Cruise lines have created an experience that is becoming a major form of vacation for American families, but that also comes with significant risk for the unprepared U.S. consumer. Hundreds of passengers are injured on these colossal luxury liners every year. These consumers are injured in various ways– including rape, slipping, tripping, and falling, or being thrown overboard, never to be seen again by their surviving family and friends. When many of these injured travelers return from their trip, they wait too long to do anything, and forgo their legal rights. The need for an attorney that specializes in cruise ship accidents is vital if you want to avoid “sleeping on your rights.”
While many cruise ships are chartered in Florida, the case does not always need to be filed in Florida federal court. Inexperienced attorneys that do not have experience in cases like this, including the statute of limitations can miss the claims provisions of the carriage license or accidentally commit legal malpractice. Unfortunately, the passage contract in international law and treaties restrict the rights of passengers, including where they can sue that they would normally take for granted. Some attorneys that attempt to sue in Miami will have the case rejected by the court clerk for improper jurisdiction and venue. This could place the right to sue in jeopardy as time passes. Our experienced attorneys will make no such mistakes.
Our firm has successfully represented individuals from states like Georgia, Ohio and Florida that have had severe issues on cruise ships, including sexual assault, weight stacks fall on them in the gym, slipping and suffering severe head injuries. Many of our clients will require long term counseling, surgery, and can miss months or years of work. Many that take a cruise for the first time have no idea of all of these potential risks. Some were injured on tourist shore excursions, and falsely assumed that they had to sue the defendants in their home countries. This is where the Ehline Law Firm PC excellence comes into play.
Our lead attorney, Michael P. Ehline, has been recognized as outstanding in his field, including being awarded a former “Cruise Ship Attorney of the Year,” and has even lobbied the United States Congress to strengthen the “Passenger’s Bill of Rights.” Michael Ehline is well known for his fighting on behalf of his clients and has even been featured on CNN. He works with Miami cruise ship attorneys for cases filed there. He has filed cases in federal court and California state court, and is a licensed, high profile attorney.
When you hire us, Ehline and his staff will stop at nothing to get you results. We will fight big, multinational corporations and their high paid attorneys. Ehline Law is the great equalizer for cruise victims. In fact, in every case that we filed, we have won a payout to our clients.
Los Angeles Cruise Ship Lawsuits
The Ehline Law Firm PC and its staff offers our experienced attorneys with specialization in cruise ship claims. Our firm is well versed in cases like this, including those against lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Canaveral, and others.
We also handle cases such as Princess Cruise Liner cases in the Los Angeles and San Pedro courts, as suits against this company must be made in these jurisdictions, as seen in the passage contract.
(B) Forum and Jurisdiction for Legal Action:
(i) Claims for Injury, Illness or Death: All claims involving Emotional harm, bodily injury, illness to or death of any Passenger whatsoever arising out of or relating to this Passage Contract or Your Cruise shall be litigated before a court of competent jurisdiction located in the County of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., to the exclusion of the courts of any other country, state, city, municipality, county or locale. You consent to jurisdiction and waive any objection that may be available to any such action being brought in such courts. (Read more here.)
Many cruises are not always safe and fun. Some may depart from Florida and face severe issues before reaching California. These can not only ruin a vacation but result in severe physical and mental harm — and in some cases, death. A wreck or severe accident can severely injure or kill passengers. There have also been horrifying cases of rape and murder.
There are also cases of infectious diseases breaking out on cruise ships. Victims can be left without legal recourse if they do not retain a skilled attorney to recover damages. Examples can include a norovirus, Norwalk-like viruses, or guinea worms that can be caught in the Western Caribbean.
Other diseases and accidents that could affect passengers include:
- Food poisoning, including negligence in exposing passengers to communicable diseases.
- Sexual assault or rape by a crew-member or passenger.
- Negligent medical care, medical malpractice or inadequate medical personnel.
- Accidental death, wrongful death and missing passengers.
- Injuries due to collisions at sea, in port or due to defective equipment.
- Personal injuries including slip and fall accidents or drowning.
Liability can be difficult to establish without the right legal counsel. This can compound existing problems and necessitate a skilled attorney. We have assisted cases in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties and tourists from across the world.
Much of the case depends on the place where the injury or accident occurred. If this happened more than three miles off the California coastline, the maritime law applies. If it happened within these three miles, then state law applies. When a terrible mishap has occurred, make sure to contact a skilled attorney at the Ehline Law Firm PC immediately. Our specialization is necessary to take on a case like this that is so delicate and life altering.
Death at Sea & Other Interesting Facts for Passengers
When a loved one is killed on a cruise ship, then the Death on the High Seas Act applies. This is separate from either maritime or state laws. This is a particularly complex case, and one for our specialized attorneys to take on.
These catastrophes must be acted upon immediately as statutes of limitations could severely impact your case. When such an incident happens, you may be entitled to monetary compensation– but only if the case is acted upon quickly.
There could be severe issues stemming from a cruise ship accident. These could include months of lost revenue from work, limitations on how you could work, or even the need for a long term caretaker. These all could severely impact your life. The Ehline Law Firm stands ready to make sure that the full circumstances are investigated and that you are able to rebuild yourself– mentally and physically.
The large corporations that own these ships are looking to pay you little or nothing. They can use the passenger tickets to limit the normal two or three year statute of limitations and other rights. They can use a forum selection clause to make the port of departure the only legal venue for a claim to be litigated. This could make LA the only city for this to happen in. If a passenger sues a shipping line in another location, the lawsuit can be dismissed.
If this occurs and the one year statute is already expired, then the victim would have no legal rights, except maybe an attorney malpractice claim against the inexperienced lawyer who blew the case. If you or a loved one has been hurt in such a manner, don’t delay. Call the Ehline Law Firm PC 24 hour hotline for a free, no-pressure consultation 888-400-9721.
Disclaimer *Ehline Law Firm PC is in no way affiliated with the trade name Jacuzzi, or Whirlpool, and we specifically help injured victims harmed by a defective Jacuzzi, or Whirlpool related injury.