Cruise Ship Accidents: February 2009 Archives

February 25, 2009

Injured Cruise Passengers Rushed to Miami After Truck Accident

Fourteen injured Celebrity Cruise passengers were taken to Miami, Florida for treatment of various injuries after their tour truck crashed into a ditch wall on the island of Dominica.  The cruise ship accident involved U.S. tourists (none from Florida) who were participating in a shore excursion known as the "Caribbean Cooking Adventure."  The driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle after a brake failure and smashed into a retaining wall according to reports.  Two passengers were reportedly in critical condition after the excursion accident and taken with the other injured passengers to Dade County's Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Unfortunately, a simple Google search reveals that these types of accidents happen perhaps more often than one might think.  For example, in 2006, cruise-line passengers on tour of Juneau, Alaska were injured after their bus went over an embankment; also in 2006, a cruise ship excursion accident killed 12 U.S. citizens and injured two others in Chile after the tour bus swerved to avoid oncoming traffic and fell down a mountainside; and in 2005, a cruise-line tour bus accident killed five people and injured another 43 after driving off the road in Madeira, Portugal.  These examples, although not exclusive, illustrate the ever-present danger aboard these types of trips.

Cruise-line injuries and deaths, whether aboard ship or on an excursion, are complicated legal issues and most often require an attorney to protect the rights of the victims and the victims' family.  The reason for this is that cruise ship injuries often trigger multiple jurisdictional and choice-of-law matters.  There are many laws that may govern the various legal issues in a cruise ship accident case including the local law of your port of departure, the foreign law of the port were the injury occurred if the injury occurred on foreign soil, Federal Maritime law, and other treaties and acts.  These laws may conflict with one another, and it is important to have your case reviewed by an experienced attorney.

In the case of injuries during shore excursions, cruise lines often earn revenue from these trips by contracting with local companies and may be liable for the injuries sustained while on them.  However, many times a passenger's ticket aboard ship often acts as a contract with the cruise line that may limit the time a passenger has to file suit, where the passenger can file a lawsuit, and the liability the cruise line has agreed to accept.  It is important to have your case reviewed by an attorney experienced in handling cruise ship accidents to ensure you are fairly compensated for an injury sustained aboard a cruise ship or on an cruise ship excursion.  

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