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Personal injury

Cruise Ship Accidents

For most people, a cruise is the ultimate getaway with the perfect mix of excitement, adventure, and relaxation on the beach. Every year, tens of thousands of people enjoy cruise vacations leaving Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and the Port of Miami. Unfortunately, some return with serious injuries.

Every year, hundreds of people are hurt in cruise ship accidents that can include slip and fall injuries, accidents during shore excursions, food poisoning, or onboard assault by crew. Cruise line litigation is notoriously complicated and involves maritime law. Filing a claim generally means navigating a complex legal landscape with loopholes as you aren’t actually in the U.S. on a cruise ship, even if your cruise departs and returns to the United States. At GMV Law Group, LLP, our experienced Fort Lauderdale cruise ship accident attorneys are ready to represent you to seek the compensation you deserve.

Common Cruise Ship Injuries

Cruise ship injury claims can involve anything from crew member assault, to ship activity injuries, shore excursion injuries, and even onboard medical malpractice. Some of the most common accidents that cause serious injury on a cruise ship include:

  • Unsecured objects
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Food poisoning
  • Legionnaires disease
  • Shore excursion accidents involving ziplines, snorkeling, climbing, and vehicle or boat accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents due to inadequate lighting, worn deck surfaces, or failing to repair railings
  • Medical malpractice onboard
  • Crew member assault

Filing a Cruise Ship Injury Claim

Making an injury claim against a cruise line is very different than other personal injury claims. The “contract of carriage” or your ticket contract generally limits where your rights may be enforced and you will generally face a shorter statute of limitations. You will also face complicated legal issues as maritime laws of a foreign state may be involved.

Most cruise line vessels are registered in foreign countries. What happens on the cruise ship may all under the laws of the vessel’s country of registration and this nation’s laws may not be as favorable as laws in the U.S. If an accident happens on a ship that leaves Port Everglades, it may fall under the jurisdiction of state law in Florida, U.S. federal law, or the law of the vessel’s country of registration.

This is why it’s crucial to consult with an experienced cruise ship injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible to ensure your claim or lawsuit is filed correctly.

There are four key components of any cruise ship injury claim:

  • Determining the right venue for filing a claim. This is usually the Federal Court in Miami, but your claim may need to be filed in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Seattle, or Los Angeles.
  • Giving notice to the cruise line. You generally have just 180 days to provide notice.
  • Determining the statute of limitations. For most claims, the statute of limitations is 12 months.
  • Determining if the Athens Convention applies. This treaty caps the damages you can receive, but it does not apply to cruises involving a U.S. port.

What to Do After a Cruise Ship Accident

If you have been hurt on a cruise ship or shore excursion, your first step is generally filing and getting a copy of the crime or accident report. Do your best to document your accident with photos, contact information of witnesses, and the names of crew members to whom you reported your accident. You should also seek immediate medical attention on the ship.

The next step is contacting a cruise ship injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible. Cruise ship injury claims deal with complex state, federal, and foreign laws as well as shorter statutes of limitations that can make it harder to collect evidence and navigate legal issues. The sooner you consult with an experienced attorney, the stronger your case can be.

Contact GMV Law Group, LLP today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced cruise ship maritime attorney in Fort Lauderdale to begin building your claim and protecting your legal rights. We have English and Spanish speaking representatives standing by to help you take the next step.

GMV Law Group, LLP