According to the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, approximately 13.5 million people boarded cruise ships in 2009. The Association brags about the new high-tech features of cruise ships: golf simulators, water parks, surf pools, ice-skating rinks, rock-climbing walls, etc. But all of these attractions increasing the risks of a Florida cruise ship accident.
Our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers know that cruise ships can provide a well-deserved getaway for many families. We also understand that with the plethora of features, unfamiliar territories and traveling excitement, accidents can easily occur without the proper precautions.
Injuries are not only occur to passengers, but employees of these cruise ships are vulnerable to accidents as well. The Jones Act allows seamen to sue their employer for negligence. Prior to the passing of the Jones Act in 1920, Congress had no workers’ compensation for seamen if they were injured at sea. For many years, the injured seamen had to rely upon Maritime Law for their recovery. Duhaime.org defines maritime law as, “”…the origins and life of a ship. This includes the rights and responsibilities of those who have an interest in such a ship, whether involved in financing, securing, owning, managing, operating, provisioning and supplying, navigating, using its services or servicing it in any way, or regulating it, as well as those who are affected or injured by its operations.”
It is important to read the rights and conditions that come with your cruise ticket before boarding a cruise ship. These terms and conditions limit your time to file a lawsuit on behalf of an injured passenger. On the other hand, cruise ship owners may be able to file a lawsuit for an extended period of time, up to one year after the alleged incident. These limitations, and all others, are enforceable and permitted under United States statute.
Cruise Bruise offers these safety tips to help keep you safe on your next ocean getaway:
-Never wander the ship alone. Always explore with someone you’re traveling with.
-Never take a cruise alone. Safety always comes in numbers.
-Don’t drink in excess in public areas of the ship.
-Be careful when eating from the buffets. Disease and food related illness is commonly transmitted through the handling of food in these open food areas.
-Be careful in the ship’s decks. Wind gusts can reach hurricane force.
-Steer clear of the deck in high seas. It is also recommended to stay away from windows and large movable objects in inclement weather.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise ship that docks in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, contact the personal injury lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez. Call for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights at 1-800-529-2368.