Personal injury can and does happen anywhere we spend our time. That includes at home, at work, and, unfortunately, on vacation. Although sustaining a bodily injury is the last thing we expect from a much-anticipated holiday, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the worst before you leave home. Hearing travel accident news stories shouldn’t scare you off of pursuing your dream vacation, but educating yourself can save you time and stress in the worst case scenario. While planning your next trip, here are some things to keep in mind should you end up with a bad experience that requires a personal injury lawyer.
What You Need to Know About Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries
In the vast majority of cases, taking a luxury cruise is a chance to relax, unwind and pamper yourself. Odds are incredibly slim that anything will go wrong on your cruise, but if they do, you’ll feel much better if you already have an idea of the steps you need to take.
Because cruise ships spend most of their time out at sea, it can be difficult to determine where to pursue your injury claim. Instead of finding a cruise ship injury lawyer in your home city or state, you’ll actually need to file your claim in the state indicated on the back of your cruise ticket. The information there will include what’s known as a forum-selection clause, which tells you the state in which a personal injury lawsuit may be filed — often Florida, which is where most major cruise lines have their headquarters.
How can you determine who’s at fault in the case of a cruise accident injury? Cruise ships, known as “common carriers” in legal terms, are required by law to use the highest degree of care in safely transporting their passengers to the destination. However, when you board a cruise ship, you are implicitly consenting to the cruise operator’s terms and conditions printed on the back of your ticket. That means that even though you may not realize it, you’ve basically signed a legal contract by purchasing your ticket and taking your cruise. Your personal injury lawyer will need to prove negligence on behalf of the cruise ship operator, or demonstrate that they were acting with willful intent.
In addition to the forum-selection clause and liability waivers,, the terms and conditions on your ticket should also include a notice-requirement clause. This informs you of the amount of time that can lapse before an injured passenger is no longer allowed to file his or her claim. It could be as short as 12 months for bodily injury claims or drastically shorter for non-physical claims. It’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with all of the legal details before embarking on your cruise!
Other Travel Injury Claims
Even if you’re not embarking on a cruise ship, any kind of personal injury sustained while traveling can be complicated. If you’re going overseas, it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that will cover you against personal injury car accidents, bus accidents, or anything else that may go wrong while you’re on holiday. If you plan to take part in any potentially dangerous activities like skiing, skydiving or hiking Mount Everest, be sure to familiarize yourself with what your travel insurance policy does and does not cover. That way, you’ll know your rights if it ever comes time to contact your personal injury lawyer.
Timothy C. Moynahan is the CEO and owner of Moynahan Partners, which offers business development consultancy, identifying strategic business partnerships and funding sources. He founded and heads the Moynahan Law Firm, Waterbury, Connecticut, and is “of counsel” to the Jin Law Group at 200 Park Avenue in New York. He is a sought-after and successful trial lawyer, earning the Super Lawyer of New England and Connecticut awards from 2009 to 2012 and Best Criminal Defense Attorney accolade in 2013.