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A Cruise Ship Injury Can Happen At Any Time – On Land Or At Sea

February 1, 2010

It’s cold and dreary out and most of us are starting to think about taking a vacation to a warmer climate. In many cases, this means we’re busy perusing cruise brochures and dreaming of romantic getaways to exotic places. More than four million people cruise annually and with such a large number of passengers on these floating hotels, it is no wonder that accidents and injuries occur frequently. Due to the size of ships today and the many activities they offer, and the thousands of passengers traveling on each ship, you will most likely encounter some potentially dangerous conditions while on your cruise.  Some of the most dangerous conditions that can result in a cruise ship injury actually occur on ship-sponsored excursions in foreign countries.

Cruisejunkie.com is a website that reports on various cruise ship accidents that take place every year.  Their website reports that 40 accidents occurred on just ONE cruise line in 2009 alone.  A sampling of these accidents reported by Cruisejunkie.com show the accidents range from on-board accidents, to on-shore car accidents.

  • The Carnival Lines’ Legend‘s ship-sponsored shore excursion to the San Gervasio ruins outside of Cozumal culminating in a head-on collision between two jeeps in November, 2009. Because both jeeps were overloaded, some of the cruise passengers were hurled from the vehicles while others remained twisted in the wreckage.
  • The Royal Caribbean Lines’ Freedom of the Seas lost a passenger in Cozumel in April, 2009 when the man fell overboard from a ship’s shuttle that was docking in Cozumel. The ship was maneuvering to dock at the pier when the passenger was thrown overboard and was sucked into the engine turbine, severing several body parts.
  • The Royal Caribbean Lines’ Freedom of the Seas was involved in another shore-excursion accident in July, 2009. In this case, 30 of the 47 cruise ship passengers on an amphibious tour bus were injured when it veered off a road during a shore excursion in the US Virgin Islands.
  • The Celebrity Cruises’ Summit had sixteen passengers injured when their bus apparently lost control in Dominica and drove into a ditch while it was returning to  the ship from a shore excursion. The passengers sustained injuries, including broken bones, bumps,  bruises and lacerations, however, three people were more seriously injured.
  • The Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Majesty had an onboard incident which was reported by a passenger: "On March 20th at approximately 14:45 off the coast of Jacksonville, FL, following a boom or rumble like sound, large chunks of rusty iron matter jettisoned out from ship’s funnel raining down on guests on aft sundecks 10 & 8. This was followed by a spray of an oily substance and black soot that showered the entire aft section. Passengers were literally coated with this residue permanently damaging clothing and personal belongings. Crew members who witnessed just pointed and laughed."

Your cruise ship injury attorney should be experienced with both State and Federal laws that may apply to your accident claim.  Cruise ship accident claims, whether occurring on-board, or during an on-shore excursion, can be governed by State, Federal or Maritime laws and it is critical to identify which laws control your accident case.  One important distinction for cruise ship accident claims involves the Statute of Limitations for on-board accident claims.  Most Cruise Ship companies have a clause in the terms and condtions of its ticket which requires an accident claim to be brought within one year of the date of the accident, and in a specific court.  For instance, Carnival Cruise Lines requires claims for on-board accidents to be brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami).

For more information about a cruise ship injury and advice about an accident claim, contact cruise ship accident lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today. Mr. Maus offers a free, no obligation consultation to answer your questions and let you know if you have a claim against your cruise line. He is an experienced cruise ship injury claims lawyer who has handled claims ranging from slip and trip and falls, sexual assault, cruise ship viruses and violations of safety and cleanliness standards, injuries during onshore excursions, and many other types of claims which are related to cruise ships.   His office handles claims on a contingent basis which means there are no attorney’s fees charged unless a recovery is made on your behalf. Mr. Maus is licensed to practice throughout the State of Florida, in the Southern and Middle Districts of the United States District Court, and is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Maus is an AV rated attorney by Martindale Hubbell, the highest legal ability rating awarded, and the highest ethical rating awarded to attorneys.

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