Shore excursions are one of the highlights of a great cruise. Whether you are visiting a port for the first time or have been there on previous cruises, there is always a new experience waiting for you on land.
Cruise lines spoil cruise passengers for choice with the ship-sponsored shore excursions that they offer. Part of the magic of cruising is browsing through the cruise line’s website, daily newsletter and excursion desk information to plan your land activities.
If you are injured during a ship-sponsored shore excursion, cruise lines often argue that the excursion was provided by an independent contractor and try to deny liability. However an experienced shore excursion accident lawyer can help you win the compensation that you deserve from the cruise line .
What happens if I’m hurt on a shore excursion?
If you have been hurt in a shore excursion accident, we recommend that you do these 3 things:
- Seek medical treatment. This is important both for your health and to record your injuries. If it is an emergency, seek medical treatment on land with the help of your excursion guide or port agent. Otherwise return to the ship and attend the ship’s infirmary.
- Report the shore excursion accident to your excursion guide and ship’s crew. Tell your excursion guide about the accident immediately. If they have accident report forms, fill one out and take a photo of it for your records. Once back on board, notify guest services about your shore excursion accident. Make a written report and ask for a copy or take a photo of it.
- Take photographs and videos of what caused your shore excursion accident and the surrounding area. It is very hard to return to the location of a shore excursion accident. Photographs and videos of what caused your accident can be crucial evidence if you later decide to see a shore excursion accident lawyer to bring a compensation claim.
For more tips, download our free checklist 10 Things You Must Do After A Cruise Ship Accident as many of these tips also apply to shore excursion accidents.
What types of shore excursion accidents can you help with?
The majority of shore excursion accidents that we come across are bus accidents involving tour buses. However we are experienced in various types of shore excursion accident and can help with the following:
- Tour bus crashes
- Minor tour bus accidents
- Slips and falls on tender boats to / from a shore excursion
- Adventure experience accidents, such as helicopter flights, skydiving, and horse riding
- Diving accidents
- Slips, trips and falls at restaurants and cultural experiences
Whether you were injured in a high adrenaline or relaxing shore excursion, we can help because the legal principals of bringing a claim are the same.
Can I bring a claim for my shore excursion accident if I signed a waiver?
Just because you signed a waiver does not necessarily mean that you cannot bring a compensation claim for your shore excursion accident. A waiver has to be properly incorporated into your contract, and worded in a way that is permitted under legislation.
We have brought successful compensation claims for countless injured people who had previously signed waivers.
Should I complain to the cruise line about a shore excursion accident?
Yes, we recommend that you make a complaint to the cruise line after your shore excursion accident.
A written report is important evidence of the shore excursion accident. It also a condition in many cruise lines’ contracts in order to bring a compensation claim.
For help writing a complaint letter, download our free Guide To Successful Holiday Complaints
The cruise line says the excursion was provided by an independent contractor. Can I still bring a claim?
We are frequently faced with this defence from cruise lines.
Many passengers are surprised to learn that even though they have purchased their shore excursion through the cruise line’s website or onboard excursion desk and been issued cruise line branded tickets, the shore excursion was actually provided by an independent contractor.
Ship-sponsored shore excursions are a lucrative sideline for cruise lines. Cruise lines therefore heavily promote ship-sponsored shore excursions with promises of safety and waiting for you if your bus returns late.
Even if a cruise line used an independent contractor for your shore excursion, they still have certain responsibilities towards you.
We are not daunted by cruise lines’ tactics to avoid liability. Our founder and principal solicitor Victoria Roy has brought successful compensation claims for passengers just like you who have been injured in shore excursion accidents.
Can you help if I was injured in an independent shore excursion?
Yes, if you were injured in an independent rather than ship-sponsored shore excursion, it is still possible to bring a compensation claim.
What laws apply to shore excursion accident claims?
There is no simple answer to this question. The legal principles that apply to shore excursion accident claims are complicated.
There are various considerations such as:
- The country that your shore excursion accident occurred in
- How you booked the shore excursion
- Where you booked the shore excursion
- The booking terms and conditions of your shore excursion contract and cruise contract
- Whether the Australian Consumer Law can apply to your claim by establishing a sufficient connection with Australia
Claims for shore excursion accidents are often too complex for general personal injury lawyers.
