In 2017, more than 25 million people around the world traveled on a cruise ship. Cruises are a booming business, as multi-billion companies cater to people of all ages and income levels with a variety of appealing ships and itineraries. Cruise lines are among the most profitable businesses in the world, but they are also some of the most unregulated and untaxed. In the United States, cruise lines can be held liable for negligence under the general maritime law.
Work With Experienced Boca Raton Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers
Cruise lines and their management have a responsibility to make their premises safe for their several thousand passengers and crew members. When they fail to protect passengers, they may be held accountable; however, cruise ship lawsuits are among the most complex personal injury cases because of the number of laws that may apply, including state, federal, and international maritime laws. There is also a short window of time in which a victim may present a cruise ship accident claim. While the statute of limitations for an injury accident in Florida is typically 4 years from the date of the accident, cruise ships have a 1 year statute of limitations. This means that you have just one year to take action against the cruise line that harmed you.
The longer you take to decide whether or not you should take legal action for an injury suffered on a cruise ship, the less time you have to prepare a strong case. Additionally, the sooner you work with an attorney to gather evidence regarding your injuries, the better your outcome can be. If you’ve recently suffered harm because of a cruise line’s neglect, contact Rob Baker of Baker Legal Team for quality counsel.
Understanding a Cruise Line’s Duty of Care
The United States Supreme Court holds that cruise ship companies owe a legal duty of care to passengers. Any person on board their ships -- from the captain to security and housekeeping staff -- can hurt passengers through negligence. Passengers may also cause lifelong harm to each other when they are not carefully monitored. Sometimes, this negligence leads to life-threatening injuries that may require considerable resources to heal.
Cruise line operators that enable negligence may be held liable and may be obligated to pay financial compensation for any injuries their passengers sustained. It may not be obvious when a cruise line has failed to uphold the duty of care, but there are basic things that should be done to mitigate the potential for accidents. Reasonable care may include:
- Maintaining vessels and common areas free from slip, trip, and fall hazards.
- Maintaining ship equipment in good working order
- Safe access to and from the vessel
- Providing safety and security measures to protect passengers from foreseeable risks
- Appropriate warnings about known but concealed hazards
Your cruise ship injury lawyer may investigate:
- Whether or not the cruise line responsible for your injuries has made similar mistakes in the past
- If the cruise line has a reputation for negligence
- If there is an ongoing problem with the particular ship you boarded
- When the cruise line became aware of threats to their passengers.
Several Parties May be Liable for Your Injuries
If your lawyer can show that your injuries were the direct result of a cruise line’s negligence, several parties may be liable for damages, including:
- The owner of the vessel
- The company chartering the trip
- The company selling tickets
- Third parties (such as other passengers) when victims are harmed by individuals not affiliated with the cruise line
While investigating all the facts involved in your claim, your attorney will know just who to hold accountable for your injuries and pain and suffering. Your attorney will be able to educate you on the validity of your claim, the likely outcome, and provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation to which you may be entitled.
One of the most important reasons to work with a personal injury attorney who understands how to pursue cruise ship accident claims is to be informed about the status of your case at each step. Resolving a cruise ship injury accident may take weeks to months of research and documentation, which is best left to an expert attorney while you recover.
Common Injury Claims from Cruise Line Accidents
Cruise ships are like giant cities floating in the ocean, holding thousands of passengers in a finite area. They can be hotspots for several accidents and illnesses that can result in severe injuries. Common injury claims arising from cruise ship negligence may involve:
- Slip and falls or trip and falls
- Falling overboard
- Injuries from a fire
- Norovirus infection and other illnesses from contaminated food or unsanitary conditions
- Pool and waterslide accidents
- Injuries sustained during an on-shore excursion
- Dock accidents
- Injuries sustained during on-board activities
- Medical malpractice or negligence in the ship’s medical facilities
- Sexual assault and physical assault claims
What to Consider Before Hiring a Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer
People spend thousands of dollars to go on exciting cruise vacations, but many accidents can happen. The last thing you want to think about when traveling on a cruise ship is all the things that can go wrong. But, it helps to be prepared with the name of a cruise ship accident lawyer you can trust.
Attorney Rob Baker of Boca Raton is qualified to represent cruise ship injury victims. Baker Legal Team has resolved cruise ship accident cases involving slip and falls, crew members, medical negligence, assaults, shore excursions, and more. Our team knows the exact steps to take to help you succeed. Cruise ship lawsuits often require injured passengers to file lawsuits in federal courts located in specific cities throughout the country. In Florida, you must go to federal court in Miami to pursue a claim. Only lawyers admitted to practice law in specific courthouses can represent you. Our team has such lawyers.
If you were hurt on an excursion off the ship, the operator of the excursion is liable. These operators usually function in other countries, so your lawyer must know how to interpret the laws of these countries as they pertain to personal injury claims. A network of attorneys in countries with a big cruise presence also helps the success of your injury claim.
Another thing to consider is whether you were made to sign a waiver before participating in the ship’s activities. Our cruise ship accident lawyer can help you challenge these waivers, which attempt to skirt liability for any and all accidents caused by the cruise’s negligence.
Don’t Hesitate to Inquire About Your Cruise Ship Accident Case in Boca Raton
Robert Baker is an experienced civil trial attorney who has earned the Florida Bar Board Certification, the Florida Bar's highest level of recognition for the competency and experience of a civil trial lawyer. To learn how he can help your Boca Raton cruise ship accident case, call (561) 320-0000 for a free consultation or complete our contact form.