Johnstone Carroll, LLC
Always a Free Initial Consultation
F. Inge Johnstone
Pursuing Justice for the Injured

Cruise Ships Return to Mobile

For the first time since 2011, cruise ships will be returning to Alabama. Cruise ships are now making Mobile a scheduled stop, a boon to the local economy and an opportunity for residents to begin cruises closer to home. Cruises promise relaxation, entertainment, plenty of food and interesting ports of call. Most of the time, that is exactly what a cruise customer receives, but cruise ship injuries are not uncommon.

Cruise ship law is complicated. The accident usually occurs in a foreign country or its territorial waters, and the ship is sailing under a particular country's flag - rarely that of the United States. Along with determining jurisdiction, it is crucial to ascertain who is liable for the incident. Liability may fall on the cruise line or an excursion operator - possibly both. That is why it is essential to have lawyers experienced in maritime law handling your case.

Injuries, Illnesses and Crimes

Not only are tourists hurt on cruise lines, they may also get very sick because of food poisoning or infectious disease. Unfortunately, some passengers become crime victims. In either instance, the cruise line may be held liable. Cruise ship and related injuries include:

  • Catastrophic events onboard, including fire
  • Drowning
  • Slip and fall
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Medical negligence
  • Shore excursion accidents - including tour bus and motor vehicle accidents

If a passenger becomes seriously ill while on a cruise, it is necessary to determine whether the cruise line is liable. If a large number of fellow passengers contract a similar illness, making the case is easier. Illnesses found on cruise ships for which the operators may be held liable include:

  • Food poisoning
  • Norovirus - severe stomach flu, frequently occurring on cruises
  • Legionnaire's disease - a potentially fatal illness caused by the bacteria Legionella pneumophila. This bacterium thrives in warm water, but hot water kills it. An outbreak on a cruise ship is generally the result of poor maintenance of swimming pools, spas or the heating system.

Passengers could also become victims of assault, rape or even murder, either by a fellow passenger or a crew member. These horrible experiences often occur because the cruise line's security is inadequate or negligent. U.S. maritime law protects you, and you may bring suit against a defendant for your pain and suffering.

Time Limits

You probably don't bother to read the fine print on your cruise ship tickets. If you did peruse this information, you would discover that cruise lines impose strict restrictions on when a passenger may file an injury claim. An injured party must file provide the cruise line notice of their claim within 180 days, and must file any lawsuit within one year of the incident. That is why time is of the essence in contacting a maritime attorney after a cruise ship accident. There is only a small window of time in which to protect your legal rights.

Contact an Attorney Serving Alabama

If you or a loved one is injured in a maritime accident, you need the services of a skilled personal injury attorney in Alabama. Call our law firm today at 205-383-1809. We will evaluate your case and advise you of your options going forward.

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Johnstone Carroll, LLC
2204 Lakeshore Drive 
Suite 303
Homewood, AL 35209
Phone: 205-383-1809
Fax: 888-759-3882
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