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How long do you have to file a personal injury lawsuit against a cruise line?

trunks_birdsThe cruising industry has more than doubled in the last two decades. In the last 15 years alone, the number of cruise passengers has increased from 15 million to 30+ million. To satisfy the demand, cruise lines have built increasingly large ships that can host over 5,500 passengers and over 2,300 crew-members. Consequently, the number of injuries sustained by passengers and crew-members has also increased.  As a result, Leesfield & Partners’s general maritime attorneys have been retained to represent injured passengers and crew-members for the last 20 years.

If you are an adult, how long do you have to file a lawsuit?

Your ticket contract is where you will find the answer. Typically, cruise line ticket contracts will disclaim that a lawsuit against them for an injury claim must be filed within one year from the date the incident occurred.

How much time to notify the cruise line of your potential injury claim against them?

Again, your ticket contract will provide the answer. The customary deadline to notify a cruise line that you sustained an injury during your cruise and that you intend to make a claim against them is six months from the date of the incident.

These minimum time limits disclosed in the ticket contract stem from 46 U.S. Code § 30508.

How long does your minor child have to file a lawsuit for their injuries?

Absent of your ticket contract is the statute of limitations in your case a minor becomes injured during a cruise. The answer is once again codified in § 30508 which explicitly provides that:

[W]hen a claimant is a minor, . . . any period provided by a contract for the giving notice of the claim is tolled until the earlier of (1) the date a legal representative is appointed for the minor . . . or (2) three years after the injury.

If you sustained an injury on a cruise ship, follow these important tips:

– Report the incident as soon as it happens;

– Report all of your injuries;

– Report exactly how the incident occurred (cruise ships are surveilled via security cameras and your incident will have been captured);

– Take photos / videos of the area (ideally immediately after the incident occurs);

– Obtain the name and contact information of any potential witness (other passengers);

– Write down the name of every crew-member who was involved in the post-incident investigation;

– Request a copy of the surveillance video depicting the incident;

– Do not sign any document that contains any sort of waiver of litigation rights;

– Keep in mind that everything you write or tell a crew-member (doctor, security guard etc.) will be used against you in any ensuing claim.

What you must remember:

If you are an adult, or a parent of a minor child, who sustained a significant physical injury on a cruise ship, you must seek legal assistance immediately. Even if your incident occurred a few weeks ago, it is imperative not to wait any longer and to consult with an attorney experienced in litigating cruise cases at once.

It is not infrequent that our admiralty and maritime attorneys have to turn down cases because injured passengers simply waited too long to contact our firm. Because of Leesfield & Partners’s reputation, in some cases and under certain circumstances, we will be able to obtain an extension on the statute of limitations.

If you would like to discuss your potential claim with our attorneys, contact us immediately through our website or call us at 1-800-836-6400 today.

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