Passenger Vessel and Cruise Ship Accidents
For thousands of years mankind has 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 a passenger onboard 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 law suit can be filed.
Many passenger vessels tickets act as contracts between you the passenger and the vessel operator. Printed on these tickets are often provisions which limits the vessel operator’s liability. Most often these tickets limit the time you can sue for the injuries that you have sustained while onboard a passenger vessel. Generally, you must notify a vessel operator of your injuries within 30 days of the injury and suit usually must be filed within 1 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 which occur aboard cruise lines present their own unique issues as most cruise line passenger tickets limit the locations that suits may be brought. The 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). As an injured passenger, this means that 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 onboard 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, time is of the essence. The maritime attorneys at Biggs & Gunst have experience representing passenger vessel operators and are now working to protect and preserve you, the passenger’s rights. Our large network of maritime attorneys will ensure your case will be filed in the correct jurisdiction and will work hard to make sure your case is resolved quickly and you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured aboard a passenger vessel or cruise ship contact us immediately to discuss your rights.
Back to Maritime Law