Florida Lawsuits for Injuries or Accidents on a Cruise – Cruise Line Limits to Liability
Cruise ship passengers are often very surprised to learn how vulnerable they are once their cruise ship leaves port and it enters international waters. Americans and others should not assume that a cruise ship leaving a Florida port is protected by Florida law or by federal laws of the United States. There are risks to cruise ship vacations.
TEN FACTS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BOARD A CRUISE SHIP
FOR A CRUISE LINE VACATION FROM A FLORIDA PORT
Cruise lines are owned by companies, and these companies may be incorporated in one of a number of countries. The cruise ship will fly its flag of origin; that may not be the Stars and Stripes.
It may well be that the law of a foreign country whose flag the cruise ship flies, together with the law of international waters, that will control your claim.
The cruise line probably has no law enforcement professionals on board; cruise lines tend to hire security guards who may not be prepared or ready to handle the investigation of accidents or crimes or be able to protect evidence.
Each cruise line issues a passenger cruise ship ticket that the law recognizes to be a binding contract between the cruise line company and that passenger.
Passengers will find paragraphs that state the deadline for them to assert any claims against the cruise line company in wording on their cruise ship ticket. Usually, that deadline is ONE YEAR after the injury to the passenger.
The passenger cruise ship ticket also states where any lawsuit must be filed. For most cruise lines operating in Florida ports, the “forum selection” on the ticket is Miami, Florida. If a passenger wants to sue for injuries sustained on a cruise ship, they will have to become a party to a lawsuit filed in Miami, Florida.
Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades is Cruise Ship Capital of the World. Fort Lauderdale has more cruise lines and sailings in 2012 than any other port in the world.
Cruise lines do not have doctors on their payroll. Doctors on cruise ships are usually independent contractors and any lawsuit against them will deal with their individual medical malpractice coverage, as an independent practitioner.
Cruise ship injury cases usually have attorneys in the location of the passenger’s home and where they have been treated and Miami trial lawyers to deal with the Florida lawsuits.
Cruise lines have worked together to limit their liability as much as possible for injuries and deaths that happen to cruise ship passengers, doing things like passenger ticket limitations on time to sue and participating in the annual Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida Lawyer Helping People Hurt on Cruise Ship Vacations with Their Injury Claims Florida trial lawyer Alan Sackrin is a Board Certified trial specialist with over 30 years of courtroom and settlement negotiation experience. He’s an expert in helping people who live in Florida, as well as in other parts of the country and the world, who have been hurt on a cruise ship and need to file a claim or lawsuit against cruise line to recover compensation for their injuries.