A Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Splendour of the Seas, caught on fire in the engine room as the cruise ship was sailing in the Mediterranean near the Greek islands. The fire was so large that crew members had to remain at their emergency stations for hours on end. Passengers reported not feeling well and struggling with the constant smell of smoke. Some passengers and crew members had to be treated for smoke inhalation. Our team of cruise ship injury lawyers are not surprised by this news. If something goes wrong on a cruise ship that is out to sea, help is not around the corner.
This is not the first time Royal Caribbean has had a large fire on a cruise ship. For example, in July 2015, a fire broke out on the Freedom of the Seas as it traveled toward Falmouth, Jamaica. Additionally, in May 2013, a large fire suddenly developed on the Grandeur of the Seas and the crew battled with the fire for over two hours.
One passenger aboard the Splendour of the Seas reportedly stated that the ship was operating on just one engine resulting in a very rocky, turbulent trip. It was even difficult to simply walk around and numerous passengers are sick.
Fortunately, no severe injuries or deaths have been reported. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. For example, three people aboard an Oceania Cruises ship were killed when a fire broke out in the engine room. Other passengers suffered injuries as a result of the explosion, according to Local10.com.
Your Legal Rights if You are Injured or Lose a Loved One in a Cruise Ship Incident
Getting seriously hurt or losing a loved one in an incident aboard a cruise ship is a terrible, gut-wrenching event. Some passengers mistakenly believe that the laws applying to other accidental injuries (e.g., car accident, truck accident, slip and fall, etc.) apply to a cruise ship injury. Not so. There are specific requirements and restrictions in place when attempting to pursue a claim for personal injuries or wrongful death arising from a cruise ship accident or fire.
For example, many cruise ship tickets contain binding contractual language requiring a passenger to notify the cruise line in writing that they intend to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. If you fail to provide this written notice and proceed with a lawsuit, the cruise line could move to have your claim thrown out of court. Many cruise line tickets also contain restrictive language limiting the amount of time you have to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. In some instances, you may only have one year from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Some cruise lines have also gone so far as to add clauses into the tickets limiting the location in which your claim can be filed. Some cruise lines mandate that all lawsuits be filed in a Florida court, whereas other cruise lines require you file a lawsuit in a foreign country such as Italy.
Contact an Experienced Miami Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer
As you can see, if you are planning to pursue a claim for restitution against a cruise line, there are numerous complex laws and regulations you must be aware of. This is where an experienced cruise ship injury attorney can help. Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. has that experience. Our team of maritime lawyers have handled numerous cruise ship injury and wrongful death cases. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.