Owners of cruise ships, as well as contractors and subcontractors employed to work on them, may be liable for personal injuries that occur while the vessel is at sea or while in port. While cruise ship employees may be covered under the Jones Act and/or general maritime law, tourists must directly seek damages against a cruise line or a contractor. At the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A., we investigate cruise ship accidents and the injuries that occur as a result, representing tourists and maritime workers alike.
Regardless of whether you are employed on a cruise ship or vacationing on one, if you've been injured, it's essential that you not volunteer to provide a written or recorded statement to cruise line management without consulting an attorney first. In many cases, cruise lines are simply interested in reducing their liability by seizing on anything they can use to shift the blame for an accident on to you. Your cruise ship ticket will likely require written notice to the cruise company and the actual filing of a lawsuit in a particular court within 1 year of the injury (not the usual longer limits that may apply in other injury cases).
For more information regarding how we can help you recover damages proportional to your injuries, contact cruise ship accident attorney John W. Merting today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Accidents That Occur On Cruise Ships
The Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A., represent clients suffering from the following due to negligence on the part of a cruise ship operator or employee:
- Head trauma/brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Drowning/near drowning
- Food poisoning
- Illnesses caused by norovirus and other pathogens
- Slips and falls
- Crushed vertebrae
- Slipped or herniated disks
Employee Injuries Aboard Cruise Ships
Employees in service to a cruise ship in navigable waters may be able to recover damages for work-related injuries under the Jones Act and/or general maritime law. Under the terms of the Jones Act, a seaman or maritime worker includes employees onboard an operating vessel who works in service to the ship and its functionality. Consequently, cooks, bartenders, casino workers, musicians, cabin stewards and others may be covered under the Jones Act and/or general maritime law.
Injured cruise ship workers are entitled to the value of their meals and lodgings, health care costs (including transport), and additional damages if unseaworthiness of the vessel or negligence or fault of the employer, or even a fellow crew member, was a contributing factor to their injury. "Unseaworthiness" refers to general negligence on the part of a ship's owner or operator in failing to properly train a crew, maintain a ship's physical condition, remove hazards and other factors that create a dangerous situation on board the ship.
Statute Of Limitations — When You Should Initiate Your Lawsuit
Under the current maritime law, injured parties have up to three years from the time of their accident to file a personal injury claim against a privately owned cruise ship operator. In cases involving government ships or private ships under government contract, an injured person may have only 18 months to file a claim. Additionally, since evidence can be lost, the memories of eyewitnesses can fade and employees can be reassigned, it's crucial to begin the investigative process as soon as possible. As your lawyer, Mr. Merting consults safety experts, accident investigators, maritime experts, and other professionals in determining what happened and assign blame.
Contact Admiralty And Maritime Law Attorney John W. Merting Today
If you've been injured in any boat accident, contact maritime law attorney John W. Merting today. We regularly work with experienced economists, vocational and other experts who understand how to accurately quantify the financial impact of serious injuries and fatalities that occur on board cruise ships.