A cruise ship might be the last place you’d expect to suffer a personal injury. Unfortunately, vacations are not exempt from harmful accidents. Passengers on a Celebrity Cruise Lines ship might receive an injury or illness from a slip and fall, unsanitary premises, food poisoning, negligent employees, or even acts of violence. It is a cruise line’s responsibility to keep passengers reasonably safe onboard the ship. The personal injury attorneys at SteinLaw can help you learn how to file a claim against Celebrity Cruise Lines in the event of a negligence-related personal injury.
Understand Your Rights
When you purchase a ticket and board a cruise ship, you automatically accept the cruise line’s contract. You can typically find this contract in the fine print on the bottom of your ticket. The contract will state something along the lines of, “Celebrity Cruise Lines is not liable for any personal injury, illness, or death unless negligent.” The contract does not protect the cruise line from every personal injury claim – only those the carrier or cruise line employees caused or contributed to.
For example, you may not be able to sue if you drank too much alcohol and tripped and fell down the stairs. You might have a lawsuit, however, if torn carpeting or a loose handrail caused the fall. In this case, you might have a premises liability lawsuit against the carrier for failing to properly maintain the cruise ship.
A cruise line lawsuit may also have a foundation in the legal theory of negligence. For instance, this might be the case if the ship’s cook failed to properly refrigerate fish, leading to an outbreak of food poisoning. When in doubt about whether you have grounds to file a claim, speak to an attorney.
Learn the Laws
Injuries onboard a cruise ship concern different laws than those that occur on land. Cruise ship laws and maritime laws come into play in these accidents. As a common carrier, or a vessel that carries passengers for money, cruise ships must obey certain common carrier laws. These laws and rules include providing:
- Adequate fire protection
- Competent crewmembers
- Safe and sanitary food services
- Firefighting and lifesaving equipment
- Stable watercraft
- Safe navigation
- Vessel control
- Environmental protection
- Protection from physical harm
- Safe arrival at the destination
- Protection from crewmember assaults
- Reasonable search and rescue for missing passengers
Passengers who sustain injuries due to negligence or intent to harm may be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost time at work, and other damages. However, claims against Celebrity Cruise Lines follow different rules than typical claims.
File Your Claim
If you or your attorney believe you have the right to bring a claim against the cruise line, you must obey all applicable statutes of limitation, or time limits for filing. Celebrity Cruise Line’s contract states that “no suit shall be maintainable” against the cruise line for personal injury, illness, or death of any passenger unless someone files a written claim notice to the cruise line’s headquarters within six months of the accident. The headquarters for this cruise line is in Miami, Florida. Even if you’re from another city, state, or country, you must file your claim with the right authorities in Miami.
Retaining the services of a nearby law firm can significantly help in the event of an injury on a Celebrity Cruise Line ship. Suing a cruise line is difficult and involves a variety of strict rules for filing. Protect your rights and ensure you don’t miss any imperative requirements by retaining a personal injury attorney who specializes in cruise ship accidents. Speak to an attorney at Stein Law in Aventura for help regarding a specific claim.