Summer is almost upon us, and with summer comes vacation time. Many individuals will embark on cruise ships to exciting destinations this summer, but it is important to be extremely cautious when doing so. Cruise ship accidents can be serious. In recent news, two passengers on a Carnival cruise ship went missing after they allegedly fell overboard. Investigators are still not certain whether the couple jumped off the ship on purpose or if they unintentionally tripped.
In the past, cruise ship passengers have been stranded on their ships or have fallen ill when a virus or disease spread on board. There are times that passengers suffer from slip and fall accidents or other injuries that occur on board. If you were injured on a cruise ship, then you can typically learn whether or not the ship or cruise company is liable by looking on the back of your printed ticket. When you purchase a cruise ship ticket that is your way of consenting to the terms of liability the cruise line maintains. You may see a liability waiver and a forum-selection clause on the ticket. There also might be a motive-requirement clause.
The forum-selection clause will tell you what state a lawsuit can be filed in. This means that if you are from Arizona, but your cruise sails out of Florida, you may be required to file your lawsuit in Florida. In most circumstances, the courts will honor the forum-selection clause even if it is a great inconvenience for the plaintiff. A notice-requirement clause on the ticket will tell you what time period you have to file for damages in the case of an injury. Maritime law normally allows a three-year statute, but the window may shorten to one year for physical injuries and even shorter for non-physical injuries such as emotional trauma. Make sure to read the back of your ticket for more information.