Summer is here. Louisiana’s children are out of school, adults are utilizing their vacation time, and family outings are becoming more common. As a result, many individuals and their families are finding themselves planning more extravagant trips. Amongst these may be taking a cruise. While these massive ships can be a lot of fun for Louisianans and their families, they can also be quite dangerous. This shouldn’t be too surprising, as accidents can happen anywhere. Yet, when an individual is injured onshore, the legal process can be pretty straightforward. However, when an individual is hurt on a cruise ship, a different set of laws may apply.
Why? Generally speaking, many cruise ships are registered in countries other than the United States. Therefore, they are subject to maritime law. Under maritime law, an individual must show that a ship company either knew, or should have known, about a dangerous condition and failed to remedy it before he or she can recover damages.
Although maritime law offers an injured individuals up to three years during which to file his or her lawsuit, the back of a cruise ship passenger’s ticket may specify otherwise. The courts have generally acknowledged these tickets as binding contracts, so by purchasing a ticket and using it to board the ship, a passenger agrees to the terms printed on the ticket’s back. The clauses here often shorten the statute of limitations, limit the types of damages that can be sought in the event of a personal injury lawsuit, and specify where a lawsuit can be filed.
Individuals who have been injured on a cruise ship and are facing legal issues with any of these matters may want to think about speaking with a qualified legal professional. An attorney knowledgeable about personal injury claims and maritime law may be able to help these victims develop strong legal claims to further their best interests.