What to do if you’ve Been Involved in a Cruise Ship Accident
You may have dreamt for years about taking a cruise, and when you finally realized that dream, perhaps your carefully planned out and saved-for vacation ends up unforgettable —for all the wrong reasons. Accidents aboard a cruise ship can be very frightening due to the isolation from all that is familiar to you. You are likely hundreds of miles from home, and not even remotely close to a modern hospital when you or a family member are unexpectedly injured, leaving you feeling very vulnerable and wondering who you can turn to for help.
Limitations on Cruise Ship Injury Claims
First of all, you should be aware that most cruise lines insert wording into their contracts which places strict limitations on the rights of passengers who are injured. These limitations will include when they can be sued as well as where they may be sued. It's important to hang onto your boarding pass because many of the major cruise lines have written, in small print on your boarding pass, the length of time you have to provide written notice of your injury—usually six months. There is also a limitation on the length of time you have to sue the cruise ship company, which can be one year from the date of your injury. Also, many cruise ship companies have designated Miami, Florida as the only place in which they may be sued, and some even insist that it be in Federal Court.
Fun, Sure, But Dangerous in Certain Situations
Cruises are lots of fun for the whole family, and most people leave wonderful experiences. Others are not so lucky. Remember that not all cruise ship companies are looking out for your best interests. There have been numerous reports in the news regarding poor sanitation, less than proper security and safety provisions, poorly regulated hiring practices, and less-than-stellar maintenance or management. Because of the incredibly confusing laws of the industry, not to mention the unreadable fine print on the boarding passes, many injured people have ended up with no legal recourse even for their medical bills.
What are the Most Common Cruise Ship Injuries?
Food poisoning and other food borne illnesses are, unfortunately, relatively commonplace aboard cruise ships. While this is rarely life threatening, it could certainly put a damper on the vacation you have so carefully planned. Most often, the types of injuries sustained on a cruise ship are traditional slip and falls. After all, you are often walking on wet and potentially slippery surfaces on a ship that is rocking from the movement of the ocean waves. Many other injuries come about during participation of on-board activities or on-shore excursions. While there is always some inherent risk involved in such activities, if there is negligence involved in your accident at the hands of cruise ship staff, you may have a right to compensation. Occasionally people on cruise ships will suffer injuries due to an emergency on board, such as a fire, collision or explosion. Finally, though certainly not common, there have been sexual or physical assaults reported either by crew members or other passengers.
If you have been injured while on a cruise ship, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney soon after you disembark the cruise ship or as soon as possible. Keep your boarding pass for your attorney's information and remember that your time frame to file a claim is extremely limited.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!
Do not delay in seeking legal assistance, as you have a limited amount of time to pursue a claim. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 35 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.
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