United States cruise ship injury lawyer

January 03, 2012 @ 04:05 PM -- by

As a United States cruise ship injury lawyer, I handle cases dealing with injuries to both passengers and crewmembers. Cruise ship cases often have difficult and challenging legal issues for the lawyers in personal injury matters. For instance, cruise ship tickets have a forum selection clause which restricts where an injury lawsuit may be brought. Thus, an injured passenger must submit to the jurisdiction of the state where the cruise ship company has its corporate offices. This is usually in Miami, Florida. I typically work on these cases with local lawyers in Miami.

Another typical issue is that the cruise ship ticket imposes a much shorter statute of limitation than in a typical maritime case. They often demand a one year statute of limitations, which is a lot harder on plaintiffs than the usual the three year general maritime law statute of limitations for negligence. The tickets often further require notice of the claim be given to the cruise ship company within an even shorter time period (often six months). Failure to give notice of your injury within six months can be fatal.

Another challenging issue for cruise ship injury lawyers is that most cruise ships are not registered in the United States, and they also foreign officers and crewmembers. These cruise ships sail under the flags of Liberia, the Bahamas, Panama, and various under countries which give more favorable registry terms than the United States. These foreign flagged cruise lines have significant tax advantages over the few United States lines. They also have significant labor and crewing advantages as well. They do not have to pay the crew minimum wage, and the protections of the Jones Act are often not available for officers and crew. Another scary thing is that the doctors on cruise ships are sometimes not licensed in the United States. This can be an issue in injury and medical malpractice cases.

Most United States cruise ship passengers enjoy a good vacation for their money. However, injuries can result from broken ship equipment, slip and falls, fires, being hit by things falling from above, assaults by crew members or other passengers, food poisoning and other ways.

Cruise ship injuries to employees are often back injuries. The physical and mental stresses of a job on a cruise ship are not usually shown to workers before they take the job. Crew members are often on their feet for many hours a day. They typically work 70 hours a week. They often have to climb up and down stairs, and have to lift and carry heavy loads, which may cause back injuries. Crewmembers may be also be injured in slip and fall accidents.

Certain cruise ship workers have an even higher risk of serious injuries. Housekeepers are bending over for many hours a week. Waiters have to be on their feet for many hours a day to serve the passengers. Dancers and entertainers also have to be on their feet for many hours in a row.

Cruise ship workers work long hours and have many difficult conditions. Some of the usual cruise ship injuries include:

•soft tissue and disk-related injuries to the back and neck

•painful burns

•fractures as a result of slips and falls

•losing an arm or leg


•personal injuries from defective equipment

Cruise ship employees are sometimes considered to be Jones Act seaman. The Jones Act provides many protections for workers on ships in the United States.

Contact United States cruise ship accident lawyer Scott Nelson if you have been injured on a cruise ship.