The cruise ship accident lawyers at Colson Hicks Eidson are known internationally for their work advocating for the rights of cruise workers and passengers. In one case, we obtained a verdict of $2.5 million for a Celebrity Cruises employee who sustained severe injuries from an attack. Our attorneys have obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in claims involving cruise lines and shore excursions. As a result of our work both at home and abroad, several of our attorneys have been appointed as counsel in cases of national importance. This includes the 2010 BP oil spill multidistrict litigation, which settled in 2012 for an estimated $7.8 billion.
Cruise lines generally offer travelers the chance to go on shore excursions at various ports of call. Activities like snorkeling, horseback riding, zip lining and tours of notable locales attract passengers every day throughout the season. When a serious personal injury or wrongful death occurs during one of these excursions, you need an attorney with experience in international maritime law. These accidents may happen in a foreign country, but you may still be able to hold the liable parties accountable for your injuries in a United States court. Liable parties may include the excursion company as well as the cruise line. Even if you signed a liability waiver, you may still be able to collect compensation.
Cruise ship injury cases are often complex because many occur in international waters or during shore excursions in other countries. This complicates the question of jurisdiction – can you file a personal injury lawsuit in the U.S. or do you file in the country where the accident took place? This question is vital because your ability to collect compensation for your injuries and damages depends on the laws governing the court that has jurisdiction over your case.
Our cruise ship accident lawyers have more than 40 years of experience litigating national and international claims. Our lawyers understand maritime law and have the resources necessary to determine jurisdiction and represent your interests in international courts. In the past, we have obtained some of the largest verdicts and settlements in South American history for personal injury victims. We have also secured multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for accidents in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Sometimes, a cruise line and/or shore excursion company may ask passengers to sign a waiver before participating. These waivers may specify a certain jurisdiction that must handle any legal claims in the event of an accident. However, a cruise waiver does not always prevent you from filing a claim in a U.S. court. Still, resolving issues of jurisdiction, especially international jurisdiction, requires an experienced attorney.
Shore excursions may be planned and booked through the cruise line, often with a company acting as an independent contractor. However, passengers may also schedule these activities independently, directly with the companies. If an accident occurs due to the negligence of the business in charge of the excursion, then victims and their families may be able to recover directly from this company. This is generally the case regardless of whether you booked the outing through the cruise line.
Additionally, cruise lines have a responsibility to warn their passengers about any known dangers in a port of call. If it fails to provide a warning and you or a loved one suffers serious personal injuries or is involved in a fatal accident, then you may be able to hold the cruise line accountable for these damages as well. You may also have grounds for a claim if the cruise company sponsored the excursion.
More often than not, cruise lines will attempt to shift blame to you, the victim. Company officials will try to claim that the cruise waiver you signed or the excursion ticket itself releases them from liability. They may also claim that the contractor in charge of the shore excursion works independently from the cruise line. They will argue that the contractor therefore does not have legal ties with the company. However, our cruise injury attorneys have been successful in the past in proving cruise line liability despite these waivers.
Even with the confusing clauses included in most cruise waivers of liability, shore excursion injury victims may have the right to secure compensation for damages. Families of individuals wrongfully killed during shore excursions may also have the legal right to pursue recoveries. A qualified attorney can help determine whether the cruise lines and/or independent contractors are liable for the accident.
After a cruise shore excursion injury, it is important to learn more about your legal options as soon as possible. This ensures you have the opportunity to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our cruise injury attorneys today to learn more about our work in this legal area. We can put our experience and success gaining multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients to work for you.