of these shore excursions and related offshore activities – call us now for a free legal discussion.
Cruise Faults & Engineering Defects
This type of cruise ship accident is actually the one that involves many of the maritime accidents that have been making news recently. A number of these accidents involve an element of negligence arising from the actions of the Captain of the vessel, while others involve engineering defects or crew errors, malfunctioning of engines, cruise ship fires, or any manner of other problems that are simply out of the control of the cruise passengers on board.
These types of cruise ship accidents belong in a category of their own, given that they carry with them an increased risk of causing tragedies such as the wrongful death of a passenger or group of passengers.
Cruise Negligence & Medical Staff Malpractice
The cruise line and the medical staff onboard their cruises have a duty of facilitating appropriate medical care to injured passengers onboard the ship, that must conform to the health care standards and appropriate treatment accepted in the medical community.
While the cruise line may renounce liability for the treatment supplied by the medical staff onboard, they’re nevertheless accountable for maintaining a secure atmosphere around the boat’s premises, as well as for adequately training their staff of doctors to handle the unique and unconventional range of maritime situations that often occur on cruise ships.
These incidents are sometimes outside the scope of expertise and health care training that can be reasonably expected from the medical team onboard a cruise. As a result, the cruise line might be liable not just for an accident that was triggered due to their negligence, but also negligently failing to hire or train onboard medical care providers.
CRIMES ON CRUISE SHIPS
The team of personal injury lawyers has represented numerous clients in cruise ship lawsuits for injuries resulting out of crimes on cruise ships. Cruise ship crime denotes the harsh reality of accidents and injuries aboard a cruise – and they have nothing to do with icebergs on transatlantic voyages.
There’s a reason why you might not be totally aware of the surprising number accidents and crimes that occur on cruise ships every year. And that is mainly because there appears to be a worrying disconnect between the actual quantity of cruise ship accidents and crimes that occur on cruise liners every year, versus the number of these that do end up getting reported to the proper authorities and recorded as official cruise statistics.
What is known though, is that while most vacationers consider cruise ships to be one from the safest types of travel in the world, in actuality they may perhaps comprise a risky endeavor where passengers run the risk of falling victims to maritime accidents, or in more serious cases, cruise ship crimes such as sexual assault, mysterious disappearances, and even death.
Cruise ship crime statistics reveal that since 1995 there have been 165 disappearances on cruise ships.
What happened to these people? Were they victims of an unprecedented wave of cruise ship crimes? Did they suffer an accident at sea and fell overboard the boat? Regrettably, no one knows.
The fact is that cruise lines employ security officers to investigate these mysterious incidents, however these officers do not always seal off crime scenes, or detain and interrogate suspects.
Reality is that it is quite difficult for a detective to piece together a murder-at-sea case when there’s no body – meaning that the chances of finding a cruise ship passenger who fell or was intentionally thrown overboard are slim to none.
Whatever actually happened to these missing persons, this statistic demonstrates that when there really is no police in the high seas.
Sexual Assaults on Cruises
It’s not only deaths and disappearances on cruise ships that seem to be a problem. Congressional Hearings on cruise ship crimes have revealed a reported 178 cases of cruise ship sexual assault between the years of 2003 and 2005.
Representatives from the FBI testified to their belief that the cruise ship sexual assault numbers were underreported. Further documents recently obtained under court order – indicate that Royal Caribbean alone recorded more than 100 complaints of rape and sexual battery on their cruises within the mentioned frame of time.
According to some worrying testimony from an ex-detective who worked as a cruise security officer for two cruise lines over six year span, as it relates to sexual assault on cruise ships, “It doesn’t matter what the class of ship is. Young women are particularly susceptible; particularly from crew members.”
With extensive experience litigating personal injury cases in the state of Florida, particularly in the city of Miami, the team of maritime attorneys at Goldberg & Hirsh can help victims of crime on cruise ships in a potential cruise ship lawsuit for monetary compensation – contact us now for a no-cost legal consultation.
