Cruise ships introduce interesting and
challenging legal issues for the unwary
when it comes to personal injury. Tickets
for a cruise will impose forum clauses that
place restrictions on where an injury action
can be brought.

That means a plaintiff submits to the
jurisdiction of the state where the cruise
ship maintains its corporate offices (not to
be confused with flag registry, which is
where the vessel itself is registered). Many
cruise ship lines have their offices in
Florida, which is where the lawsuit would
need to be brought. I am able to handle
such cases through arrangements I have
with local counsel in Florida.

Additionally, the tickets impose much
shorter statutes of limitation than those
used in the general maritime law of the
United States. A cruise ship ticket can
stipulate a one year statute of limitations as
opposed to the three year general maritime
law statute for negligence. A ticket may
further impose that notice of claim be made
within a short time period (sometimes six
As most cruise ships are not registered in the United States, they have foreign officers and
crews. Many cruise ships sail under the flags of the Bahamas, Liberia, Panama, and other
nations that offer more attractive registry terms than the United States. As such, foreign flag
cruise lines enjoy tax advantages over U.S. flag lines as well as labor advantages, and legal
advantages such as non-existence of Jones Act coverage for officers and crew. While those
elements of foreign registry may not hold interest for the typical passenger, passengers should
be aware that doctors on cruise ships might not be licensed in the United States. This is not to
suggest that a foreign doctor is not the equal in competency or compassion to his or her U.S.
counterpart. However, this issue could become relevant in a medical malpractice action.
Another aspect of using foreign crews is that following a case involving rape or sexual assault,
the victimized passenger may find the perpetrator long gone, back home in different continent,
far from the jurisdictional reach of U.S. courts.

The vast majority of cruise travelers enjoy a high quality vacation for their money, but as with
anything, injuries can happen. Injuries can result from slips and falls, fires, being struck by
objects falling from a higher deck, being struck by golf balls, food poisoning, assault by crew
members or other passengers, and others. If you’ve been injured on a cruise ship and would
like to learn more about your rights, call me. The consultation is free and confidential.
Cruise Ship Accidents - Injuries on Cruise Ships - Cruise Passenger Rights
Injured on a Cruise Ship - Legal Questions for Cruise Ship Passengers - Maritime Law and the Cruise Ship Injury
Would you know what to do if you were involved in a
cruise ship accident? Click  
What To Do If You Are
Involved in a Cruise Ship Accident .

Read this legal information which answers many
frequently asked questions about cruise ship
accidents... and you'll know what to do if you're injured
on a cruise ship.
Click Cruise Ship Law
that outlines the
different ways for
passengers to become
injured in a cruise ship
accident. The cruise
ship can sink. There
can be an outbreak of
food poisoning. The
ship can encounter
extreme weather that it
had the opportunity to
avoid. A passenger can
slip and fall on the a
deck, indoors or
outdoors (below decks
or above decks), or a
passenger can fall on a
U.S. Coast Guard Districts

First District
Office: Boston, MA
Maine, New Hampshire,
Vermont, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, Connecticut,
parts of New York and New

Contact Information
408 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts
Phone: (800) 368-5647


Fifth District
Office: Portsmouth, VA
North Carolina, Virginia,
District of Columbia,
Maryland, Delaware, parts
of Pennsylvania and New

Contact Information
431 Crawford Street
Portsmouth, Virginia
Phone: (757) 398- 6486


Seventh District
Office: Miami, FL
South Carolina, Florida, part
of Georgia, the Panama
Canal Zone, Puerto Rico,
U.S. Naval Reservations in
the West Indies and north
coast of South America.

Contact Information
909 SE 1st Avenue
Miami, Florida 33131-3050
Phone: (305) 415-6730


Eighth District
Office: New Orleans, LA
North Dakota, South Dakota,
Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa,
Colorado, Kansas, Missouri,
Kentucky, West Virginia,
Tennessee, Arkansas,
Oklahoma, New Mexico,
Texas, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Alabama, and
parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Florida, Georgia
and Gulf of Mexico

Contact Information
500 Pydras Street
New Orleans, Louisiana
Phone: (504) 589-6277


Ninth District
Office: Cleveland, OH
Michigan, and parts of New
York, Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin,

Contact Information
1240 East Ninth Street
Cleveland, OH 44199-2060
Phone: (216) 902-6073
Eleventh District
District office: Alameda,
Covers Arizona, Utah,
Nevada, California

Contact Information
Coast Guard Island Building
Alameda, CA 94501-5100
Phone: (510) 437-2970


Thirteenth District
District office: Seattle,
Covers Washington, Oregon,
Idaho, and Montana and parts
of contiguous Pacific Ocean

Contact Information
915 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174-1067
Phone: (206) 220-7280

Fourteenth District
District office: Honolulu, Hawaii
Covers Hawaii and certain
U.S. island possessions in the

Contact Information:
300 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96850-4982
Phone: (808) 541-2316 Day
(808) 842-2600 Night

Seventeenth District
District office: Juneau, Alaska
Covers Alaska and parts of
the Pacific and Arctic Ocean.

Contact Information:
P.O. Box 25517
Juneau, AK 99802-5517
Phone: (907) 463-2269 Day
(907) 463-2004 Night





© February 2005 by Tim Akpinar
All Rights Reserved

The contents of this website may not be copied or transmitted without
the prior written consent of Tim Akpinar
(718) 224-9824

250-02 Northern Blvd - Suite 200
Little Neck, New York 11363

P.O. Box 620766
Little Neck, New York 11362
In the wake of the
Costa Concordia
accident, IMO's
Maritime Safety
measures to help
protect the safety of
cruise ship
Maritime law
addresses the issue of
a cruise ship
passenger's right to
videotape their
independent medical
examination on shore
(long after the ship's
In May, 2013, Cruise
Lines International
Association (CLIA)
announced that its Board
of Directors approved
adoption of a “Cruise
Industry Passenger Bill of
Rights,” which addresses
issues about the safety,
comfort and care of
cruise ship passengers.
This follows other
measures dealing with
cruise ship passenger
safety, comfort and care
include the creation of an
industry-wide Operational
Safety Review in 2012.
This resulted in adopting
ten safety-related policies
that were submitted to
the International Maritime
Organization (IMO), the
initiation of a
Preparedness Risk
Assessment in March
2013 to review and
address redundancies
related to power
systems, and successful
completion of a multi-day
emergency drill involving
authorities from the U.S.
and Bahamian
governments. The drills
were led by the U.S.
Coast Guard.
YouTube Video outlines some of the issues that confront
cruise ship passenger plaintiffs in the prosecution of a
claim for serious injuries that arise on a vessel. Click the
link at right with the photo of the bow of a cruise ship.

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See other latest maritime - maritime law news.
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