Cruise Ship Accidents Involving Residents Lawyer Serving Delray Beach
A voyage on a cruise ship can be one of the most fun and rewarding holidays. You can have the opportunity to visit a foreign country as well as experiencing the “ultimate getaway”. You can distance yourself from your cell phone and enjoy the excellently prepared food. You may also admire the beautiful vistas that surround the boat in the form of large stretches of water that reflect the many hues of the evening sunset.
However, just as in any location, there is also the chance that mishaps can occur. If you have suffered a cruise ship accident injury, you may wish to seek the advice of a personal injury cruise ship accident attorney. There are a number of statutes that govern cruise ships and they have been put into place by both maritime and federal authorities. In addition, there exist international agreements and treatises, which the United Nations has endorsed. As such, there are many laws which deal with liabilities that can come about due to injuries and fatalities that happen at sea.
However, one should be aware that laws and regulations that pertain to sea vessels can be markedly different from those that govern land-based incidents. Some of these differences have their roots in regulations that have a long history of rules that were attached to sea-faring vessels, in the distant past. This can create some complexity when addressing the legal issues that are associated with cruise ships. This can definitely be the case, should an incident occur when the ship is located in international waters. This can be very confusing for those who may assume that their cruise ship is governed by the laws that apply in their originating port locations.
For example, there are cases in which filing a lawsuit involving a cruise ship needs to have the specifics handled in a particular location. One of the more important aspects of a lawsuit involving cruise ships is that certain details may depend on a document entitled the “contract of carriage”, which spells out the plaintiff’s (victim’s) legal rights. You may also need to understand that the statute of limitations can be a lot shorter when the injury happens at sea. Sometimes, the statute of limitations can be restricted to just one year from the date of the incident. One may also be required to let the cruise line know of the intention to file a lawsuit within 6 months from the date of an injury. These regulations are stated in the passenger ticket contract. Therefore, one should read these over carefully, as well.
This is where you may see laws that are applicable to Delray Beach residents, concerning accidents aboard your cruise ship, can be laws that come from a country other than from the United States. This is why you should seek the assistance of an experienced cruise ship accident attorney.Do On-Board Security Personnel Keep the Passengers Safe?
One of the primary considerations regarding cruise ships has to do with the fact that they are continually getting larger. New designs appear each year with the intention of making the ships more impressive and complicated. This translates into more area that needs to be secured.
As such, we may be looking at a scenario in which a cruise ship could be transporting an excess of 5,000 passengers and crew members. So, you could be looking at a total of 10,000 people on just a single ship. Maintaining safety with this population size can be a daunting challenge. It can be similar to maintaining safety for an entire town - one that is floating out at sea! Because of this, there may be safety issues that just don’t occur on land as well as those that do.
When one looks at the advertising for a cruise ship voyage, it’s presented as a fun and safe holiday. However, they won’t let you know that there isn’t an actual police department that is equipped to handle a population of that size. This, in turn, can create a more dangerous environment that cruise ship advertising will let on.What Issues Should One Consider Regarding a Cruise Ship Lawsuit?
If a Delray Beach resident should become involved in a cruise ship injury or accident situation, the primary concern relates to the legal jurisdiction that a lawsuit would be filed in. An example of this can be a situation in which an injury that occurred at sea in foreign waters may need to have the lawsuit filed in a federal court, located in Miami, Florida. Because of this, it may be necessary to engage the services of an attorney that is authorized to practice in a specified courthouse.
Then there is the situation in which an accident can occur on a shoe excursion that is located off-ship. In those types of cases, your attorney may need to have the knowledge that is needed in order to practice law in a particular foreign country. The claim may also be required to be perfected through a foreign country attorney. The lawsuit may also need to be filed in a port that is located in another country.
There have also been times when a cruise ship has had its passengers sign waivers prior to engaging in a ship activity. This is known as a “blanket waiver” and it can be possible to argue against these in court. Yet, sometimes this doesn’t work out and the passenger has signed away their rights when it comes to being compensated for an injury. This is why you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. The initial consultation is free.What Jurisdiction can One File a Cruise Ship Lawsuit in?