We are expert cruise lawyers and work in this niche field every day. We understand how cruise lines’ booking terms and conditions and subcontracts work. Our founder and principal solicitor Victoria Roy has brought countless successful claims against cruise lines and knows their tactics.
We would be happy to explain the complexities of the law as it applies to your specific case. Whilst this is ‘our thing’, we appreciate that it might not be yours! If that’s the case, leave the legal work to us and we will push on with fighting the cruise line for the compensation you deserve for your shore excursion accident.
Do I have to go to court to get compensation for a shore excursion accident?
In our experience, cruise lines are mindful of the expense and risk of defending a claim in court, and are open to attempting settlement first.
In some cases it is necessary to commence court proceedings. The court will then set a timetable for the claim, including ordering you and the cruise line to have settlement discussions.
Almost all shore excursion accident claims settle. It is rare for a shore excursion accident claim to go all the way to trial / hearing.
The cruise line that I booked with is foreign. Can I still bring a shore excursion accident claim?
Whether they realise it or not, most Australians cruise with foreign companies.
If you booked your domestic or international cruise in Australia, either independently or through a travel agent, you are generally able to bring a claim against a foreign cruise line in Australia for a ship-sponsored shore excursion accident.
If in your particular case it is not possible to bring the claim in Australia, we can help you sue them overseas in conjunction with trusted expert cruise lawyers abroad.
Where do I have to bring a shore excursion accident claim?
Where you have to bring a claim for a ship-sponsored shore excursion depends on the booking terms and conditions of your cruise contract.
For most Australian passengers, cruise line booking terms and conditions require claims to be brought in New South Wales. We are based in Sydney. We use technology and serviced offices to offer our services to injured cruise passengers across Australia.
If your booking terms and conditions require you to bring a claim in a foreign country, we can still help you. We work with expert cruise lawyers around the world who we know personally, to fight for justice for you.
What time limits apply to shore excursion accident claims?
The first time limit that might apply to your shore excursion accident claim is to send a written complaint within a few weeks of the accident. This will be stipulated in your booking terms and conditions.
If it is not possible to settle your shore excursion accident claim informally, the deadline to bring court proceedings is generally 3 years for cruises sold in Australia. However, the deadline could potentially be as short as 6 months depending on where your shore excursion accident occurred.
Given the complexities of the law and the potentially short deadlines, we recommend that you get advice from an expert cruise lawyer as soon as possible after your shore excursion accident.
How do I choose a shore excursion accident lawyer?
Choosing the right shore excursion accident lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make when pursuing a claim.
We recommend that you ask yourself the following 5 questions when you do your research:
- What experience do they have? Shore excursion accident claims are complex. Our founder and principal solicitor Victoria Roy first began acting for cruise passengers in 2010, and has probably helped a client in a shore excursion just like yours.
- How knowledgable are they on the law? Shore excursion accident claims aren’t easy and require in depth knowledge of a myriad of laws. A shore excursion accident claim might only cross a general compensation lawyer’s desk once or twice in their career. We keep up to date with the law as we work in this niche area every day. Our Victoria Roy also teaches cruise law to other lawyers. If you want a knowledgable shore excursion accident lawyer, you’ve come to the right place!
- Will they deal with your shore excursion accident claim personally, or delegate it to less qualified staff? We are proud to be a small firm. We don’t have a call centre, or a bank of secretaries or paralegals to screen your call. All of our clients’ cases are looked after by Victoria Roy personally. You therefore receive her expert legal services from day one to the end of your claim.
- What do they charge? We fund all ship-sponsored shore excursion accident compensation claims on a No Win No Fee basis. If you were injured in an independent excursion, No Win No Fee agreements might not be permissible in the jurisdiction where you had your accident. However your claim is funded, our rate is very competitive compared to other personal injury law firms.
- Do you like them? In order to get the best result for your shore excursion accident claim, you need a solid relationship with your lawyer. Good rapport is essential. You need to feel like a real person, not just another case. You need to feel at ease to ask any question that might crop up along the way. Our Victoria Roy is approachable, empathetic and genuinely cares about her clients. To learn more about her, click here. Better still, instantly arrange a free no-obligation initial appointment with her at a time that suits you.