Ocean cruises are a popular vacation choice for many Louisiana residents. But few things will ruin a vacation faster than a serious injury on a cruise ship. And the lingering effects of the injury may last long after the injured person has returned home.
Cruise lines are common carriers, which means they offer transportation services to the general public for a fee. Common carriers are held to a high standard of care for the safety of their passengers. In order to recover compensation, however, an injured passenger must prove that the cruise line or its employees were negligent, and that this negligence was a factor in causing the injury.
If the cruise ship is registered in a foreign country, as is often the case, maritime law will apply to any injury claim. A cruise line can be held responsible for an injury under maritime law only if the injured party can show the injury was caused by an unsafe condition that the cruise line knew about or reasonably should have known about.
The liability of a cruise line is also affected by contractual terms that are usually printed on the back of the passenger ticket. Contract terms that can affect an injury claim include forum selection clauses that govern which state the injured party must sue in, waivers or limitations of liability, and requirements that the injured party give notice of their claim before filing suit.
Pursuing compensation for serious injuries suffered on board a cruise ship involves complications not found in a typical land-based personal injury claim. A person injured in a cruise ship accident can benefit from the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney with experience in maritime law.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Cruise Ship Accidents and Liability," accessed July 30, 2016