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Cruising Again? Better Read That Cruise Contract


As COVID subsides, more and more people will be getting back on cruise ships. The delay may have resulted in many people forgetting about cruise ship tickets, and all the things the tickets change and alter about your state’s personal injury laws.

Tickets Alter Your Rights

Cruise tickets are like contracts. They limit and restrict who you can sue, when, and for what. Yet, many people don’t realize just how many things these tickets restrict.

Many cruise tickets alter the amount of time that you have to file any lawsuit or injuries on the cruise ship. The time periods can be as little as one year.

Additionally, many cruise tickets will not only have a time limitation to file a lawsuit, but many even have time limits to notify them that you have a claim at all. So, for example, even if your ticket says you have one year to file a lawsuit, it may also say that you need to tell them about the accident or claim, within six months. If you don’t meet that six month deadline, you could be barred from suing—even if you otherwise met the one year statute of limitations to file your lawsuit.

Where You Can Sue

Many cruise tickets will only allow you to sue in one court, in one state, whichever one is most convenient for them, not you. That means that if you do have to sue for your injuries, you could end up having to go across the country, into a different state, to have your case heard and tried. In some cases, the cruise ticket may even require that you sue in a completely different country.

Limits of Liability

Many contracts limit the cruise line’s liability, to things that they actually knew about. So, if there is a defect, problem, or error by the cruise line, you could only sue if the defect was actually known in advance by the cruise company. Often, that can be nearly impossible to prove.

Third Party Liability

The tickets will also often state that the cruise line has no obligation to compensate you for injuries or damages that arise from third parties, which the cruise line says are not associated with them.

For example, many cruise ships have small medical clinics, and some may even have operating rooms or “mini-hospitals.” Yet, most cruise lines contend that the doctors that staff these areas, are not associated with the cruise line, and thus, you can’t sue the cruise ship for medical malpractice that happens while you are being treated by onboard physicians.

The same holds true for off-ship excursions, where the cruise line will force you to sue the companies that conduct these trips, instead of the cruise lines themselves. Many of these excursion companies are small, and do not follow any recognized safety standards, making them both dangerous, and difficult to sue.

Injured on vacation, or on a trip? Call the Tennessee personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, today for help.



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