Cruise Ticket Statute of Limitations

Who doesn’t love a cruise? What better way to see a handful of beautiful port cities, eat great food, enjoy beverages and exciting entertainment? We’ve been deprived of this value-packed vacation option during much of the global pandemic, but cruises are back and often at killer discounts as the cruise companies try to pack the ships to make up lost ground for a lost year of profits.
This means a few things:

-Large crowds of excited people;
-All inclusive drink plans (intoxicated crowds of excited people);
-Crews that are shaking off the rust from a year off;
-New crew members who haven’t learned maritime protocol;
-Boarding and disembarking the ship on tender boats; and
-A series of other activities which increase the likelihood of injury.

Thousands of cruises leaving from ports up and down the coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf, Great Lakes, Mississippi River and other navigable waters around the U.S. will carry millions of travelers and crew members this year and if any of those folks, sustain injuries anywhere in the country, Orlando & Associates, PC can help.

What you might not know is that a crew member (a seaman) and a passenger have different rights. For instance, a crew member under The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (aka The Jones Act) will have a three year statute of limitations (time within which to file a lawsuit). A passenger’s statute of limitations can be far different, though, because most often it is not controlled by legislation, rather it is a contractual term in the fine print of your boarding pass/ticket.

In most circumstances that statute of limitations is as short as one year from the date of the injury and there are usually other requirements of the injured passenger with respect to providing written notice to the ship owners/masters of his/her intention to bring a legal action.

Most personal injury attorneys don’t do know these nuances, because they don’t practice admiralty and maritime law, but at O&A, PC, we do. Call us if you’re injured as a passenger on a cruise ship! Don’t hesitate, because you may lose your rights in the process.