Many people enjoy going on cruise ships for vacations, and many of these ships leave from Florida. Fort Lauderdale is a major departure point for cruise lines, and many will fly to our city to leave from port. From Fort Lauderdale, you can head to the Caribbean, towards South America, Mexico, Canada, or you can even take a transatlantic journey across the ocean to England on the Queen Victoria or the Queen Elizabeth.
These large ships are like floating cities with thousands of people and all kinds of activities for adults and children. While they can be a lot of fun, there can also be accidents, just like you would have at a land-based amusement part or other attraction. While some of these accidents are simply accidents, others are the result of negligence on behalf of the ship owners and operators. These accidents can lead to a personal injury lawsuit, but jurisdiction can be a real issue. There is obviously no court in the middle of the ocean, but you have to file the case somewhere.
As our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers can explain, when issues of admiralty and maritime law come into play, things can be rather confusing, but you can generally find jurisdiction in the federal court nearest to the port of departure. This means you will be in a Florida federal court. However, there are other issues that you should discuss with your attorney, like a notice requirement, that are often present. In many cases, your attorney will have to give the common carrier (cruise ship company) notice in 185 days or less of your intent to file a claim, so the sooner you contact an attorney the better.
The accidents that can happen on a cruise ship can really be anything, such as slip-and-fall. According to a recent news article from Florida Record, a family had just filed a personal injury lawsuit following an accident where their son allegedly was injured by a door while on a cruise ship and suffered a serious personal injury. In the family’s complaint, it states that the child was injured when a door slammed shut on his finger. This resulted in serious personal injury per the complaint, and the alleged negligence was that cruise ship operator failed to maintain the doorway, failed to properly mark the doorway for safety, and failed to warn of a known danger.
An injury such as this would generally be considered a premises liability action. There is a requirement that property owners, including ship owners, maintain the property in such a way as to prevent foreseeable injury to foreseeable persons and property. One of the primary issues in a case like this is whether defendant knew or should have known such a danger existed and whether that danger would be obvious to prospective victims. One way to determine that will be to ask, during the discovery process, for records of any other similar accidents on that boat or any others. If the same or similar thing happened and a defendant had actual knowledge, that would be good evidence to use of actual knowledge in such a case.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Minor child allegedly injured on Disney Cruise Line trip by door, May 16, 2017, By Jenie-Mallari-Torres, Florida Record
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