Recently, cruise ship injuries in Miami and across Florida have been in the news again after news that the cruise ship Carnival Triumph, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, spent a number of days in the Gulf of Mexico, effectively standing passengers. The incident occurred due to an engine fire. If you have been injured in a cruise ship or tour boat accident in Miami or any other community, you will want to contact a personal injury attorney in Miami or in your community for a number of reasons:
1) There are few regulations in the industry. In 2012, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va, led a committee to investigate and discuss cruise ship safety. Rockefeller was concerned about the growing number of reports about cruise ship injuries and about the lack of regulation in the industry. As he told the committee, he felt that cruise ships were subject to regulations while in port but there were fewer ways to enforce safety while ships were at sea. Some experts and attorneys feel that pursuing personal injury claims in Miami and other port cities is one way to hold the industry accountable and to shine a spotlight on negligence, potentially leading to safety changes.
2) The legal issues surrounding these cases is complex. Even determining jurisdiction can be a challenge. In the case of Carnival Cruise Lines, for example, the offices of the company are in Miami but the business is incorporated in Panama. The cruise ships for the company travel all over the world under the Bahamas flag. Whether you have sustained a serious slip and fall injury in Miami (for example) while at port or while at sea can also affect your claim.
3) Cruise ship companies are often large, powerful companies with teams of attorneys on their side. In order to seek fairer compensation for your injuries, you need someone aggressively advocating on your behalf.
4) It is difficult for passengers to get information about specific ships. Complicated maritime laws mean that getting health and safety records for a specific ship can be difficult, which can make it difficult to determine whether your injury was a one-time accident or part of a larger pattern of negligence and recklessness. There is also no central location passengers can turn to in order to find safety or health inspections for cruise ships. Often, a personal injury attorney will work with teams of private investigators to determine this information.
5) Cruise ship tickets often contain legal wording which attempts to limit how injured parties can seek compensation. In many cases, people who are injured on a cruise find out after the fact that their ticket limits their compensation to a few hundred dollars or a free voucher, even in cases where injuries sustained are very serious. In many cases, there are also limits on how much time an injured passenger has to file a claim. For these reasons, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after sustaining an injury on board a tour boat or cruise ship.
If you have sustained a personal injury on a cruise ship, contact the Flaxman Law Group. In a free, no obligation consultation with a member of the legal team, you can discuss your options and your rights so that you can make the right decision about your situation.