February 12, 2015
Accidents can happen when we least expect them—but if you are injured while on a cruise ship you could be left in pain and wondering if you can seek compensatory damages. While accidents that occur on land can be resolved through the tort law, accidents that occur at sea are not as simple. Here is what you need to know if you are injured while on a cruise:
The Admiralty Law
If you are on a cruise ship, the operator is expected to exercise reasonable care for the safety of the passengers aboard the ship in accordance with the admiralty law, and may be held liable for passengers’ injuries caused by negligence. The admiralty law (also known as maritime law) is a specific body of law that governs maritime—meaning anything connected to the sea—including questions and offenses. These laws ultimately govern the relationships between the private entities that operate vessels within the oceans. Having said this, if an injured party wishes to file a claim, they usually have to do so in the state where the port is located. With Florida being a hotspot for cruise-goers, it is important to know your rights.
It is important to note that cruise ship operators are not liable for all passenger injuries. In order for the operator to be liable, the plaintiff must be able to prove the operator was negligent or acting with willful intent. This is usually determined by whether or not a reasonably careful ship operator would have not known about the hazard that caused the injury. For example, if inclement weather causes an operator to maneuver the ship and it results in a passenger sustaining minor injuries, the operator most likely will not be held liable. However, if a damaged railing causes a passenger to fall overboard and the operator knew about it, they will likely be held liable for compensatory damages.
When to Call an Attorney
If you or your loved one was injured while on a cruise ship, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. The legal team at the Khonsari Law Group can help you determine whether your claim has merit and can assist you with bringing your claim to court. To learn more about what KLG can do for you, contact us today or click here to schedule a free consultation.