Injured in a Florida Cruise Accident?

Cruises are an increasingly popular vacation choice. We want you to be aware of several important things before you sail. First, when you receive your contract of passage booklet, read it carefully. The document is not just a ticket that allows you to board the vessel, but a binding contract between you and the cruise line. Contained in the fine print of the contract are several clauses that strip you of certain valuable rights in the event that you are injured.

Typically, you must notify the cruise line in writing within six months of your injury or you may not be able to bring a claim. Further, the contract reduces the time that you have to file suit against the cruise line from three years to one year. Failure to file suit within one year of the injury, as is required by the ticket, will likely bar your claim. The contract also specifies where the lawsuit may be brought. This provision seeks to control where the lawsuit can be filed regardless of where the ship sailed from, where the cruise line maintains its offices, or where the injured passenger lives.

If you have been injured while on a cruise, there are certain precautions you can take to better protect your rights:

* Be very careful about what you say and what you sign. The cruise line will typically create an accident report, but rarely is a copy provided to the injured passenger. Be sure to write down the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of any and all witnesses.

* Make detailed notes about how the accident happened, as well as any conversations you or anyone else had with the crew, including the crewmember’s name and job title.

* Take as many photographs or as much video-footage of the accident scene as possible. Accident scenes often change shortly after the incident, and there may be no way to substantiate the dangerous condition giving rise to the injury without this photographic evidence.

Contact the Florida maritime injury attorneys at Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore if you were injured in a Florida cruise accident. We can help determine if you have a case. Call us at (813) 225-4000.

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