Part of the fun of cruise vacations is the opportunity to explore ports around the world. Cruise lines promote these options at different ports of call to help their passengers make the most of their experiences onshore. From horseback riding to snorkeling to walking tours, these shore excursions can be memorable and exciting.
It’s important to remember, however, that activities offered in onshore excursions carry risk. Injuries do happen on shore, with many factors that contribute to accidents. These factors can include negligence on behalf of the cruise line or the shore excursion company.
When an injury on a shore excursion happens, what do you do? Can you sue the cruise line for your injuries?
Here’s what you need to know about the challenges of receiving compensation for injuries sustained during onshore excursions, as well as the laws that are on your side.
What Types of Injuries Can Occur in Onshore Excursions?
How you are injured on a shore excursion often depends on the activity. Some of the most common injuries sustained include:
- Broken bones
- Permanent physical injury
When you’re injured on a shore excursion, get medical help as soon as possible. Afterward, get in contact with an attorney.
Do so as soon as possible to ensure your claim’s statute of limitations does not run out before it’s even started. The statute of limitations, or the time you have to file the claim, begins on the date of the injury.
Who Is Responsible for Your Injuries?
You may book shore excursions through a cruise line, but usually, a tour-planning company behind the scenes acts as an independent contractor. However, it’s not uncommon for cruise ship passengers to book their own excursions with separate companies onshore.
When an accident occurs due to the negligence of those leading the excursion, you may be able to recover damages directly from that company. You can generally take this path whether or not you booked the excursion directly with the company.
However, cruise lines do have the duty to warn passengers of unknown dangers at their ports of call. In the absence of this warning, if an injury or fatality occurs, the cruise line may be held liable for the damages on top of the onshore company.
Injuries Outside the U.S.
Many cruise lines are based outside the United States, which can render the lawsuit process quite complex. The same can be said for shore excursion companies.
However, this does not mean a lawsuit cannot be brought. In fact, an experienced attorney can help you to navigate these foreign waters and get the compensation you deserve.
What About Waivers?
Often, cruise lines and shore excursion providers have you sign a waiver prior to the onshore activity. While these waivers often include language that seems to absolve the cruise line or excursion company of all liability, this may not be true.
Even if it seems like you’re dealing with limited jurisdiction to bring a personal injury lawsuit, the waiver may not be enforceable when you take a closer look.
Injuries or worse calamities can ruin a vacation and leave a large impact on your life. Make sure you are compensated for the damages incurred.
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 2011-2020 – 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 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.