The popularity of cruise lines has been steadily rising as more people decide to start their vacations from Florida’s ports. Sadly, some of these customers suffer harm and even tragedy while sailing the seas. These people often endure more than a ruined vacation: their cruise will end but their injuries will follow them home.
Many injuries that occur on cruise ships are weather-related. Dangerous situations can arise as ships are pounded by waves or storms that can break windows and cause heavy objects to tumble. While cruise ships cannot control the weather, they do know the risk and have a duty to warn and protect their passengers against it.
Mechanical failures can also cause injuries. Cruise lines are obligated to keep their ships’ mechanical and electrical systems well maintained. Faulty engineering can create fires, losses of power or even cause a ship to run aground.
Customers can even find themselves the victims of other passengers. With no police to call for assistance, cruise lines take on a duty to protect their passengers from criminal behavior. Regardless, people’s cruises have been ruined and their lives disrupted when victimized by theft, assault or even rape.
When the Cruise Line is Liable
No matter what type of injury a passenger suffers, the cruise line may be legally responsible. A passenger may succeed in holding the the cruise line responsible for her injury by proving the following four elements:
- The cruise line owed the passenger a duty of care
- That duty was breached
- The breach caused the harm
- There is a damage or loss
If an injured passenger is able to demonstrate the above elements, she has a chance of receiving compensation from the cruise line. Cruise lines may, however, assert a variety of defenses. For example, the cruise line may contend that the customer waited too long before bringing the suit or has already forfeited her rights to do so. It is important for passengers to review their tickets: many cruise lines require injured passengers to file suit in Miami, to provide notice of injury within six months and to file suit within one year of the sailing. If you or someone you love has been injured on a cruise, it is crucial to contact an attorney experienced in litigating cruise ship injury claims. Cruise lines like Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have become experts in shielding themselves from liability for passenger injuries. To learn more, please contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney at Greenberg Stone and Urbano or visit our website at www.sgglaw.com.