Why You Need a Cruise Ship Lawyer To Handle Your Cruise Ship Accident Case

Can I Handle My Own Cruise Ship Accident Case?

It is possible for you to handle your own case without a cruise ship injury lawyer, but it would be hard to find anyone that would recommend it. If you attempt to handle your own cruise ship case, the cruise line will likely not take your claim seriously.  They won’t consider you a threat, and will pay you as little as possible to settle your claim. Even worse, we have seen cases where a passenger attempted to handle their own case missed important deadlines, resulting in dismissal.

Do I Need a Maritime and Admiralty Law Attorney For My Cruise Ship Accident Case?

If you’ve been injured as the result of a cruise ship accident, regardless of whether it was a tender accident or man overboard, you should consider hiring an experienced cruise accident attorney for several reasons.  Failure to do so can have dire consequences for your claim.

Unique Legal Issues

First, admiralty and maritime law is a body of law that dates back hundreds of years. Much of admiralty and maritime law remains unchanged from the 1800s when international shipping and offshore fishing was extremely dangerous. This was a time when modern cruising did not exist – but these laws still apply today. As a result, many of the laws are complex, counter-intuitive, and heavily favor ship owners.

Further, the cruise lines have billions of dollars to hire experienced cruise accident attorneys to work for them. You can bet that the cruise lines’ attorneys are intimately familiar with cruise ship accident law.  The cruise lines know which lawyers are experienced in handling cruise accident cases and which lawyers are not.  the cruise lines will take advantage of you if you do not hire an experience cruise accident lawyer.  You need an attorney that has significant experience handling cruise ship accident cases to protect your interests.

Ticket Contracts

Second, each cruise line forces its passengers to enter into ticket contracts that drastically alter passengers’ rights. The cruise lines use these ticket contracts to their benefit and to make filing a lawsuit against them more difficult. For example, many cruise lines require that passengers from all over the world file any potential lawsuit in Florida – even if their cruise never visited Florida. As a result, many of these passengers will not bring a claim if they have to sue in Florida, believing it will be too difficult.

Also, many cruise lines require that passenger cases be filed against them in Federal Court. Many accident attorneys avoid litigating in federal court, if possible, because, generally, federal courts are advantageous to defendants.  The cruise lines choose to be in federal court because they want to litigate in federal court.

And finally, unwary lawyers and passengers can miss the filing deadlines in the ticket contract resulting in dismissal of their case.  It is very important that you review the terms of your ticket contract with a cruise accident lawyer.

What Can Happen If I Don’t Hire A Cruise Accident Lawyer?

Unfortunately, we have been contacted by people who have been seriously injured on cruise ships who were unaware of the unique legal issues that arise in cruise ship accident cases.

Recently, we were called by an attorney for a passenger who fell as a result of a well-known defective flooring surface used on a cruise ship. This passenger suffered a major injury.  She had spent the past two years undergoing repeat knee surgeries that eventually resulted in a total knee replacement.

If you read the above closely, you probably spotted the issue already. The accident happened two years ago.

The cruise line’s ticket contract required that a lawsuit be filed within one year of the date of the accident. Therefore, this young woman who suffered a terrible injury missed the filing deadline. No lawyer could revive her case once the deadline had passed.

Unfortunately, the woman chose to hire a local lawyer who was not a cruise accident lawyer. We informed the attorney that although the statute of limitations in maritime cases is usually three years, the ticket contract shortened the statute of limitations to one year. We also had to inform the attorney that he had committed legal malpractice.  Don’t make the same mistake.

The Results You Want

To obtain the best outcome, you need an experienced cruise ship accident attorney to represent you in your case. We have handled hundreds of cruise ship cases. And, we recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts from the major cruise lines.  We would be happy to put our experience to work for you.

Don’t make the same mistake. Contact us today at (305) 638-4143 to schedule a free case evaluation.