Cruise Line Liability for Shore Excursion Accidents
While the amenities aboard Miami’s most popular cruise ships are stunning, the wide range of shore excursions available at various ports of call are a huge draw for many passengers. From shopping trips and dining, to cultural enrichment and outdoor activities, there are experiences that appeal to guests of all ages. Even before you embark on a cruise, you might have already lined up a few adventures for yourself and family. However, what you may not realize is that the risk of shore excursion accidents is surprisingly high. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that more than 31 percent of all injuries to passengers occurs during shore-based adventures.
If you or a loved one was hurt, you might expect that your legal rights are the same as other personal injury matters. Shore excursions are different in many ways, which is why you should rely on a Florida cruise ship accident attorney to protect your interests. Some general information can help you understand the challenges.
Accidents are Common on Shore Excursions: Cruise lines strive to engage all passengers through various experiences, so a wide array of injuries can occur during shore excursions. Some of the most common accidents involve:
- Parasailing, skiing, tubing, and other water sports;
- Walking tours, rock wall climbing, and hiking adventures;
- Snorkeling and scuba excursions;
- Kayaking, canoeing, and boating trips; and,
- Incidents during shopping trips, wine tastings, culinary tours.
Of course, not all injury-causing shore excursions are the result of careless conduct. Passengers can also suffer injuries as a result of intentional conduct, such as attacks, sexual assault, and other violence. When cruise operators have knowledge of the dangers, they have a responsibility to warn about the dangers.
Complex Liability Issues for Cruise Excursion Accidents: Operators of onshore tours are typically separate entities from the cruise lines; they have a contractual agreement in which the cruise company promotes shore excursions in exchange for a percentage of the fees passengers pay to enjoy them. Therefore, jurisdiction is a concern. In addition, injury claims arising out of a contract for passage are usually covered by the agreement. Many include waivers that limit liability for the cruise line, the onshore company that conducts shore excursions, and others.
It is possible to fight the waiver provisions, enabling you to file a claim with the cruise company, the onshore tour operator, or both. Keep in mind that the typical statutes of limitations may not apply. While you have four years to file a lawsuit in a Florida court, you usually have just six months to notify the cruise company about your injuries.
Contact a Florida Cruise Ship Accidents Lawyer to Discuss Your Rights
The liability provisions in shore excursion waivers and other contracts can be confusing, and they generally favor the cruise line instead of injured passengers. Still, you do have rights and our team at Freidin Brown, P.A. is dedicated to protecting them. Please contact our offices today to set up a no-cost case evaluation with an experienced Florida cruise ship accidents attorney today.