Rights of Cruise Ship Passengers
It includes a contract that limits how much time you have to bring a claim and where you must file a lawsuit. Most passenger contracts require that you give written notice of your claim for injury to the cruise ship company within six months of getting hurt, and that you file a lawsuit within one year from the date of your injury. Time limits may be even shorter when claiming lost or damaged luggage.
Lawsuits must be filed only where specified in the passenger contract. For example, Holland America limits the filing of lawsuits against it to federal court in Seattle. Other cruise ship companies limit lawsuits to courts in Miami, Los Angeles, or even foreign countries. Failure to comply with time limits or choice of courts usually means that you lose all your rights against the cruise ship company.
What rights do you have when injured on a cruise?
Under the general maritime law, the ship is required to provide "reasonable care under the circumstances", and you can bring a claim if you can show that ship personnel were negligent. That means you need to prove that your injury resulted from an unsafe condition, and the ship knew--or should have known--about that condition and failed to correct it.
The ship has strict liability for crewmember assaults on passengers-sexual and otherwise. Special rules may apply when passengers are injured during shore excursions or from malpractice by the ship's doctor. In those situations, or any time you have problems on a cruise, you should consult a lawyer with expertise in the maritime law and with experience in passenger claims.
We can help you. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with a highly skilled and sympathetic maritime law attorney.