As previously mentioned, foreign countries may be involved when it comes to filing lawsuits pertaining to a cruise ship accident. But applicable maritime jurisdiction may also play a part (pursuant to 18 U.S. Code Section 7). You can usually see this happen when a crime has been committed against U.S. nationals and the crimes were committed outside any national jurisdiction. Here, both the departure and arrival ports will be in the United States.
A statute involving Delray residents also exists that will provide maritime jurisdiction to law enforcement representatives. (Florida Statute 910.006) This may also apply when the suspect is a Florida resident, when over 50% of the cruise passengers have departed and will arrive in Florida and the crime is deemed to have a “substantial effect” on Florida.What Should One do in Case of Cruise Ship Accident?
If you are injured on a cruise, there are some things that are suggested for you do. These are:
- Contact the security section aboard the ship immediately. You can also let other staff members on the ship know what happened. This is especially important if you were injured in a manner in which other passengers might also have the same type of accident.
- Write down the name of any staff member that has assisted you.
- Make sure to get a copy of any report that you are asked to fill out.
- Just mention the facts concerning the accident. Don’t assign any blame.
- Immediately send a written and registered mail notice to the cruise line of your intention to sue.
- To prevent evidence removal problems, take a number of detailed photos of the accident scene.
- Get contact information pertaining to any crew members/passengers who were witnesses.
- Get foreign witnesses statement and contact information.
- If a serious crime (assault, rape, etc.) has occurred, notify the FBI or other law enforcement agency.
- Get medical assistance from the ship’s medical personnel and then get immediately evaluated by a U.S. doctor or your personal physician once you have left the ship.
- Never sign document offered to you or accept cruise line compensation offers prior to speaking with your own cruise ship accident attorney.
President Obama signed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) in 2010 with the goal being to provide greater security and safety of the passengers of a cruise ship. It was the first law of its kind and addresses issues that include; maintaining the victim’s privacy accurate records keeping, proper crew member training, crew member certification standards and actively preventing accidents aboard cruise ships. For owners of cruise ships and members of cruise ship staff, non-adherence to these stipulations can incur fines that amount up to $50,000 daily and not being allowed to use U.S. ports. The entire report is located here: Cruise Ship Incident Report.
Crimes that are listed in this report include:
- Missing U.S. nationals
- Safety equipment that is missing or tampering with the ship’s design
- Serious injuries from assaults
- Suspicious deaths
- Kidnapping cases
- Rape and sexual assault
- CVSSA regulated training and certification of staff and crew members
Yes, they are. Cruise ship owners and operators are required by the CVSSA to report offenses immediately to the closest FBI field office. They are also required to file/submit a crime report which is security-designated. The goal of the CVSSA is to eventually have a “borderless reporting” scenario. CVSSA reporting parameters can involve the types of situations such as:
- The victim of the offense is a United States national and the cruise ship is scheduled to either depart or arrive at a port that is located in the United States.
- The offense has been committed in the territorial waters of the United States.
- The offense occurred outside any country’s jurisdiction.
- The offense was perpetrated by a United States national.
- The cruise ship on which the offense occurred is owned by a United States corporation or U.S. citizen, even if the victim is from another country. This pertains to offenses that have occurred within the maritime jurisdiction of the United States.
A licensed physician or registered nurse is required to be on board a cruise ship as a member of the staff. In addition, they must be accredited under guidelines associated with the American College of Emergency Physicians when it comes to the care of an individual who has been the victim of rape or sexual assault. Emergency medical practice experience is required along with at least three years of clinical post-graduate experience.Enlist an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Cruise ship accidents can result in injuries and even death. If you are involved in a ship accident and sustained injuries, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a cruise ship accident personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Seek the advice of a personal injury attorney, who can try to can assist you in receiving the best care and compensation that you rightfully deserve. Therefore, when you or a loved one are involved cruise ship accident, contact a Florida personal injury attorney, serving Delray Beach.
Discuss your case with a Cruise Ship Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Delray Beach Today! Turn to Frankl Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call (561) 800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.