How Long Do You Have To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit Against A Cruise Line 

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Written By Berry Mathew

When boarding a cruise ship, the responsibility of keeping the passengers safe often relies on the Cruise line. Cruise lines ought to ensure that there are no hazardous conditions within their ship that can endanger the life, health, or safety of their passengers. 

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see passengers sustain serious physical injuries and emotional traumas due to the negligence of the cruise ship. If you happen to be one of such passengers, it is within your right to file for a personal injury lawsuit. Contacting the right cruise ship injuries lawyer that you need would help make the process easy for you. 

What Is Included In A Personal Injury Claim 

Injuries that result from negligence by the cruise ship such as poor maintenance of the vessel, incompetent or untrained staff, lack of safety equipment, inadequate emergency precautions, etc are included in a personal injury claim.

Some common injuries on a cruise ship include trips and falls, physical assault from fellow passengers or crew members, sexual assault, large-scale fires, etc. To claim personal injury against a cruise ship, you must be able to prove that the ship’s negligence caused or contributed to your injury. 

What Is The Statute Of Limitation For A Personal Injury Lawsuit 

If you sustain an injury on a cruise ship, you may be wondering how much time you have to file a lawsuit against the cruise line. Generally, most cruise lines have a one-year statute of limitation for personal injury claims. That means, if you fail to file a lawsuit within one year of sustaining the injury on the cruise ship, you may be unable to file it again.

Most Cruise lines indicate their statute of limitation for personal injury claims on the contract section of their passenger ticket, so it’s important you carefully read through the contract before boarding to know what to expect. Although most cruise lines allow you a one-year timeframe, it is also backed up by federal statutes and applies to cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Disney Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCL), Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruise Line, Regent-Seven Seas Cruises, Silver Sea Cruises, and other cruise lines. 

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Is The Statute Of Limitation The Same For Minors?

When a minor sustains an injury on a cruise ship, the statute of limitation for a personal injury claim is usually longer. Some cruise lines may allow up to three years from the date of the incident, to file a lawsuit. While this provides you with enough time, you may be tempted to delay filing a lawsuit, however, you should utilize the extra time and consult a personal injury lawyer, it’s not always advisable to wait till the three-year time frame almost elapses.

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Steps To Take If You Sustain An Injury Aboard A Cruise Ship 

When you or a loved one gets injured, it is not something you should keep to yourself, there are steps that you can take that would help you validate your claims if you decide to file a lawsuit later on.

  • Report the accident as fast as you can. 
  • Notify the cruise captain or a senior crew member of any injury you sustain. 
  • Narrate exactly how it happened. Leave no details.
  • Ensure that they document the accident accurately in the ship’s log.
  • Take some photos or videos of the scene if you can. 
  • Take note of witnesses, and notify the crew members as well.
  • Ask for a copy of the surveillance footage where the accident was captured.
  • Refuse to sign any document if you do not fully understand what it says.
  • Do not give false statements about the accident or it might be used against you.
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Note– When it comes to legal cases, evidence is very important and can decide the outcome of the case. So, preserve whatever evidence you have that relates to the accident.

Whether you sustain injuries as an adult aboard a cruise ship, or you have a minor that sustained an injury, you must never hesitate to consult a personal injury attorney for legal assistance. Even if the statute of limitation for your claim is almost over, taking immediate action can help you get justice. It is not uncommon that some attorneys often turn down cases simply because some injured cruise passengers took too much time before doing the right thing.

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