CAUTION! BEWARE OF THE CRUISE SHIP TICKET CONTRACT FINE-PRINT!
When most people get on a cruise, they do not totally realize how their vacation might get turned upside down in the blink of an eye, and they are injured in a cruise ship accident or crime.
The majority of cruise passengers are not be aware of their rights, as even worse, they might not be conscious of certain specific dispositions laid out in their cruise-ticket contract that may substantially impact the filing of a maritime injury claim against the negligent cruise line and the responsible parties.
Allow us to say something that you must be sure to remember before getting a ticket for a cruise ship vacation: BEWARE OF THE FINE PRINT!
Every cruise line inserts certain components in their ticket-contracts that cover many legal issues related to maritime injury claim. Conveniently, for the cruise line, these dispositions are cloaked within the fine-print section of the cruise ticket-contract they sold you. Whilst we here use the words “cruise-ticket contract” or “cruise ticket-voucher”, the fact is that this could also include things like other documents and papers, and not just the ticket that you boarded the cruise with.
Examples of exactly where this fine print may be located includes (but will not necessarily be limited to) their webpage; booking agreements; brochures; on-line access to their internet site that is entered by clicking upon a disclaimer, and so on and so forth. There are two main legalities related to all this that may very well apply to your maritime accident claim:
• Forum Selection Clauses
• Statutes of Limitation Terminology
Forum Selection Clauses
A lot of cruise lines include forum selection clauses in their cruise-ticket contracts, where they limit the filing of a maritime lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida – regardless of where you reside, where you live, the port that you sailed from, or where specifically (jurisdiction) the incident occurred when the cruise was at sea.
As such, if you suffered injuries due to a cruise ship accident wish to file a maritime injury claim against the cruise line, you could possibly not just have contact your garden-variety personal injury lawyer, but rather a Personal Injury Lawyer who’s licensed to practice in the state of Florida.
Several of the major cruise lines that pick Florida as the forum and venue in which to file a maritime injury claim or cruise ship lawsuit include, among some others, the following cruise line organizations:
• Carnival Cruise Lines
• Celebrity Cruise Lines
• Costa Cruise Line
• Costa Crociere Cruise Line
• Norwegian Cruise Line
• SeaDream Cruise Line
• Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Statutes of Limitations
In the most straightforward way of explaining them, Statutes of Limitation comprise the amount of time you have to file a maritime lawsuit, from the moment that your accident on the cruise occurred. In lots of instances the victim might only have 1 year from the date of the accident to file a claim for compensation against the liable Florida Cruise Line, in addition to any other negligent responsible parties. Some cruise lines even require you to notify them about the event or accident within a strict timeframe from the very moment that the incident unfolded.
*We strongly suggest that you not completely rely upon the facts and content you see on this page, seeing that it relates to the cruise lines that select Florida as the forum/venue in which to file a cruise lawsuit as well as the time-periods for filing that claim from the moment of your accident; We’ve no control over any potential changes that every single cruise line may possibly make to their ticket-contracts after this content has been published here. Maybe by the time that you read this, a few the cruise lines will have altered their time limits, the notice requirement for the filing of a lawsuit, or possibly even the location or venue. We’d really like to update this internet site regularly, but there’s not a reasonably reliable manner of discovering the contractual modifications made by any particular cruise line until after they go ahead and actually make those changes or alterations. Also, there are instances in which out of state lawyers – as in, not licensed in Florida – can get a one time basis authorization to represent a client in Florida, and some Federal Court Admitted lawyers can basically function in between court districts without being required to have Florida lawyers license; nevertheless, most attorneys will surely require a Florida based and licensed lawyer to associate with them as co-counsel. The Personal Injury Law Firm of Goldberg & Hirsh has been involved in the field of cruise accidents and maritime injuries for a long period of time. Our lawyers have extensive experience litigating these sorts of claims. If you were injured in a cruise ship accident, please call us now for a free legal consult.