Experienced Legal Guidance For Those Who Have Suffered Passenger Vessel Or Cruise Ship Accidents
For thousands of years, humans have built vessels to transport themselves along waterways and link landmasses together. Today, vessels are still regularly used to transport people to far-off destinations. While most of these voyages occur without incident, and despite improvements in maritime safety and design, accidents do occur. If you have been injured while you were a passenger on board a vessel, it is important that you contact an experienced maritime attorney today to discuss and preserve your rights.
Because of maritime transportation’s importance on the national economy, many laws have been written to protect the rights of vessel operators and limit their liability to injured passengers. These include the ability of vessel operators to limit the time with which suits against them can be filed as well as select a specific forum that a lawsuit can be filed.
Many passenger vessel tickets act as contracts between you, the passenger and the vessel operator. Printed on these tickets are often provisions that limit the vessel operator’s liability. Most often, these tickets limit the time you can sue for any injuries that you may have suffered while on board a passenger vessel. Generally, you must notify a vessel operator of your injuries within 30 days of the injury, and the suit usually must be filed within one year of the date you were injured. Failure to comply with the terms and provisions contained within your passenger ticket contract could potentially bar any claims you may have against a passenger vessel operator.
Injuries that occur aboard cruise lines present their own unique issues, as most cruise line passenger tickets limit the locations that suits may be brought. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that forum selection clauses contained in most ticket agreements are generally enforceable, Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585 (1991). Therefore, as an injured passenger, in order to bring a claim against a cruise line, you need to file suit in the jurisdiction specified within the ticket contract, which is usually Florida.
If you are injured while on board a passenger vessel, it is imperative that you keep your passenger ticket and contact an experienced maritime attorney as soon as possible to preserve your rights, as time is of the essence.
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The maritime attorneys at Biggs & Gunst P.C. Attorneys At Law have experience representing passenger vessel operators and are now working to protect and preserve the rights of you, the passenger. Our large network of maritime attorneys will ensure that your case will be filed in the correct jurisdiction and will work hard to make sure that your case is resolved quickly and you receive the compensation you deserve.