When an accident occurs on a cruise ship, there are many general maritime laws that may apply.  There are also additional laws that apply specifically to cruise ships.  The fine print written on the cruise ticket will often have special designations which are important to note.  One of these considerations is a “forum selection clause.”  This clause can designate where a cruise line may be sued. Another provision will allow the cruise line to decrease the time limit by which a person brings forth a lawsuit to just one year.  In most instances, maritime law allows a three-year statute of limitations.


If a person is not aware of the forum selection clause, they may file outside of jurisdiction and it may leave them with no recourse against a cruise line.  This means that if a cruise line designates their location for filing suits in Miami, Florida, and a lawsuit is filed in another court, the lawsuit may be dismissed and the passenger will have no legal recourse. A maritime lawyer would be able to help a passenger avoid this mistake.

Most cruise line ships will be registered in a country outside of the United States. Therefore, the law of the country whose flag is flying on the cruise ship may be applicable to the incident that occurs on the ship.  These foreign laws may be more favorable to the injured party than those of the United States. This means that if a ship begins embarks, or begins its journey in of the U.S. states but flies that flag of a foreign country, several different laws may apply.  Instances that occur on that vessel may apply to state law, U.S. law, or the law or treaties that apply to the foreign country where the ship is registered.


When you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, it is important to consult the correct attorney.  An experienced maritime attorney will be able to guide and direct you toward making the correct decisions in your unique case.  Maritime law is a very specialized branch of the law and it is important to consult someone familiar with the laws and regulations that may apply.  They will be able to guide when choosing where to file your case and things that you should do or avoid. 

One of our experienced attorneys at Madalon Law will be dedicated to guiding you and helping you avoid those pitfalls that can exist within Maritime, as well as making sure that you are protected under the law.

If you would like more information regarding an accident or injury that occurred on a cruise ship, contact one of our knowledgeable cruise ship accident attorneys at Madalon Law. We offer a free consultation and will gladly answer the questions you may have.

The Fort Lauderdale cruise ship accident attorneys of Madalon Law handle maritime accident cases in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.  Our accident attorneys will handle cases involving Carnival Cruise, Norwegian Cruises, Royal Caribbean and more.