Cruise ships are magical places filled with fun activities and new adventures. However, even in the best of places, there is the potential for accidents. Nothing ruins a cruise like an accident resulting in a personal injury or wrongful death case. Maritime law governing cruise ships makes them responsible for their passengers’ safety while they are on the ship and while being transported to and from it.
This means if a passenger has an accident aboard the cruise ship, he or she may be able to file a claim against the cruise ship company. The company and crew of the cruise ship have a duty of care that requires them to provide safe and sanitary conditions for all of their passengers. Failing to provide this may also expose them to lawsuits.
Cruise Ship Invitees
The company and crew of a cruise ship are required to care for their guests, as maritime law defines the cruise passengers as “invitees.” Invitees are one classification for guests under the law. The other classifications of guests are licensees and trespassers, but invitees are owed the highest duty of care of all the classifications.
“Duty of care” is the responsibility that owners or managers of property (in this case, a cruise ship) have to ensure that visitors to their property have safe conditions. When owners fail to provide a safe environment, they may be responsible for accidents and injuries visitors sustain on their properties.
Injuries and Accidents Aboard Cruise Ships
While cruise ships are generally quite safe, there is a potential for serious accidents. Accidents or injuries that can happen aboard cruise ships include:
- Sinking, flipping, or grounded ships
- Being stranded at sea
- Nonfunctioning or malfunctioning toilets
- Sicknesses contracted from contaminated food or water
- Burns from fires
- Assaults that should have been prevented by adequate security
- And many other forms of harm
Slip, trip, and fall accidents can also occur aboard cruise ships. This is an umbrella term for two types of accidents that have similar causes and result in similar injuries. A trip and fall accident occurs when a person falls due to a missing stair, a protrusion in the floor, or some other type of structural issue. Slip and fall accidents are when a person slips on a floor that is wet, oily or greasy. Slip, trip, and fall accidents can result in serious injuries, especially for the elderly. Cruises that cater to older people must pay special attention to preventing falls.
The Statute of Limitations for Cruise Ship Injuries
Florida has a specific law that governs the statute of limitations for accidents that occur aboard a cruise ship. The statute for limitations is one year in these cases. People who have sustained an injury aboard a cruise ship or families that have lost a loved one while they were on a cruise should file a claim well ahead of this deadline. The earlier a case is begun, the easier it is to collect evidence and find witnesses. Beginning early also helps ensure individuals or families will receive their compensation when they need it most.
Accidents that occur aboard cruise ships come with their own unique challenges. People seeking to file a lawsuit for injury or wrongful death aboard a cruise must ensure that their legal representation is well versed in these types of cases. Florida residents should call attorney Brandon Stein at 786.766.8701 for legal counsel.
The specialists at SteinLaw are experts at handling all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases, including those occurring aboard cruise ships. We walk our clients through every step of this trying process. Contact our offices today for a free case review.