Cruise Ship Accidents

cruise ship

The Fort Lauderdale cruise ship accident lawyers at Anidjar & Levine are recognized leaders in the field of personal injury law. We have successfully handled all types of cruise ship accident claims, helping victims get back on their feet. Our firm provides superior legal representation to injured parties in Florida and other states.

Cruise ships are a wonderful way to visit exotic ports without dealing with the stress of an airline. With its temperate weather and open waterways, Florida is the starting point for many cruise ship journeys around the world. Hundreds of cruise ships dock and leave from Florida ports each day. Unfortunately, cruise ships also present a host of dangers to passengers who are not prepared for such accidents. They also take passengers far from U.S. waters, depositing them on foreign shores. Accordingly, cruise ship accidents may involve issues of maritime law.

Potential accidents on a cruise line include:

  • Slip-and-fall injuries
  • Mechanical malfunctions
  • Improperly-maintained floors
  • Loss of balance on docks or planks
  • Dangerous shipboard activities
  • Lack of proper medical attention
  • Sports and swimming-related injuries
  • Assaults by passengers or third parties, including sexual assault
  • Sight-seeing tours on shore
  • Negligence of cruise ship staff
  • Contaminated food and beverages
  • Failure to respond to passenger distress

Obtaining compensation for injuries caused by cruise ship accidents differs in several respects from recovering for other personal injury claims. First, cruise lines often attach waivers on the back of the passenger’s ticket limiting the amount of time injured victims have to file a claim. Generally, passengers only have 6 months from the date of the injury to file a claim for relief. This is a substantially shorter deadline than those permitted for most personal injury claims. Any delay can result in the loss of important evidence and even bar your right to relief. That is why it is important to contact a Florida cruise ship accident attorney immediately.

Cruise lines also include “blanket waivers” that waive the liability of the cruise ship and its agents for any injuries incurred on the cruise. Many courts have found these waivers unenforceable, but this often depends on the facts in each case. These waivers purport to waive the ocean liner’s liability for a wide range of conduct, from shipboard activities to injuries on shore. A Florida appellate court recently found that an electronic signature waiving all liability for injuries sustained on board was not enforceable. In that case, a female passenger was injured due to the negligence of a cruise ship employee who carelessly instructed her to “surf” on deck. An experienced lawyer can help you contest such waivers and recover compensation for your claim.

Finally, injuries sustained abroad or in foreign waters present issues of jurisdiction and maritime law. Recovery of compensation for injuries is treated differently under maritime law. Passengers are also limited in choosing the “forum” in which to file suit. Because Florida is the cruise ship capital of the world, most major cruise lines include a “forum selection clause” in the passenger’s ticket requiring them to file suit in the state. Due to all the legal issues cruise ship accidents present, it is important to retain an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area of law.

If you were injured on a cruise, the experienced Fort Lauderdale cruise ship accident attorneys at Anidjar & Levine can help. We have successfully handled all types of cruise ship accident claims, recovering compensation for victims in Florida and elsewhere. Our firm has extensive experience litigating maritime personal injury cases, including accidents on cruise liners and other ships. We are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality legal representation, and committed to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call (800) 747-FREE for a free consultation or contact us online.