Injured passengers on a cruise ship might assume that they can safely pursue a lawsuit for damages with the assistance of any personal injury attorney. This misconception can have devastating consequences because attorneys who regularly handle personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in the state courts of Florida might have little experience handling cruise ship accident cases in federal courts. Lawsuits against Norwegian, Holland America, Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, and other cruise companies will usually be based on maritime and admiralty law, so working with a cruise ship injury lawyer who lacks experience with cruise injury cases can be a costly error.
Experienced Miami cruise accident lawyers understand that cruise companies employ a powerful weapon to prevail in many cruise injury lawsuits. Sadly, many cruise passengers who genuinely suffer devastating injuries during cruises receive no compensation from negligent cruise operators who fall back on their secret weapon - the passenger ticket contract. The strict timing requirements for providing notice and initiating a lawsuit in the typical passenger ticket agreement derails far too many legitimate lawsuits brought by passengers injured on cruise ships.
While the precise language might vary, the typical ticket contract imposes many restrictions on the rights passenger might otherwise have under Florida state law or federal law. The provisions in cruise ticket agreements of passengers departing from Florida typically dictate that cases be heard in Miami-Dade County federal court under much shorter time constraints than those imposed by law. The typical passenger contract will contain a forum selection clause, a provision shortening the statute of limitations, and a notice provision. Generally, the forum selection clause will require the case be brought in Miami-Dade Federal Court rather than state court. Further, the passenger usually will be required under the provisions of the ticket contract to give the cruise company notice of the lawsuit within six months and commence a lawsuit within a year. These provisions often create a trap for unwary travelers.
A recent appellate court decision illustrates the strategy employed by cruise ship operators to successfully defend against lawsuits brought by injured passengers. In Calixterio v. Carnival Corporation, the passenger hired a personal injury lawyer (not this firm) to file a lawsuit against the cruise line for injuries she suffered during her cruise.
Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano: Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence
Our Miami cruise injury lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano will tenaciously pursue the fullest financial compensation. For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida. We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our skill and dedication have earned us an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida's top firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.