WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR A CRUISE SHIP INJURY CASE
For most passenger injury cases it is one year. For the three major cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian it is a one-year statute of limitations. This can vary based upon the ticket (i.e., the contract between the passenger and cruise line), where the cruise originated, and whether the case involved a minor.
WHERE DO I HAVE TO FILE SUIT AGAINST A CRUISE LINE
It depends upon the ticket (i.e., the contract between the passenger and cruise line). For cruises leaving a U.S. port, in general, for cruise ship injury cases against Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian, those suits must be filed in Miami, Florida. For Holland America, it is Seattle, Washington. For Princess Cruise Lines it is California. The U.S. Congress allowed, and the U.S. Supreme Court agrees it is legal, for the cruise lines to impose “forum selection clauses” into their tickets to force cruise ship injury passengers to have to file suit in locations selected by the cruise lines. This is one reason why it is important to know the contents of your cruise ticket. Some cruise tickets require suit to be filed in Europe for certain cruises. Those cruise injury cases filed in Europe can have recovery limitations placed upon them.
This is also why it is important to have a Florida-licensed attorney if you have a claim against Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, or Norwegian. An out-of-state lawyer is not able to file suit in Florida if not licensed in the State of Florida. Cruise lines can easily view who is licensed in Florida and who is not. That information is right on the Florida Bar website.
DO I HAVE TO GIVE THE CRUISE LINES NOTICE OF MY INJURY CLAIM
Yes. In the ticket (the contract between the cruise line and the passenger) there is a provision which requires an injured cruise ship passenger to give notice within a certain time period of the passenger’s intent to make an injury claim. It is important to check the ticket (the contract) which governs your case. Most major cruise lines use a six-month notice deadline—but check the ticket contract that governs your situation. Each cruise line uses a different notice requirement. Check the ticket for specifics. The ticket language usually indicates that a “notice” of injury must be in writing. If notification of the injury was done on-board the vessel an argument could possibly be made that written notice was given; however, an injured cruise ship passenger should not leave that to chance. Provide a written notice of your injury claim within the time stated in your ticket. Detail how the incident occurred, where the incident occurred, and what you believe the cruise line did wrong. It is best to consult a cruise ship attorney as soon as possible on these types of cases. These cases are not governed by the same laws as automobile accidents or dogbite cases. Claims have to be filed in certain places only, within shortened time frames, and mostly in federal court. Select your attorney wisely.