Whether you are a first timer or a cruise addict, there is nothing quite like the feeling you get when your countdown is over and you finally step on board your dream cruise. The last thing you’ll be thinking of is how to find cruise ship accident lawyers if something goes wrong.
We truly hope that your cruise is plain sailing from day one, and that you have a wonderful holiday. However, if you suffer an accident and hit troubled waters, we’re the cruise ship accident lawyers you need to throw you a lifeline (we like nautical terms – can you tell?!).
What happens if I’m hurt on a cruise ship?
Here are our top 3 pieces of advice if you’ve been hurt on a cruise ship:
- Seek medical treatment. This is important both for your health and to record your injuries. Medicare won’t cover you, even in Australian waters, so prepare to be billed.
- Report the accident to staff. Make a written report of how your cruise ship accident happened, and take a photo on your phone.
- Take photographs of what caused your cruise ship accident and the surrounding area. Once your cruise is over it is almost impossible to get back on board to show lawyers or experts where your cruise ship accident happened – that ship has sailed!
For more tips, download our free checklist 10 Things You Must Do After A Cruise Ship Accident
What types of cruise ship accidents can you help with?
If you have been injured on board a cruise ship, our founder and principal solicitor Victoria Roy has probably already helped a passenger just like you.
Cruise ship accidents that Victoria has helped with in the past include:
- Slips on wet decks
- Slips on food and drink spillages
- Slips and trips on gangplanks
- Trips on defective flooring
- Falls down stairs
- Falls in rough seas
- Injuries caused by faulty electrical equipment
- Injured crew members
We challenge you to bring us a type of cruise ship accident that we haven’t dealt with before!
Can you help with river cruise accidents?
Absolutely! We act for passengers injured in river cruise accidents as well as cruise ship accidents on ocean faring cruise ships.
What laws apply to cruise ships?
How long have we got to answer this question?!
The laws that apply to cruise ships are complex. When it comes to cruise ship accidents, there are a lot of factors to consider such as:
- Whether the ship was in port, travelling through a country’s territorial waters or in international waters when the cruise ship accident occurred
- Where the ship is registered (these are often ports of convenience with less stringent health and safety laws than Australia)
- The booking terms and conditions of your cruise contract
- Whether international maritime conventions apply to your cruise
- Whether there is a sufficient connection with Australia for the Australian Consumer Law to apply
This is an area which can often be too complicated for general personal injury lawyers.
We are experts in cruise law. We understand the complex interplay between international, federal and state laws. We have also acted against most major cruise lines across the world and are familiar with their booking conditions.
If you want us to explain the law to you for your specific case, we would enjoy nothing more! Otherwise leave these complexities to us, and we will get on with fighting the cruise line for your cruise ship accident compensation.
Should I complain to the cruise line about a cruise ship accident?
Yes. Many cruise lines’ terms and conditions require you to send them details of your complaint in writing within a few weeks of an event in order for you to pursue a claim. For help writing a complaint letter, download our free Guide To Successful Holiday Complaints or purchase an easy to follow template letter here.
Even if your contract does not require you to send a written complaint, it is a good idea to formally report your accident as soon as possible.
Can I sue a foreign cruise line for a cruise ship accident?
There are very few Australian cruise lines. Even the cruise lines operating in Australia tend to be owned by foreign companies.
If you have a cruise ship accident on board a vessel, you are generally able to sue the foreign cruise line here in Australia.
If it is not possible to sue the foreign cruise line in Australia in your cruise ship accident claim, we work in conjunction with expert cruise lawyers overseas who we know and trust. This means we can still help you!
Where do I have to bring a cruise ship accident claim?
This will depend on the booking terms and conditions of your cruise contract.
Most cruise lines operating in Australia require passengers to bring claims against them in New South Wales. We are based in Sydney and act for passengers who live in all Australian states and territories.
If your case has to be brought in a foreign country, we work with overseas expert cruise lawyers we know and trust, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom, so we can still help you.
Do I have to go to court to be compensated for my cruise ship accident?
Our founder and principal solicitor Victoria Roy has dealt with countless cruise ship accident compensation claims. She has found that most cruise lines appreciate the risk and cost involved if a passenger starts court proceedings and offer to hold settlement discussions first.
If court proceedings are necessary in your claim, there is still plenty of opportunity to settle during the court process. Almost all cruise ship accident cases settle before a hearing / trial.
What time limits apply to cruise ship accident claims?
Your booking terms and conditions might require you to send a written complaint within a few weeks of a cruise ship accident to make a claim. If you need help writing this, you can purchase an easy to use template here.
If you can’t settle your claim and you have to sue the cruise line, the deadline is generally 3 years for cruises sold in Australia. However, many international cruises have a 2 year deadline, and US cruises have a short 1 year deadline.
Because the deadlines can be so short, it is best to speak to a cruise ship injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. We will let you know what deadline applies to your claim.
Am I betraying my cruise line by making a cruise ship accident claim?
Some clients initially feel uneasy about bringing a cruise ship accident claim when they are loyal customers to a particular cruise line. They can feel like they are betraying their cruise line by making a claim, and that the cruise line will take it personally.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
All cruise lines want to give their passengers a positive experience. Unfortunately sometimes after a cruise ship accident, a cruise line’s customer service can be poor. By getting lawyers involved, you are making yourself heard to the people at the cruise line who matter and who can bring about change.
In a number of cases that our founder and principal solicitor Victoria Roy has won for clients, as well as securing compensation for the injured passenger, the cruise line has rectified the cause of an accident or changed an internal procedure due to the client’s claim. Bringing a claim can therefore prevent future injuries and makes cruising better for all passengers.
Will the cruise line let me cruise again if I make a cruise ship accident claim?
This question is very common for regular cruisers!
Don’t worry – there is no black list for cruise passengers who have made cruise ship accident claims against the cruise line.
Plus cruise lines are so large that the booking department and ship’s crew will have no idea that you brought a claim in the past. If they did know, they would probably thank you for giving them the opportunity to correct something that went wrong last time and prevent future accidents..
How do I choose a cruise ship accident lawyer?
Our top 5 things to look for when choosing a cruise ship accident lawyer are:
- What experience do they have? Cruise ship accident compensation claims are complicated. You need a cruise injury lawyer who has dealt with claims like yours before. Our Victoria Roy has been working in cruise law since 2010.
- How knowledgable are they on cruise law? The law that applies to cruise ship accident claims is a complex mixture of state, federal, foreign and international law. Whereas general personal injury lawyers may only have one or two cruise ship accident files, we work in this niche area every day. Plus our Victoria Roy trains other lawyers in this area. If you want a knowledgable lawyer, look no further!
- Will they deal with your claim personally, or delegate it to less qualified staff? All of our clients’ cases are dealt with solely by Victoria Roy, no exceptions! We are proud to be a small firm, and give all of our clients a personalised service. We will treat you like a person, not a file number.
- What do they charge? We fund cruise ship accident compensation claims on a No Win No Fee basis, so you will not have to pay for our work if you don’t win your case. Plus, by embracing technology and having low overheads, we are able to provide expert legal advice at a very competitive hourly rate.
- Do you like them? Clients and lawyers have to work together to get the best results. You need to feel heard, valued and understood. Our Victoria Roy is compassionate, immensely likeable and explains what’s happening in your case in plain English. Find out more about her here. Better still, book a free no-obligation initial appointment with her. If you don’t think we’re the right fit for you after talking to us, we won’t be offended.