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President Trump’s Travel Restrictions Pose New Challenge for Cruise Ship Injury Victims

Our Miami cruise injury lawyers recognize that passengers injured on a cruise face complex issues when pursuing a personal injury claim.  The issues range from where to file your lawsuit to navigating special terms and conditions buried in your cruise ticket contract.  If you are like many cruise passengers, you might not have noticed the litany of legalese printed on the back of your ticket.  Passengers who manage to read all of the intentionally difficult to understand language might have only a limited understanding of the significance and relevance of the provisions of this agreement.  Much of the dense language in this ticket contract is designed to limit your legal rights and remedies.

Cruise ship passengers face many complex challenges, which suddenly have become more problematic with the announcement of President Trump’s new restrictions on immigration.  Although this blog focuses on personal injury rather than immigration issues that affect cruise passengers, the executive order imposing a travel ban has had such a profound impact on the cruise industry that it is worth noting how this complicates other legal challenges facing cruise passengers.  Our Florida cruise accident lawyers discuss how the recent executive order imposing immigration restrictions impacts passengers injured by negligence during a cruise.

Provision Dictating Location of Lawsuit: While the ticket contract will vary somewhat between cruise lines, most ticket contracts have a provision dictating where a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit must be litigated.  For example, a passenger from California who is injured on a cruise ship in Mexico will be forced to have a civil lawsuit for damages handled in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida located in Miami-Dade County.

Short Filing Window: While many cruise passengers might be aware that a statute of limitations governs personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, cruise ticket contracts typically carry provisions that shorten the time within which a lawsuit must be commenced.  A common provision might require a Notice of Claim to be provided within six months of an accident causing injury.  The time to file a lawsuit will typically be shortened to one year with a deadline imposed for service of the lawsuit.  Ticket contracts often provide that a lawsuit cannot be pursued against the cruise line if any of these deadlines are violated.

Knowledge of the Terms & Conditions Not Relevant: Cruise companies know most passengers rarely read and understand the provision of the ticket agreement.  However, these one-sided contracts usually contain a provision that cruise passengers agree to the terms of the ticket contract even if the traveler never signs the ticket to indicate agreement.  The language typically indicates the passenger who purchases the ticket also agrees to the terms for any minors traveling with the purchaser.

While these are only a few provisions of a cruise ticket contract that merit representation from an experienced Miami cruise ship injury attorney, President Trump’s executive order has compounded these issues.  In the wake of the executive order, a Department of Homeland Security representative initially indicated people with green cards were subject to the ban imposed on people from seven Muslim countries seeking to enter the United States.  While there was subsequent confusion about whether green card holders would be completely banned or subject to more rigorous screening, the executive order created chaos for green card holders from the affected countries looking to re-enter the U.S. after a cruise.  There were media reports that some people returning on cruise ships were detained.

Although the legal status of the executive order is in limbo in the wake of a court ruling blocking enforcement of the ban, it is easy to see how the ban could compound the challenges faced by travelers injured on a cruise.  When facing a potential ban on entry into the U.S., the prospect of tight timing requirements for providing notice and initiating litigation can be a problem.  Further, the requirement that the lawsuit be commenced in Miami makes legal representation from an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer critical given that the traveler might be denied entry into the U.S.

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

If you are injured in a fall or by negligent medical care during a cruise, our Miami cruise injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & 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 have 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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