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Three Preliminary Questions about Cruise Ship Accident Claims

At our Miami Cruise Ship Injury Law Firm, individuals who have been injured while vacationing on a cruise often contact us about their rights in bringing a legal claim for compensation.  Accidents and criminal attacks that befall passengers on a cruise raise complicated issues in terms of jurisdiction and choice of law.  These questions must be analyzed to accurately predict the outcome of legal issues regarding the substantive facts of the incident that resulted in injury.  This blog post provides answers to three preliminary questions we often receive from people injured on cruises.

 What are the types of cruise ship accidents that can serve as a basis for seeking financial compensation?

While there are a wide range of incidents that can merit financial recovery for injuries incurred on a cruise, common examples of such injuries include:

  • Food poisoning or related gastrointestinal disorders caused by contaminated or spoiled food
  • Swimming pool drownings, near drownings and accidents
  • Slip and fall injuries triggered by cluttered walkways or floors that are covered in slick, slippery or sticky substances and/or debris
  • Medical malpractice by doctors and other medical personnel on the ship
  • Physical assault and battery, sexual assault, or rape by a cruise line employee or another passenger
  • Injuries and loss incurred because of a collision with the dock, another vessel, or natural hazards
  • Smoke inhalation and/or burn injuries from a fire on the ship
  • Injuries that occur on excursions, such as falls, attacks, and other incidents

 What law will be applicable if I bring a claim for harm suffered on a cruise?

The question of which law governs a personal injury claim when you are injured on a cruise is one of the most important and complex issues involving claims arising out of incidents during cruises.  When you purchase your ticket before departing on the cruise, the ticket will generally have a provision on the back that is labeled “Choice of Law” or something similar.  This provision will indicate the state law that the cruise line wants to define company responsibilities and passenger rights when a traveler is injured during a cruise.

However, the judge might reject the cruise line’s choice of applicable state law and apply federal maritime or admiralty law, or the state law of another jurisdiction.  Because our personal injury attorneys often handle cruise accident injuries, we have experience selecting the relevant arguments to persuade the judge to enforce the laws that are most favorable for our clients.

In the event your injury occurs during a shore excursion or tour, the law of the state or country where your injury occurred might control your right to financial compensation.  If you have been injured on a cruise, you should speak to an experienced cruise injury lawyer about the jurisdiction in which your legal claim should be pursued and the law that will govern your lawsuit.

Can the cruise company be liable for injuries that occur while I am departing on a shore excursion?

A passenger may need to sue the company that operates the land-based business if the individual suffers head trauma from merchandise that falls from a shelf or a broken hip during a trip and fall in a restaurant.  However, there are accidents that occur while passengers are departing the ship or on an excursion for which the cruise company might share legal responsibility.  Examples of these types of accidents include:

  • Injuries caused by defective walkways and other hazards on the pier adjacent to the ship or on the gangway
  • Accidents or malicious attacks that occur during an excursion coordinated by the cruise company
  • Harm suffered by patrons while being transported from the ship to the shore
  • Mishaps or criminal attacks that occur on sites, islands, hotels, restaurants, and other destinations owned by the cruise line

 Greenberg Stone and Urbano:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

 If your cruise vacation has been disrupted by a serious injury incurred in an accident or intentional act of violence, the Miami Cruise Ship Injury Lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation

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