Cruise ships are a major part of the Central Florida industry with Walt Disney World getting into the business over the past five years. There are a number of ships/vessels that cruise out of the Cape Canaveral Port. This is one of the busiest ports in the world and we also have ships departing from Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami Florida.
When someone is injured on the high seas, this falls under Admiralty Law which is very different than Florida Law. Admiralty Law is dictated by the Federal Statutes and the United States Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction. This is a difficult area of the law and there is typically a short statute of limitations. The typical statute of limitations for an injured party and/or an employee of a cruise ship is one year.
Once an individual is injured, then it is important that an immediate investigation is done. I have represented people where the cruise industry has tried to get the wrongdoer/cruise ship employee back out to sea and dump him in Nassau Bahamas so that he can fly back to the country he originated. If someone is injured on a cruise ship, then they need to contact my offices immediately to prevent the evidence and witnesses from fleeing the jurisdiction of the United States of America.
Some typical scenarios of how an injury occurs on the sea is that someone is injured or assaulted by a cruise ship employee. The second typical area is that there may be some type of emergency on the cruise ship that is not handled correctly. This can occur if there are high seas or a fire and the cruise ship employees do not protect the passengers. The third way is that there may be some type of slip and fall in the pool or hot tub area. These areas have a high traffic of people and if not adequately maintained – a case may exist. The final scenario is dealing with shore excursions. This is a horrible area because the cruise ships allow you to enter foreign territory and there is no regulation on whether the motorcycle, dune-buggies or zip-line company is adequately insuring an individual’s safety.
If someone you know has been injured on a cruise ship, please do not hesitate to call me toll free at (888)245-2855 or locally at 407-315-2182 or contact me through this website.