When a debilitating accident happens at sea, a certain amount of confusion can ensue shortly afterward. This is because the laws are very complex in this regard, and can even look as if the odds are stacked in favor of the negligent party.
Indeed, some cruise liners will try their best to get out of paying accident victims using maritime laws that may or may not be applicable to the situation.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a cruise ship accident, don’t take the company’s corporate honchos word for their accountability. Keep in mind that they would have everything to lose if you decide to sue or bring attention to any wrong doing.
Instead, speak to a knowledgeable cruise ship accident lawyer to understand what your rights are under the law.
Jurisdiction Issues Cloud the Water
When it come to cruise liners, they can literally be an island in and unto themselves. This is largely because it can be difficult to know where jurisdiction would lie in the event of a major calamity. For instance, if you are traveling to Europe and a devastating accident happens half way there, it may be difficult to ascertain where a trial could be held.
Adding to the problem is the fact that most cruise ships aren’t even registered in the United States. One can assume that this I done to avoid legal problems, since most of the ships embark from US shores and a large percentage of ship travelers are American.
These facts, among many others, make it very difficult to prosecute individuals who cause harm to ship passengers.
This doesn’t mean that cases are simply dismissed, however, in many instances, it is the ship’s captain who investigates and oversees legal matters. As one would guess, this often results in many ship passengers being shortchanged after a life altering cruise liner accident.
Many crimes can go essentially unpunished, even criminal ones like rape or murder. Sadly, the American public is unaware of this fact until of course, the unthinkable occurs.
Thankfully, the laws are changing…
Cruise Ship Liability Deepening
New legislation is being introduced that would make luxury liners a bit more accountable for what happens to passengers aboard their ship. Indeed, the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009 that is being introduced in congress, would instruct ships to report all on-board crimes to the American FBI and Coast Guard. This effectively takes jurisdiction away fr
om a ship Captain who has everything to gain by closing the door on crime and accident victims.
Ships would also have to install safety devices to reduce the risk of accidental deaths and to implement changes that make crimes like theft, assault, rape and murder less likely. Ships would also have to install technological devices that alert personnel when a passenger goes overboard.
Finding Justice After a Cruise Ship Accident
Currently, there are still a few ways a person that has been injured in an accident can obtain justice. For instance, did the event transpire off the US coastline? If it happened within three miles of American soil, you can pursue litigation in the state in which the boat was located.
Don’t guess about your rights—contact a knowledgable personal injury attorney right away after you or a loved one suffers a debilitating accident on a cruise ship.
With years of experience in this realm, TorkLaw can provide you with the information you need to get the justice and financial compensation you deserve.
Contact us today at (888) 845-9696 and learn what you can do when a cruise ship accident alters your life forever.