Cruise Ship Injury FAQs

How long do I typically have to make a claim with the cruise line if I was injured while on the ship?

Many cruise ships limit the time you can file a claim to one year. Some also require that you put them on notice of your claim within six months from the date of the incident. You have to look at your Cruise Passenger Ticket or Cruise Contract for the exact terms. The law may also extend that time as each case has its own facts and circumstances.

If I was hurt while on the ship in another Country, where should I get a lawyer?

Your Cruise Passenger Ticket or Cruise Contract may have a “forum selection clause” which Courts often uphold. The Ticket or Contract may specify where the claim must be brought.

Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean, for example, may require that all claims be brought in Federal Court in the Southern District of Florida, regardless of where in the world you were hurt, and regardless of which US Port from which your cruise departed or returned. Again, we have to analyze your individual Contract to see if there is a contractual requirement selecting the location.

I have a lawyer outside of Florida. Can he or she handle my cruise injury case?

Generally no if you were injured on a Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, Celebrity, or Norwegian Cruise Line. Most of these Contracts require that the claim be brought in Florida, and usually in Federal Court. If your lawyer is not admitted in Florida State Courts, or the specified Federal Court in Florida, then your lawyer may be unauthorized to handle your case and could jeopardize your claim.

If you have a lawyer in your State that you want to help with your case, we are happy to work with them as co-counsel. It usually does not even cost you more money, as we can work out a fee-division with them and it will come out of the total attorneys’ fees and not the client’s portion.

Do I need an attorney to represent me if I am hurt on a cruise or can I try and settle the case on my own?

You are not required to ever hire an attorney. The benefit though is that you are hiring someone with experience in this specialized field, someone who understands the system and who analyzes settlements and verdicts as part of their career. As attorneys, we fight for our client’s rights and to maximize their settlement value on their cases. We try to gather all of the facts to present to the attorneys for the cruise companies and to fight for compensation for our clients. Since we work on a contingency fee, it does not cost you anything out of pocket for our work on your case. We only get paid if we get something for you for what happened. If for some reason there was no recovery, we waive all fees and costs.