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What happens if you are injured on a cruise ship?

Taking a cruise sounds like the ultimate opportunity to relax and explore exciting new places. A dream vacation can easily turn into a nightmare, though, if you happen to sustain an injury when you are at sea. You will likely have access to basic medical care, but you might need further treatment or be curious about holding the liable party responsible. There are a few things you should know if you have found yourself injured at sea.

Maritime law may apply

According to the New York Times, figures on cruise ship incidents are difficult to find because companies are only obligated to report them to the applicable jurisdiction. When a ship is traveling internationally and spends much of its time in the open sea, determining who has the authority to hear your case can be tricky. In many cases, the situation could fall under maritime law, which is a special set of regulations applicable to legal issues relating to the ocean.

Statute of limitations may be shorter

The statute of limitations for legal action on cruise accidents is often shorter than it is for cases that happen on U.S. soil. This is because many cruise companies include a clause limiting liability in the terms and conditions that patrons agree to. Maritime law also handles statute of limitations differently that state or federal law would, so it is best to take action as soon as possible after your injury.

You should seek outside care

Most cruise ships have medical staff on board to treat minor injuries and other ailments, but it is often a good idea to seek treatment from a provider unassociated with the company coordinating the cruise. Doctors and other providers who work for or have contracts with the company will likely act in the company’s interest, and when it comes to getting essential treatment, this may not be good for your health or your case.

An injury accident at sea is scary, but there is recourse available. Contact an attorney for more information.

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