Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) is the world’s second largest international cruise line. With more than 20 ships in service, two exclusive island destinations for passengers, and daring new features such as RipCord by iFLY (the first at-sea skydiving experience), RCCL has a lot to offer passengers – and many opportunities for injuries. When you board a cruise ship, you aren’t expecting to suffer an injury. Yet even on vacation, harmful accidents can occur. When the worst happens, here’s how to file a claim against RCCL.
Maritime Laws and Filing Restrictions
Bringing a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean cruise line for onboard injuries requires a different process than other personal injury claims. Cruise ship injuries involve elements of maritime law, a distinct body of law that governs offenses and activities on water vessels. There are also different filing deadlines and liability concerns you must take into account. Here are three things to know about filing a claim against RCCL:
- Maritime laws require plaintiffs to prove fault. A common carrier owes the highest degree of care to its passengers. However, unlike typical strict liability cases, passengers must prove negligence or intent to harm to bring a claim against a carrier. This involves having evidence of the cruise line’s failure to exercise due care, resulting in injury.
- Your cruise ticket is a legal contract. When you purchase your RCCL ticket and board the ship, you agree to a legally binding contract that bars you from pursuing injury claims against the cruise line. Your ticket will outline specific exceptions to the rule (typically negligence claims or intent to harm) as well as important information such as when and where to file.
- You must file your lawsuit at the cruise line’s headquarters. Despite being highly inconvenient for passengers who live out of state or even in a different country, cruise ship liability waivers state that injured passengers must file claims in the state of the company’s headquarters. Most courts will uphold this clause as reasonable.
Filing a claim against a large cruise ship company like RCCL requires a firm understanding of these rules and many others. It is often in an injured passenger’s best interest to work with an attorney for these personal injury cases. An Cruise ship accident attorney can investigate your accident, help you determine the defendant(s), and gather any evidence relevant to your case.
Where to File Your Claim
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has its headquarters and legal team in the Port of Miami – just a few blocks away from the United States District Courthouse where injured parties must file all RCCL claims. If you are not from Miami, this can create traveling issues for you during litigation. Entrusting your case to Miami cruise injury attorneys can give you an in-state advocate, and a connection to your case from far away. The team at Stein Law can file an RCCL passenger or employee injury claim on your behalf, and keep you updated about your case when you are in your home state.
The most important factor in your case against RCCL is your ability to prove negligence. This hinges on the court ruling that a “reasonably careful ship operator” would have done something different in the same situation – such as knowing about a faulty staircase railing and taking steps to repair the issue. Although it’s impossible for a cruise line company to foresee all dangerous conditions, RCCL has a duty to reasonably prevent harm to passengers.
If you suffered an injury on a recent cruise with Royal Caribbean, visit a local Florida attorney for a free consultation. You can describe your accident and find out whether your case has merit.