Cruising is big business. People just love to cruise, as evidenced by how much more popular cruising is now than it was just 15 years ago.
In the last decade, the number of people cruising has doubled, and over 30 million people cruise each year. To meet this increased demand, cruise lines have built humongous ships that can hold thousands of passengers and crew members. This has led to an increased number of injuries aboard cruise ships for passengers and crew members alike.
If you are injured on a cruise ship, there’s a lot to grapple with, including how to file a lawsuit and how much time you have to do it. Here is what you need to know if you are injured on your next cruise.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Suit?
If you are injured aboard a cruise ship, you may wonder how long you have to decide if you want to bring a suit. The answer to that question is on your ticket contract.
The ticket contracts used by most cruise lines state that you have one year to file a lawsuit against them, or you lose your right to do so. That’s why it’s always important to read the ticket contract and understand it fully before you ever step foot onboard a cruise ship.
Do You Have to Notify the Cruise Line of a Claim?
For a personal injury claim, whether or not you need to notify the cruise line is also something that should be covered on your ticket contract. In most cases, you must notify the cruise line that you were injured during the cruise and that you want to pursue a lawsuit against them within six months of the date of the injury.
What About Minor Children?
If a minor is injured on a cruise ship, you have three years after the date of the injury to bring a lawsuit against the cruise line. While the time frame is longer, you should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as you can after the injury occurs. You don’t want to wait until the statute of limitations is almost up.
What To Do If Injured on a Cruise Ship
If you are on a cruise, and you or someone you are traveling with is injured, then there are some very important steps to take that will protect any claims you may want to file later.
First and foremost, report the incident as soon as it occurs. Relay any injuries you sustained, as well. Make sure to tell them exactly how it happened, and take photos or videos of the scene as soon as possible.
You will want to gather contact information for witnesses to the incident and write down identifying information for the crew. You should request a copy of any of the surveillance footage that involved your accident.
Never sign any sort of document that contains a waiver of your right to litigate the incident. Remember that any statements you make to anyone, including doctors and crew members, can potentially be used against you.
Cruise ships make for great vacations for many people, but you have to understand what you should do when injured and how long you have to file a claim for damages to protect your own future.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2021 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2021, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2021.