Jan 20, 2015

Posted by in Injury | 0 Comments

Cruise Ship Accident

For the past 10 years, the cruising industry has continued to be a very lucrative business as passengers only tend to increase every year, already having at least 11 million passengers from the US alone. Two major reasons that can probably explain the continuous growth in the cruising business are the exotic and beautiful cruise destinations and the major improvements on cruise ships, which virtually turn these into mini cities while simultaneously ensuring comfort.

Many of today’s cruise ships provide great fun and enjoyment that being on any one of these is itself an experience to cherish already. To make even time at sea perfectly great, many cruise ships are designed with a duty free shop, bars, pubs and nightclubs, buffet restaurants, an aqua healthspa fitness center, hair and beauty salon, indoor and/or outdoor swimming pool with water slides, cinemas, casino, gym, basketball courts, pool tables, ping pong tables, and other sports facilities, a library, a mini golf course, wall climbing and zip line facilities, and so forth. There is no doubt about the fun and adventure that a cruise holiday can deliver, provided that no tragedy occurs which can turn a jaunty experience into a nightmarish one.

Though cruise ship tragedies rarely occur, the effects can be devastating if one ever happens. While the usually identified causes of sea accidents are hurricanes, sea storms, rogue waves, collision with another sea vessel, running aground, striking an iceberg, attack by sea pirates, virus outbreak and fire, the most common among these would seem to be cruise ship fire.

A fire onboard can leave a cruise liner floating in the sea without power, air-conditioning and/ or a working septic system. Most fires start in the engine room, due to a leak in the fuel oil return line; however, there have also been instances when fire started in the generator room, boiler room or cabin.

In the event of an accident, filing a civil lawsuit for the compensation that a victim is legally allowed to receive is not simple, though. This is because besides the statute of limitation, or the duration of time within which the lawsuit will need to be filed, there is also the concern of jurisdiction, which means where a lawsuit may be filed.

Cruise ships indicate in their ticket contract the forum selection clause, which identifies the only place where a lawsuit may be filed; many cruise liners name the US District Court (in the Southern District of Florida) for this concern. If the accident occurred on land, during a shore excursion, however, then the details leading to the filing of a lawsuit can change altogether. Thus, due to the complexity and unique conditions of the maritime law, being represented by a personal injury lawyer becomes an absolute necessity, especially if the injured victim is not a resident of the state where the lawsuit has to be filed.

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