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What You Need To Know About Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries

A vacation on a cruise ship is something that every person dreams of. The view of the sea and going to exotic places is something that the tourist will always cherish. People prefer traveling on ships because they are more convenient and less expensive than airplanes. However, accidents and injuries do happen even in cruise ships.

As cruise ship injuries are handled in a different manner than other accidents, you would need the help of a cruise ship injury attorney. Most vessels serving US customers are not registered in the United States but in other countries such as Panama or the Bahamas. Cruise ships are part of the so-called common carriers which transports goods or passengers on regular routes at set rates. For this reason, common carriers set the highest standard of care to safely transport passengers to their destination.

There is a huge difference between accidents in common carriers and an accident with strict liability. With the former, negligence or intent on behalf of the carrier should be proven. On the other hand, the latter does not require proof of fault. Cruise ship accidents are covered by maritime laws. This means that carriers will only bear liability for any accident if it can be proven that the operator had knowledge or should have known about the unsafe condition.

Whether the operator will be held liable for any accident and where cases can be filed can be found on the back of the ticket. Once you purchase the ticket and board the ship, you become legally bound by the terms of the ticket. The ticket usually contains a limited liability waiver, forum-selection clause, and a notice-requirement clause.
The forum selection clause is where information about filing lawsuits is indicated. Notice-requirement clause, on the other hand, shows the time limit for filing a case. In maritime laws, the statute of limitation is usually three years but the notice requirement clause can shorten it to 12 months for physical injuries and shorter for non-physical injuries.

When a passenger of a cruise ship gets injured due to the negligence of a crew member even if a “reasonably careful ship operator” could not have foreseen the action of the employee, most courts will hold the operator liable. The same rule applies to crew and passengers in a port of call. The only exception is the doctor and other health providers who were classified as independent contractors.

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