Those in New Orleans, Louisiana are familiar with waterways and the various forms of travel that occur on them. One of the more popular methods of maritime travel is by cruise ship. Like any method of transportation, cruises have their own inherent risks for passengers. Although many of the potential injuries may be considered minor, the more severe injuries may give rise to a potential claim for compensation.
For those injured on a cruise ship, whether at sea or at a port of call, maritime law, as well as contracting principles and federal regulations would govern their claim. There are many incidents that may give rise to a legal action. Among them are slip and fall accidents, sexual assaults, missing persons, wrongful death and food poisoning. Regardless of the injury, cruise ship operators are required to apply a reasonable level of care for the safety of their passengers. If they fail to fulfill this duty, either through negligence or willful actions, they may be found liable for any ensuing passenger injuries.
As mentioned above, maritime law will likely be applied to any legal claim made by a passenger. Under this law common carriers, which cruise ships are, will be found liable if the operator of the cruise ship knew or should have known of an unsafe condition that was not corrected. In regards to contractual law, the back of the boarding ticket contains liability, waiver and venue terms from the ship operator, which passengers are held to consent to by boarding the ship. The ticket may also detail notice requirements for filing a claim, so passengers should pay close attention to the terms provided.
Injuries sustained on cruise ships are unique in a number of ways, namely their governing law and the form of the contract provided to passengers. Passengers injured on a cruise ship should therefore pay close attention to the terms contained on their ticket, as well as consult an attorney experienced in maritime law to assist them with their potential claim.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Cruise Ship Injury Claims," last accessed Nov. 10, 2014