Know the Forum Selection Clause in Cruise Ship Ticket Contracts

For almost two decades now, the cruising industry has continued to be a very lucrative business as the number of passengers only increases every year, already having at least 11 million passengers in the United States alone. Two major reasons that would explain the continuous growth in the cruising business are the exotic and beautiful cruise destinations and the major improvements on cruise ships, improvement that turn these into mini cities that ensure not only perfect fun but total comfort too.

Many of today’s cruise ships provide great fun and enjoyment, so that just being on one is already an experience to cherish. To make time at sea perfectly great, many cruise ships feature on board a duty free shop, bars, pubs and nightclubs, buffet restaurants, an aqua health spa fitness center, hair and beauty salon, indoor and/or outdoor swimming pool with water slides, cinemas, casino, gym, basketball courts, pool tables, ping pong tables, and other sports facilities, a library, a mini golf course, wall climbing and zip line facilities, and so forth. There is no doubt about the fun and adventure that a cruise holiday can deliver, provided that no tragedy occurs which can turn a jaunty experience into a nightmarish one.

Though cruise ship tragedies rarely occur, the effects can be devastating if one ever happens. While the usually identified causes of sea accidents are hurricanes, sea storms, rogue waves, collision with another sea vessel, running aground, striking an iceberg, attack by sea pirates, virus outbreak and fire, the most common injurious accident is slip and fall.

Slip and fall accidents can occur on the ship, on piers while a ship is docked, or during excursions on land, particularly while passengers transfer to the tender boat which will transport them to land. A tender boat is a ships’ boat service – it definitely provides lots of benefits but, sadly, causes a number of injuries to passengers too. Due to its small size (it can usually accommodate about 100 to 150 passengers plus about three crew members) a tender boat can easily be swayed by waves, making boarding or getting off it quite dangerous. In some instances, passengers have slipped, sustaining a leg or back injury, or falling off into the sea. In another situation, a tender boat was reported as having sped off from the dock, with its rope still tied to the cleat, causing its bitt (a post on a boat where cables or ropes are tied) to break loose, propel through the air, hit and cause serious injury to a passenger.

A slip and fall that can also cause mild to serious back injuries. In the event of an accident, however, filing a civil lawsuit for the compensation that a victim is legally allowed to receive is not simple. This is because besides the statute of limitation, or the duration of time within which a lawsuit will need to be filed, there is also the concern of jurisdiction, which means where a lawsuit may be filed.

Cruise ships indicate in their ticket contract the forum selection clause, which identifies the only place where a lawsuit may be filed; many cruise liners name the US District Court (in the Southern District of Florida) for this concern. If the accident occurred on land, during a shore excursion, however, then the details leading to the filing of a lawsuit can change altogether. Thus, due to the complexity and unique conditions of the maritime law, being represented by a cruise ship slip and fall injury attorney Louis A. Vucci, PA may be an absolute necessity, especially if the injured victim is not a resident of the state where the lawsuit has to be filed.

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Available Damages In A Defective Product Claim

When a product is sold in the market, it is assumed that it is safe for use by consumers. Manufacturers have the responsibility to ensure that their products are tested thoroughly before being sold. If found unsafe, they also have a duty to inform the public about such defects and then pull out the product in the market.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case most of the times. Even if their product is defective, manufacturers still continue to sell their products without any warning to consumers. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, defective products can result to serious injuries. The good news is that it is possible to recover damages from the manufacturer for any injury they caused. Let us breakdown the available damages you can get from a product liability case:

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory or actual damages are designed to compensate the plaintiff for their injuries. The sum of money helps the injured individual return to the condition they were in prior to the injury. Although it is unlikely for the plaintiff to return to their previous condition, the sum of money they will receive is considered as the “equivalent” to the value of the injury.

Compensatory damages shoulders economic and non-economic losses. The former refers to money or property that the plaintiff lost or missed out as a result of their injury. This includes medical expenses, cost of disability, or loss of wages or profits. Non-economic losses, on the other hand, refer to aspects of injury that are difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium.

Collateral Sources

In most states, there are laws that awards damages through deduction from money received by the injured person from health insurance and medical insurance providers. Some states also provide benefits such as income disability, Social Security, and worker’s compensation.

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