Cruise Ship Lawyer in Miami
Cruise Ship Lawyer in Miami
June 16, 2020 admin

Cruise Ship Lawyer in Miami

Cruising has become one of the most popular ways to spend a vacation. With all-inclusive packages and exotic destinations, more and more travelers have taken the plunge and tried a cruise. Travel experts expect over 32 million passengers will travel by boat in 2020, an increase of over 65% from the last decade.

Florida’s economy is significantly bolstered by the boating industry. The year 2018 increased revenue by over 6% from 2016, accounting for almost $8.5 billion added to the state’s economy. Unfortunately, however, not all cruises have smooth sailing. The U.S. Department of Transportation has reported over 440 major accidents involving cruise ships, accounting for sixteen deaths. Since 2000, there have been over 300 overboard incidents, and the number of injuries has been increasing year over year.

When accidents or injuries occur it may be possible to seek compensation for those injuries. Understanding the complexities of maritime law requires the knowledge of experienced cruise lawyers in Miami. When accidents occur, it is important to understand who to sue and which court has jurisdiction over the case. A consultation with a Schlacter Law cruise ship lawyer in Miami is the first step in understanding the remedies available under your circumstances.

Common Types of Accidents in Miami

There are plenty of opportunities for accidents to occur on cruise ships. The very nature of a vessel at sea makes it prone to severe weather. Intense storms can create powerful waves, making the ship rock violently from side to side. Under these conditions, it is very easy to lose one’s footing and fall. Because vessels are far from shore, injuries that are easy to treat on land are far more difficult to treat on the water, making minor injuries potentially more dangerous and life-threatening. 

There are numerous ways in which accidents can occur on cruise ships. Some of the ways these accidents might occur include:

  • Various slip and falls
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Food poisoning
  • Fires
  • Overboard incidents
  • Drowning
  • Infectious diseases 
  • Airborne viruses including coronavirus
  • Equipment failure
  • Poor maintenance
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape
  • Battery
  • Assault
  • Negligent security

These types of accidents can result in all different types of injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Sprains
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations
  • Burns
  • Internal bleeding
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Death

When an injury occurs aboard a vessel, it is important to seek the ship’s medical staff for assistance. Further, it is important to document the incident and make an incident report. Even if an injury seems minor, any complication could be harder to treat if the symptoms worsen. When symptoms of an injury worsen, it is far more difficult to seek more advanced medical assistance on land once the ship is at sea.

When left untreated, injuries sustained while on a cruise ship can have serious consequences. When these injuries require expensive medical treatment following the trip, the passenger may be responsible for these costs out of pocket. A cruise ship injury lawyer can help make sure that these costs are reimbursed.

From out of pocket medical expenses, long-term medical care, property damage, and emotional distress caused by an accident, an experienced Miami cruise injury lawyer understands how to navigate the complicated legal process. From establishing the legal party responsible for the injury to figuring out where to file a lawsuit for compensation, a cruise injury lawyer in Miami can assist in making sure no detail is forgotten.

What Jurisdiction Applies?

When questions of jurisdiction arise, the main issue concerns who is the official authority designated to make legal decisions and judgments. When an injury occurs on land and a lawsuit is filed in an attempt to receive compensation for those injuries, jurisdiction usually lies with the legal authority where the injury occurred. This might include the state court where the injury occurred, or in some instances federal court. Jurisdiction would also apply the laws that govern that specific geographic area. However, a cruise ship ticket or a contract that you sign could also govern the location.

When it comes to accidents that happen aboard a ship, jurisdiction is not always clear. The location where the injury occurred, where the ship is flagged or registered or the location of the ship at the time the accident occurred can come into play. When a dispute of any kind arises aboard a cruise ship, some passenger tickets dictate where a lawsuit for compensation would need to be filed. When an accident occurs in the boat terminal before entering the ship, for example, jurisdiction may be the state court in the state where the injury occurred. If an accident occurred while on a day trip at one of the destinations the boat traveled to, the court at that destination may have jurisdiction. And oftentimes, maritime law may apply when an accident occurs at sea. It is important to have a qualified maritime and cruise ship accident attorney review your case to be safe.

Maritime law is a complicated set of laws related to shipping that were created hundreds of years ago and apply to private and commercial businesses that use the seas. Sorting through maritime law and the issues it presents requires the experience of a Miami attorney who can weed through the problems related to an accident aboard a cruise ship. Determining which court has jurisdiction is imperative before filing a lawsuit or a case risks being dismissed for failure to file in the correct jurisdiction. 

Cruise Ship Statute of Limitation

If you were injured aboard a cruise ship, it is important to speak to a cruise ship lawyer as soon as possible. From the time the injury occurs, there is a limited amount of time available to file a lawsuit. Once this time limit (called the statute of limitations) expires, a case can be dismissed for failure to file in a timely manner. A cruise ship lawyer would need to assess the circumstances surrounding the accident and determine where to file a claim for compensation as quickly as possible, so the statute of limitationss does not run out. Within the language of the cruise ticket contract, most cruise operators limit when an injured cruise ship passenger can present a claim for damages against them by shortening the SOL (statute of limitations) to one year.  In that case, an injured passenger would only have one year from the date of the accident to present a lawsuit. Moreover, most operators require that you have to give the company notice within six months of the accident.  If an injured party fails to give notice the claim can be forever barred. Call Schlacter Law today for a consultation so we can assess the circumstances surrounding your injury.

Call a Miami Cruise Ship Lawyer Today

Cruise ship accidents are more and more common as more and more travelers choose to take their vacations aboard cruise ships. When these accidents occur, it is important to hold the cruise ship and the parties involved responsible for the injury. Any medical and emotional care required following the injury should be reimbursed by the cruise ship. When a company refuses to do so, a lawsuit may be necessary. A cruise ship accident lawyer can assist with a lawsuit for compensation. Understanding the complicated issues of jurisdiction is just the first hurdle in seeking compensation. A cruise ship injury lawyer can assist you with all aspects of your injury. Call today so we can discuss your options.

How We Handle Cases

  1. Investigation
    • Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
    • You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
  2. Negotiation
    • Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
    • Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
  3. Litigation
    • If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
    • At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.


Frequently Asked Questions

What if I contracted an infectious disease while on a cruise?

Liability for infectious diseases would depend greatly on the circumstances that lead to the infection. Was the ship negligent in handling an outbreak? Did the vessel fail to quarantine potentially sick passengers? These questions aren’t always clear and would require an evaluation of the facts that lead to the outbreak before determining liability. Call Schlacter Law today so we can evaluate what led to your injuries.

What if I was injured at the vessel terminal in Miami?

While maritime law can be complex, it might not apply in all instances aboard a vessel. In some cases, injuries occurred before a passenger even stepped foot on a boat. In these cases, more likely than not the jurisdiction where the injury occurred would take precedence. However, some companies force disputes to be resolved in other jurisdictions, and it’s important to review the documents that came with your tickets. For help in evaluating questions of jurisdiction, Schlacter Law can help.

How quickly must I file a claim?

Unfortunately, some questions of jurisdiction may change this statute of limitations depending on what jurisdiction has precedence. It is important to discuss these issues with an injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that any important deadlines are not overlooked. Moreover, most cruise ship tickets mandate that you provide notice within six  months of the incident.