That Cruise Ticket Does A Lot More Than You Think It Does
Now that COVID has thankfully subsided somewhat, many people are taking back to the seas in the form of cruising. If you are injured on a cruise you may think the process of suing is about the same as it would be anywhere else. But that is not the case, thanks largely in part to the terms and conditions that you very likely unknowingly agreed to, when you accepted your cruise ticket.
Shortening Time Periods
One thing your cruise ticket did, is shorten the legal time period that you have to file a lawsuit. In some cases, this can be as little as a year, compared to the four years that you have to file a lawsuit in a standard personal injury case.
On top of that shortened period, there is an even shorter period to abide by, because some cruise tickets have notice periods—that is, if you don’t notify the cruise line within a specified period of time (usually about 6 months), you still can’t sue for your injuries, even if your actual lawsuit was filed in the allowed amount of time.
Where iIll You Sue?
Even if you are able to comply with the terms of the cruise ticket, you now have another problem—the cruise ticket limits where you can sue. In some cases, you may have to sue in an entirely different country. Cruise lines do this to make it harder for you to sue, and so they can choose countries where the laws are more favorable to them.
The cruise ticket may limit liability. While the ticket is not often a blanket hold harmless agreement, it can restrict you to only suing for dangerous conditions the cruise line actually knew about, which of course, eliminates almost all forms of negligence.
All of these restrictions and limitations don’t just protect the cruise lines, they also may apply to third party contractors. For example, ship doctors who may commit malpractice, or cruise line “excursion” companies that provide side adventures, all often are protected by the restrictive terms of your cruise ticket.
In other cases, the tickets go the other way, and say that the cruise line is specifically not responsible for the actions or errors of these third party contractors or companies. That leaves you to chase a small company, or even an individual, possibly in a foreign country, for compensation.
Hard to Find
Didn’t notice that you hadn’t agreed to all of those things? You’re not alone. There is no federal law or requirement that says that these waivers and restrictions need to be disclosed to you. Some cruise tickets can be literally thousands of words, and these restrictions may be buried in those tickets, in small font, or in difficult to understand language.
Injured on a cruise? Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today for help with the complexities of cruise line injury cases.