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Can I File a Lawsuit against a Cruise Line?

Going on a cruise can be an exciting event as you and your family explore new countries and cities. Unfortunately, when an accident occurs or you become ill on board, it can lead to lifelong turmoil.

In 2013, there were more than 20 reports of illness outbreaks on cruise ships along with instances of broken down ships, injuries on board and even ship-goers falling overboard. If someone happens to you while onboard a cruise ship, how do you know if you can make claim?

You must first know that most cruise ship tickets include a "forum selection" clause. These clauses require that any lawsuits be filed at a certain location, typically where the cruise line is based. Additionally, the statute of limitations on filing a claim are much shorter for cruise line accidents and injuries. A cruise line ticket will typically share this information with passengers; claims must often be made within six months of when the injury occurred. Typically, personal injury claims can be made for up to two years after the injury or accident occurred.

It is important that anyone who plans to go on a cruise read the terms and conditions that come with their ticket. Knowing what your rights are before you step onboard can help you should any type of cruise ship accident occurred.

Below is a sample of some the horrors cruise ship passengers and employees have had to endure between 2013 and 2014.

Thousands of passengers aboard the Carnival Triumph in February 2013 endured nightmarish conditions after the ship lost power. Passengers were left without functioning toilets and showers; reports of urine and feces in hallways rolling across the floor were widespread. Passengers were also plagued with the smell of rotting food and had to wait in line for minimal food.

That same year, Rebecca Coriam disappeared from the Disney Wonder while she was working onboard the Disney cruise line in the Bahamas. Her family is still seeking answers and believes Disney is covering-up the investigation to avoid embarrassment.

Less than one year after the Carnival Triumph fiasco, federal health officials confirmed that a norovirus outbreak had left more than 700 people on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas sick. The outbreak was one of three in early 2014 with reports of 130 passengers becoming sick on a Norwegian cruise line ship and another 12 on a two-week cruise from Miami.

If you or someone you love has been injured or fallen ill while onboard a cruise ship, a personal injury attorney from our law firm can help you review your legal options

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