Law Offices of Charles D. Naylor
839 S. Beacon Street, Suite 311
San Pedro, CA 90731
When a passenger on a cruise ship is injured, the law that applies to an injury claim will most likely be the General Maritime Law of the United States. At least if the ship is operated by one of the major cruise lines based in the U.S. such as Princess Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines and most all of the others you will be familiar with.
Under U.S. Maritime Law, a cruise line can be held liable for damages if it negligently causes injury to a passenger, no matter where in the world the injury occurs. Negligence can involve something dramatic, such as the listing event on the Crown Princess several years ago when a navigational error nearly caused the ship to capsize, injuring hundreds of passengers. Negligence will certainly be a litigated topic for survivors and family members of passengers aboard the Costa Concordia, the Carnival-owned cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy in January 2012.
But usually the negligence is of a more ordinary sort. For example a deck that becomes unusually slippery when wet or a poorly marked tripping or falling hazard. And unfortunately, this sort of negligence is all to common on Cruise Ships.
U.S. Maritime Law protects you on these ships, no matter where in the world the injury occurs. And foreign passengers enjoy the same rights as a U.S. citizens. But there are important limit on your rights as well that you need to be aware of.
One of the most important of these limitations is that Cruise Lines are allowed to shorten the time you have to make a claim, and limit the place where you can file suit. Almost all the cruise lines require an injured passenger to give them written notice of the claim within 6 months and to file suit within one year of the date of the injury.
The second, the passage ticket will limit the place where you can file suit. Most of the major cruise lines specify either Los Angeles or Miami but some lines specify other cities.
The time and place limits on filing suit must be stated in plain language in your passage ticket so you must check your passage ticket to see what limitations apply to you. If you still have questions, and experienced maritime personal injury attorney will know what limitations apply for any of the major cruise lines.
You have rights under maritime law that can protect you, but you also have obligations you must comply with. Our mission is to help you understand both.
Our attorney’s are available for a no cost, no obligation consultation 24/7. To arrange a consultation, please call us today toll-free at 1-888-440-5829, or we invite you to fill out our ONLINE FORM.