Cruise Ship Accidents and Personal Injury Law

In the wake of the tragedy that is unfolding as a result of the Costa Concordia cruise ship accident, we are reminded that our safety can occasionally be compromised when we least expect it. This is certainly one of the worst cruise ship accidents in decades, but what happened?

As personal injury attorneys in South Florida, we are often presented with cruise ship accident cases. We look into a variety of factors that will help us in seeking recoveries for the injured and their families. There are certain rules and regulations that govern the operation of a cruise ship.

As crews continue to look for missing passengers from the Costa Concordia, new details have emerged pointing blame at the captain for human error. According to reports, the cruise ship’s route was set electronically before it left its last port in Civitavecchia. Captain Francesco Schettino chose to override the electronic route and take an unauthorized one. This new path took the ship into rocks off of the coast of Italy causing the ship to topple over. At the time of this article, six passengers have been counted as dead.

Cruise lines generally require that suits be filed in Miami-Dade County. Although Costa is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp., the company has required that suit be brought in Italy. More over, as with most cruise ship accidents, there is a 1-year statute of limitations to pursue a claim for injuries sustained on a cruise ship. Before you embark on your next cruise, it is critical to review the individual ticket for venue information (where suit must be brought) and statute of limitations descriptions (how long passengers have to file suit). As the story continues to unfold, one thing is certain; Carnival has a long road ahead of them.

Source: Miami Herald, “Carnival questions cruise captain’s judgment as death toll rises,” 16 January 2012