If you have ever been on a cruise or researched various cruise options, you probably already know that there are a seemingly endless supply of “shore excursions” made available to cruisers in each and every port of call that a cruise ship makes. Shore excursions are a major money maker for the cruise industry, and on the flip side, they are also a source of many injuries to cruise ship passengers.
Sustaining an injury during a shore excursion is a lot different than being hurt while on the ship because it raises a host of issues regarding jurisdiction; that is, whether the shore excursion provider can be sued in the United States. These unique issues of maritime law make it all the more important to immediately contact an experience maritime attorney to help you navigate through what can be a very difficult time.
Perhaps most importantly, if you are hurt during a shore excursion, you are likely still subject to the one year statute of limitations. This means that you must hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit within one year of the date of the incident, otherwise you claim could be barred.
The cruise lines that provide information regarding the excursions often claim that such activities are “fun and safe.” Unsuspecting passengers who are interested in partaking of the excursions offered typically trust the cruise line’s word, especially if they are the ones advertising it online or onboard the ship. Sadly, though, just about any cruise ship injury lawyer can tell you that accidents do take place during shore excursions, and when they do, you might face a serious legal battle.
If a person is injured while on a shore excursion, he or she should be aware that liability for the accident can extend to a variety of different parties who may be at-fault; but holding all appropriate parties responsible can be a very complex and challenging process. As a matter of fact, a lot of the shore excursion agreements have clauses within them that try to waive or limit the cruise line’s or excursion operator’s liability. Still, anyone who has been hurt should contact a knowledgeable attorney right away to ensure that the most effective arguments are made under the law.
What Types of Accidents Can Occur During Shore Excursions?
When people think of shore excursions, they don’t often consider the possibility that they may get hurt while participating in the activity. Some of the injuries incurred may be more severe than others and some may require as little care as simple first aid, while others may need emergency medical attention. Nonetheless, a cruise ship injury lawyer who handles these types of cases on a regular basis knows that certain accidents that take place in relation to an excursion are more common than others.
For example, some participants might experience serious injuries during snorkeling and/or diving activities, zip-line activities, parasailing, rock climbing and hiking activities. Also, individuals who are taking part in shore excursions may get hurt due to accidents that take place on the transport vehicles that take them to and from the shore, as well as tender boat incidents.
Liability for Known Dangers at Ports of Call
Accident victims should note that the cruise lines on which they travel have a responsibility to warn their passengers about any ports of call that may have particularly dangerous areas within the places that their guests can reasonably be expected to tour or visit. If the cruise line does not warn its passengers of those potential dangers, and one of their passengers sustains an injury or gets attacked or assaulted, the cruise line might be held legally responsible for the damages sustained.
While it is true that shore excursion waivers and the clauses contained within them may be a bit difficult or confusing to understand, accident victims who sustain injuries might still be entitled to recover monetary compensation for their losses. If you have been injured in a shore excursion activity and you have questions about your legal rights, contact a cruise ship injury lawyer at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. as soon as possible.