Cruise Ship Injuries: Charting Your Course to Compensation

  • Share:
March 01, 2024



Going on a cruise is usually about fun and relaxation, but if you get hurt, it can quickly turn into a big headache. Dealing with a personal injury on a cruise ship isn’t just about healing; it’s also about understanding the many maritime laws that are different from what we’re used to on land. Filing a lawsuit under these laws can be like trying to find your way through a maze, where you need to know the right steps to take and the right people to talk to.

Here at Herd Law Firm, we are experienced in handling the complex nature of these lawsuits due to the unique nature of maritime law. However, there are some key legal considerations you should also be aware of as a cruise ship passenger:

  1. Jurisdiction and Venue: The location where you can file a lawsuit may be limited. Many cruise lines incorporate terms into their passenger tickets that dictate where claims must be filed. Often, this is in a specific court in a specific state or country. This is known as a “forum-selection clause.”
  2. Statute of Limitations: The time limit for filing a personal injury claim against a cruise line is often shorter than for other personal injury claims. Many cruise lines mandate that lawsuits be filed within one year of the incident, as opposed to the two or more years allowed under most state laws for personal injury claims.
  3. Notice Requirements: Some cruise lines require written notice of a claim within a certain period after the injury (often six months). Failure to adhere to this requirement can result in the loss of the right to file a lawsuit.
  4. Maritime Law: Cruise ship injury claims fall under federal maritime law, rather than state personal injury law. Maritime law has unique rules and principles, some of which may limit or impact the compensation you can receive.
  5. Contractual Limitations: The passenger ticket contract may contain provisions that limit the cruise line’s liability or the passenger’s ability to sue. It’s crucial to read and understand the terms of your ticket contract, as it can significantly impact your legal rights.
  6. Nature and Cause of Injury: Establishing the cause of the injury and linking it to the negligence of the cruise line or its employees is essential. The cruise line may not be held liable if the injury resulted from your own negligence or an uncontrollable event.
  7. Documenting the Incident and Injury: Proper documentation is critical. This includes medical records, incident reports filed on the ship, photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, and any other evidence that can support your claim.
  8. Legal Representation: Due to the complexities of maritime law and the specific terms and conditions that may be included in your passenger ticket, it’s highly advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in maritime law and has experience with cruise ship injury claims.

Dealing with a cruise line after getting hurt isn’t easy, with many tricky legal steps and rules. But don’t lose hope — if you’re careful, gather all your evidence, and get help from a law firm such as ours here in Houston who knows about cruise ship injuries, you can navigate your way safely through. In the end, your goal is to get the help and compensation you deserve, so you can move past this bump in your journey and get back to smoother sailing.

Don’t forget, this is a general guide, and the specifics of your situation could vary. Contact us here at 713-995-3699 or for guidance tailored to your specific circumstances!

We at the Herd Law Firm are proud to fight for maritime workers and passengers in all types of personal injury claims. We never waver in our commitment to help these maritime workers and their families when they are killed or injured.

Charles Herd, Principal, (713) 955-3699