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Cruise Ship Accident: 5 Ways to Protect Your Rights

May 10, 2010

With the recent Carnival Cruise ship accident that injured 61 passengers when the cruise ship violently listed some interesting topics have been brought up that many people are unaware of. For example, did you know that you have a year or less to file your claim? Or, did you know that the fine print on your ticket dictates the location where a suit can be brought? To help you out we have compiled a list of 5 things you need to know to protect your rights when involved in a cruise ship accident.
1.) Know The Location Where You Need to Sue:
Maus says: “Cruise lines designate within their passenger tickets the only location where they can be sued. (Take a look at the tiny print on the back of your ticket). Most of the major cruise lines are based in Miami, Florida and designate Miami, Florida as the location where they must be sued.” This means that if you live in Maine and vacation on a cruise, you may have to litigate in Miami at considerable cost and time to you.
Knowing where you need to take your case is imperative so that your claim won’t be dismissed. Be sure to know the location where you can bring you case. It is not necessarily where the ship left either, so check you ticket before suing.
2.) Know How Long You Have to Bring A Lawsuit:
Maus says: “Cruise lines often insert special provisions into their passenger tickets that shorten the time in which a passenger may file a law suit against the cruise line to one year. (The normal statute of limitations for admiralty and maritime matters is three years; for a typical car accident claim it is four years!)”.
Once again, reading the ticket is key. This will give you the timeframe for which you can bring a suit against the cruise line.
3.) Cruise Ship Accidents Can Happen On Dry Land:
Most people don’t think much about it, but cruise ship accidents can happen at any time during their vacation: when they are boarding or disembarking the ship, when they are walking up or down stairs on the ship or down a hallway, when they are getting on and off a launch or tour bus in an exotic port, or during a ship-sponsored tour or trip into a foreign city.
4.) Document Your Accident:
When the victim of a cruise ship accident be sure to thoroughly document the incident. This includes the following:
  • Insist a report detailing the incident is prepared by the Cruise Ship personnel
  • Obtain the names and contact information for any other cruise ship passengers that may be witnesses or have knowledge about the incident.
  • Obtain the names and identification information for any cruise ship personnel that may be a witness or have knowledge about the incident.
  • Take photographs of the area where the accident occurred, and any defective conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
  • Seek medical attention and complain about any part of your body that was injured, no matter how severe or minor.
  • Request the ship personnel preserve any materials or evidence that is related to the accident or injury. It is best to do this in writing and keep a copy for yourself. Your request should include the preservation of any on board video tape surveillance.
This evidence and information will help you immensely with a case.
5.) Talk to an Accident Injury Lawyer:
Speak to an experienced cruise ship accident injury lawyer. Cruise ship accident and injuries can often involve state, federal or international laws that may be very different from the laws in your area. It is best to speak with a cruise ship accident injury lawyer as soon as possible following the incident to protect your rights.
This article is not meant to turn you away from that long-dreamt-of cruise vacation. Rather, it is meant to make cruise line passengers aware that cruise ship accidents require navigating through confusing and archaic laws. If you are injured while on a cruise, talk to an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer as soon as you get back to dry land so you can protect your rights.
If you have a question or need information on Cruise Ship Accident, contact Florida Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today for a free consultation.. The Law Office of Joseph M. Maus and Associates has handled some of the largest Florida overtime wage claims. Attorneys in their offices were recently appointed in Federal Court as lead counsel in an Overtime Class Action against a large Fortune 500 Company.
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