As Florida and other US states go through various stages of reopening after the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, there are encouraging signs that the cruise industry will soon get back to operation. According to a May 13, 2020 article published by South Florida CBS News Channel 12, cruise lines are experiencing a 600% increase in bookings as compared to this time last year. The explosion in guest reservations occurred just after some cruise operators announced that they would be resuming trips starting in August 2020 from ports, including the Port of Miami.
Of course, the resumption of vacations at sea means that the risk of cruise accidents and injuries will pick up, as well. If you were hurt, a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer can provide specific information on your legal options, but some answers to frequently asked questions may be useful.
What are My Legal Rights After a Cruise Injury?
Some basic personal injury concepts apply to cruise accidents, including rules on negligence-based premises liability. A cruise operator is required to maintain the vessel in safe working condition and free of dangerous conditions, which includes:
- Common areas;
- Pools, rides, and water attractions;
- Passenger quarters;
- Entertainment venues;
- Dining areas;
- Docks and ramps for boarding;
- Shuttle watercraft; and,
- Any other amenities or areas under the control of the company.
The failure to properly maintain these spaces, inspect, and make repairs could give rise to a cruise injury claim if you are hurt in an accident.
How do I Pursue Monetary Damages?
The identity of potential parties at fault depends on the details of the cruise ship accident, but the primary party will likely be the cruise operator with whom you have a contract for passage. If you were hurt on a shore excursion or any activity involving a third party, you may also pursue these entities for compensation.
Are There Any Time Restrictions on Filing a Cruise Accident Lawsuit?
Yes, there are deadlines – and they are much tighter than the statutes of limitations in most states. In most cases, you will only have 60 days to notify the cruise operator of the accident and file your claim for damages.
Where do I File a Lawsuit for Cruise Injuries?
In some cases, you will not have to sue for an accident. When you file your claim with the cruise operator, you – through your lawyer – may be able to negotiate a settlement out of court. However, if the company will not settle for a reasonable sum, you may need to file a lawsuit. The terms of your contract for passage will dictate where you will initiate litigation.
Get in Touch with a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Right Away
While these answers to common questions may be useful, there are many other complicated legal issues about your rights as the victim of a cruise ship accident. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA can explain them in more detail, so please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL to set up a complimentary case evaluation. We are in a better position to advise you on your remedies reviewing your circumstances.