The FBI is investigating the death of a South Carolina woman after she fell from the deck of a cruise ship into the ocean off the coast of Cuba and was not found by the coast guard and cruise ship personnel. The Norwegian Cruise Line vessel was on a course from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico when the accident occurred. Authorities searched over 600 nautical miles for the woman before giving up search and rescue efforts. The FBI was called in to determine if there was any foul play or negligence that could have caused the incident. If you were hurt or lost a loved one aboard a cruise ship contact a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney.
Can the Cruise Line be Held Responsible?
While not all the facts regarding this case have been discovered, could cruise liners hypothetically be responsible in these types of situations? In most cases, cruise ships are considered “common carriers,” which means that they have a responsibility to their passengers beyond just reasonable care. Cruise liners must take a very high degree of precaution to prevent injury or deaths aboard their ships and failure to do so could land them with a personal injury or wrongful death suit.
Legal Rights if You Get Hurt or Lose a Loved One Aboard a Cruise Ship
A common misconception surrounding cruise ship injuries and wrongful death claims is that they fall under the same rules and laws as land-based accidents such as car crashes and premise liability claims. Unfortunately this is not the case. Because these accidents happen at sea, they fall under maritime law and various requirements and restrictions apply to filing a lawsuit.
Cruise ship companies often insert various provisions into their tickets that set the rules for filing lawsuits. This often includes shortening the window available to file a lawsuit and requiring a written notice be sent to the cruise liner before a lawsuit can be filed. Some cruise liners restrict the area in which a claim can be filed such as only allowing lawsuits to happen in Florida courts or even a foreign country. These restrictions are blatant attempts by cruise liners to inconvenience passengers out of filing a lawsuit.
The case may be further complicated if the incident took place in international or foreign waters, as there may be jurisdictional issues when filing a claim. An experienced cruise ship attorney will be able to navigate these stormy seas and make sure your claim is filed correctly.
Contact an Experienced Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Today
Due to the complex nature of maritime law, an experienced South Florida Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer is crucial when seeking damages for an accident. At the Law Office of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., we have a collective 80 years of fighting cases against all the major cruise line companies. All our cases are conducted on a contingent fee so there are no attorney’s fees unless we recover money on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.