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Fast Facts: Cruise Ship Accidents
For your convenience here are the Top Fast Facts about Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries that you would do well to know.
If you were injured on a cruise, the very first thing you’ll want to do is to not panic. Notify your accident to the cruise ship management, and seek assistance from crew members. Avoid getting caught in further complications, adhere to directions from the cruise personnel, and be compliant to a practical extent. Before leaving the cruise ship, ask for records relating to the medical attention you received immediately after your accident, and save all receipts from out-of-pocket expenditures you had to incur as a result of your injuries (medical expenses, hospital bills, insurance claims, etc.)
A lot of lawyers think that there’s a three year time limit to sue under Federal Maritime or Admiralty law. But there is a catch. The majority of the Florida cruise lines limit the time you have to file a claim for compensation; generally that time limit is one year from the date of the accident.
The court location in which to file your cruise lawsuit will depend on the content laid out in your cruise ticket-contract. Cruise lines very carefully insert Forum Selection Clauses in the fine-print section, where they choose the courts where you may file a lawsuit against them. The majority of cruise lines pick Florida as the venue in which to file a claim for compensation for any injuries their passengers may have suffered aboard one of their cruises; regardless of where the injury actually happened during the trip.
A potential settlement agreement for your cruise ship injuries will depend on many things, such as the cruise line, the circumstances surrounding your accident, the severity of your injuries, etc. Some cruise lines are a bit more welcoming of a potential settlement resolution, while some others prefer to play games, and won’t negotiate in good-faith until the trial is near.
If you file a claim for compensation for your injuries against a particular cruise line in the Florida Courts, and you do not live in the State of Florida, or you are a foreigner, then you may be required to come back to Florida for some court appearances; while there are other court appearances in which a Florida Injury Lawyer may appear in court on your behalf.
The time to resolve a Florida Cruise Lawsuit will vary a great deal. If a settlement can’t be reached with the cruise line and your case goes to trial, a cruise lawsuit in Florida, may take a year, and from time to time two years, before it’s finally settled; notwithstanding a potential appeals process, which might additionally extend the length of a final resolution.
Unless you’re looking for a minimal amount of monetary compensation, then talking to the insurance company of the cruise line is just not the greatest of ideas. I often hear from passengers who contact me immediately after giving recorded statements they believed went smoothly… Only to find out that wasn’t the case at all.
If you are going on a cruise vacation, you would be wise to read the cruise line ticket-contract to become aware of the many different clauses and stipulations inserted there, such as Forum Selection and Statutes of Limitations terms.
It’s essential to be aware that not all injuries give you the right to file a lawsuit for compensation. An injured cruise ship passenger has the burden of proving the following: Liability of the cruise line by demonstrating that they were negligent or engaged in wrongful acts and are legally accountable to compensate you for your injuries and that you actually suffered losses and/or damages because of your injuries (medical fees, hospital costs, lost income or wages, pain and suffering, and so on).
Beware of contacting the cruise line on your own without first having talked to a personal injury lawyer in Florida. I’ve seen many cases where a cruise line actually goes out of their way to correspond back and forth with an injured cruise passenger. But this is because they are entirely aware of the fact that the Statutes of Limitations term for filing a claim is expiring with every second that passes. Unless there was fraud or evident deception in the way the cruise line acted while exchanging letters with the injured passenger (which is quite difficult to prove), then after the time-limit for a personal injury claim expires there’s really nothing that anyone, even Perry Mason, can do for you.