Cruise Ship Accidents
Southern California is home to many cruise ship ports. Cruise ships are supposed to be one of the most exciting and affordable ways to take a vacation. However, as much as it is exciting, there are always risks involved. Cruise liners are obligated to care and protect their passengers from physical harm. A cruise liner may be liable for any damages if it fails to live up to this duty and a passenger is hurt or injured as a result.If you were injured or lost a love one due to a cruise ship accident, you need an experienced maritime law attorney to pursue justice on your behalf.
Lawyer for Cruise Ship Accidents in Glendale, CA
Although cruises are supposed to be an enjoyable experience for you and your loved ones, many times the cruise company’s negligence can turn into an unfortunate experience. A cruise ship has extra weight on its shoulders, since every passenger on board is under the safety protocols of the cruise ship. A cruise ship company cannot afford to be unprepared for an emergency, otherwise passengers and crew members will suffer the consequences.
At Yarian & Associates, APC, we are devoted to helping resolve your legal issues. Cruise ship companies are at the height of the tourism industry, and they need to know how to have everything prepared in case an emergency. Our experienced litigators can help you recover for any damages you may have incurred while aboard a cruise ship.
Call (844) 291-1911 to schedule a consultation. We work with clients in the cities of Glendale, Los Angeles, Visalia, Riverside, and throughout California.
Overview of Cruise Ship Accidents
- Types of Liability Aboard
- Who Takes the Liability in Cruise Ships?
- Statute of Limitations
- Additional Resources
Types of Liability Aboard a Cruise Ship
There are multiple cases in which personal injury law comes into play aboard a cruise ship. If you suffer a severe injury or lose a loved one aboard a cruise ship, liability will depend on a few factors. Some examples include:
- Product Liability – Product Liability can come into play if the design of the cruise ship or a product aboard a cruise ship caused you severe injuries. Example: The ceiling of the room falls on your head. Since the ceiling is part of the ship design, the liability can be tracked to the designer or builder of the cruise ship. Similarly, if the screen in the cruise ship’s common area shocks a passengers’ finger to the point of burning, then again it may be a products liability matter.
- Premises Liability is the most common type of liability when dealing with personal injury aboard a cruise ship. Anything from slip and falls, to lack of maintenance that lead to a severe injury can be case of premise liability.
- Gross negligence can take place when a specific issue arises aboard the cruise ship, and the cruise ship is negligent. For example, not having enough life vests for everyone in a time of crisis is considered gross negligence, because the cruise line did not look out for the safety of its passengers. Another example of negligence is not having the right functioning equipment and emergency rescue team in case of an emergency (i.e., CPR certified individuals, defibrillator, water raft).
Jurisdiction & Liability
Forming a legal case for an injury against a cruise ship is difficult, especially because liability on a cruise ship depends on various things. Since cruises are generally leaving U.S. ports to travel to international waters, the jurisdiction for personal injury or wrongful death cases in a cruise ship can vary between countries. The United States can have jurisdiction over a cruise line in the following circumstances:
- The U.S. is the departing/arrival port or is one the cruise ships’ stops, and the incident happens while docked in the U.S.
- The ship has the U.S. flag which indicates they hold jurisdiction
- The Ship is within 12 miles of U.S. territory
Generally, you will be able to identify if your cruise ship falls under U.S. territory and what the restrictions are for filing a lawsuit. You will most likely have to file the lawsuit in the same sate where the cruise line’s company is situated. The most common states to host cruise line operations are California, Florida, and Washington.
Liability in a cruise ship does not just limit itself to passengers. Employees who are working as third parties for the cruise line who suffer from an accident can also file a claim against the cruise line.
Statute of Limitations
The federal government has a specific law dictating the time you have to file a lawsuit against the cruise line. Unlike most personal injury claims which mandate a two-year statute of limitations, personal injury lawsuits for cruise ship accidents should be filed as soon as possible and have similar timelines to those of government claims. Some cruise lines may also have specific restrictions and timelines that differ from the statute of limitations law. You must check in with the specific cruise line for more information on the statute of limitations for cases.
U.S. Department of Transportation | Incident Report– The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) provides statistics on cruise ship incidents as far back as 2010. The page provides data about some of the most well-known cruise lines and the types of accidents inside the cruise ship.
CDC | Vessel Sanitation Program– The spread of Gastro intestinal illnesses can be common aboard cruises, because of seasickness and the proximity passengers keep between one another aboard the cruise. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides data from the Vessel Sanitation Program which requires documentation from cruises every time there is an illness or outbreak that occurs aboard a cruise ship.
Attorney for Cruise Ship Accidents in Los Angeles County, CA
If you suffered an accident aboard a cruise ship, consult with legal counsel as soon as possible. You only have a limited amount of time to file for a personal injury or wrongful death suit to recover for damages. Cruise ship negligence can be dangerous, as the individuals on board may be the only people passengers can rely on in case of an emergency. Cruise ships must be equipped with the right personnel and equipment in the case of an emergency.
Cruise ships cannot afford to be negligent nor maintain a lack of maintenance aboard the ship, as lives depend on their level of safety and security protocols. At Yarian & Associates, APC, we understand that you may be going through many difficulties which are now taking a strain on you and your finances. Call us today so that we can explore your legal options.
We work with clients in Los Angeles and throughout California. Call (844) 291-1911 to get started or fill out a free case review form on our page.