Cruises are meant to be a getaway from the stresses of day-to-day life. A high-quality cruise will allow you to unwind with great dining and entertainment options. However, they are also massive operations and accidents are common.
All kinds of injuries have been reported on cruise ships, including those caused by slip and falls, food poisoning, and damage from dangerous cruise-sponsored attractions. Cruise ship accident lawyer Michael Shelton at The Shelton Law Firmfocuses on maritime law and has spent over 40 years helping Houston, TX, area families injured in cruise ship accidents secure compensation.
How Does Maritime Law Apply to Cruise Ships?
Legally-speaking, cruise ship accidents are complicated. Cruise ship injury lawsuits must take into account federal, state, maritime, and sometimes foreign laws. Additionally, special regulations apply to cruise ships. For example:
- Statute of Limitations: Normally the statute of limitations to file a case in maritime law is three years. However, cruise ships often insert special provisions that shorten the timeframe to a year.
- Designated Locations for Lawsuits: Cruise ships may designate a location through which lawsuits must be filed. Not being aware of these guidelines can result in your case getting dismissed.
- International Laws: Most cruise ships are registered internationally or with another country. Consequently, the laws of that country may be respected over those of a passenger's.
If you look at the fine print on your ticket, you will likely find rules, regulations, and liability information. Be sure to read these regulations carefully and hang onto your ticket for reference.
Common Cruise Ship Accidents
Cruise ships are essentially giant, floating resorts. As a result, a wide range of accidents is seen, including:
- Slip and Fall: The cruise ship company might be responsible for your injuries if you slip and fall because employees failed to clean a spill or if you slip and fall on a poorly designed stairwell.
- Shore Excursions: Some thrill-seekers like to take part in adrenaline-packed excursions such as rock climbing and ziplining. Cruise lines will almost invariably attempt to avoid responsibility for accidents during these activities, but they may be held liable because of a failure to warn passengers about the potential dangers.
- Food Poisoning: With hundreds or thousands of passengers eating the same meals, food poisoning can travel quickly on a cruise. Norovirus, in particular, is very common and can lead to severe stomach pain, vomiting, and nausea.
- Assault: Sadly, robberies, assaults, and rapes are not unheard of on cruise ships. Whether the culprit is another passenger or a crew member, the ship has a duty of care to protect you from such harms.
- Medical Negligence: Whether it is norovirus or a slip and fall accident, medical personnel should treat injuries incurred on a cruise with care. If cruise ship doctors are poorly trained or overwhelmed, you could receive rushed, delayed, or ineffective care.
- Wrongful Death: Unfortunately, cruise ship deaths do happen. In such cases, immediate family members may bring a lawsuit against the cruise ship company.
Whatever the circumstances of the accident, you deserve justice.
Cruise ship injury lawsuits must take into account federal, state, maritime, and sometimes foreign laws.
Proving Liability in a Cruise Ship Accident Lawsuit
If you suffer an injury or illness on a cruise ship due to negligence on the part of the cruise line or its employees, you can file a claim against the company. There may be a limited window of time to file a lawsuit, so contact a lawyer familiar with cruise ship laws immediately. Attorney Michael Shelton has worked on many of these cases and will fight on your behalf to prove that:
- The cruise line owed you a duty of care
- The cruise line breached its duty of care
- The cruise line’s failure caused your injury
- You suffered specific damages as a result of your injury
As a result, you could secure compensation for any past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you were injured on a cruise ship, contact attorney Michael Shelton. He will carefully review your case and help you secure damages. Contact us online or call (713) 807-0700 today to schedule a free consultation.