The dog days of summer are upon us, and families from Salt Lake City are well into planning their summer getaways. Cruise ships make for a fun vacation, but they’re also common sites for slip and fall injuries. Before you call your lawyer, you should understand who is liable for injuries at sea.
Tickets Are Contracts
Before you leave Salt Lake City, take a good look at your cruise ticket. Each ticket acts as a legal contract. By purchasing the ticket and boarding the ship, you agree to certain terms and conditions. Most of the information your lawyer will need regarding liability and filing lawsuits will be printed on the back of ticket.
Claims for injuries like a slip and fall must be filed in the state listed on the ticket. Usually, this will be the state where you boarded the cruise ship or where the cruise liner is headquartered. However, the majority of cruise ships aren’t registered in the United States. Instead, they are registered in countries where regulations are less strict, like the Bahamas or Panama. When cruise ships aren’t registered in the United States, your lawyer will need to follow maritime law.
When Maritime Law Applies
Maritime law, or Admiralty Law, states that a cruise ship operator has a duty to exercise reasonable care for passenger safety and is liable for injuries caused by negligence or willful action. Basically, cruise carriers are liable if your lawyer can prove the ship operators knew or should have known about an unsafe condition aboard ship.
The most common places to suffer a slip and fall aboard ship are on slippery floors, on deck or around stairs. In order for the cruise ship to be liable, your Salt Lake City lawyer will need to prove that the cruise ship operators knew or should have known about the dangers — uneven stairs, wet decks and floors — and failed to keep you safe.
Statute of Limitations
Keep track of the statute of limitations for filing injury claims. Maritime law gives you three years to file personal injury claims, but many tickets have clauses that limit that time to a year or less.