In Florida like other states, there is a certain period of time to file a personal injury claim or case. These deadlines depend on the type of case, jurisdiction, plaintiff, and defendant. For cruise ship negligence cases, the ticket often dictates the statute of limitations. This is why after seeking medical attention for an injury sustained on a cruise ship, the next call should be made to a knowledgeable attorney.
About Cruise Line Statute of Limitations
After a cruise ship injury, it is important to keep your ticket. This ticket is a contract with the cruise line and dictates any statute of limitations. For example in Florida, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit after an injury caused by negligence is four years. However, if the ticket says there is only one year, then you must follow the ticket and not Florida law. These clauses are regularly upheld in all courts. Additionally, cruise lines require a notice. This is a written notice about a pending case or claim within 6 months of the incident. Then, a passenger has one year to file the suit. This is a short window, and many miss the deadline.
Gather Evidence to Support Your Case
Along with scant time limits, an injured cruise ship passenger needs to establish duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. The cruise ship and its staff have a duty to maintain the ship in a reasonably safe condition. If there is a dangerous area, staff should take measures to repair or clean up the area or post warning signs. This is why it is imperative to take photos immediately after an injury. This includes signs of the area or anything that may have caused the accident. This helps build the case against the cruise line.
Duty of Care
Pursuant to general maritime law, The Supreme Court in Kermarec v. Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, 358 U.S. 625 (1959), held that shipowners owe a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of its passengers. Cruise lines must exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. These accidents can happen anywhere on the ship, from your initial steps onto the ship during embarkation, and even leaving the ship once you return to the port.
Accidents can occur near the pool, dining rooms, bathrooms, public walkways, and any other areas where passengers have access. The courts may even hold cruise lines negligent if a passenger slips and falls during a shore excursion.
Often times, passengers don’t know how to bring a lawsuit after they have been injured on a cruise. Cruise lines can mandate that claims are brought within one year of the accident. This time frame is rather short. As a complex litigation injury firm, we press upon our clients that they need to immediately speak with an attorney to discuss their injury case.