Cruise Ship & Boating Accidents

The east coast of Florida is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and South Florida is generally filled with waterways of all sizes. Miami, Florida in particular is home to the Port of Miami, which is the largest cruise ship port in the entire world and has been so for more than two decades. Additionally, Port Everglades, found in Fort Lauderdale, north of Miami, is the third largest cruise port in the United States. This allows for a tremendous amount of boating traffic in the area and in turn numerous boating and cruise ship accidents.

Cruise ships are intended to be safe, fun, and relaxing vacations that offer a plethora of activities, shopping and sun for all ages. However, with the hundreds of cruises coming and leaving each day, and the thousands of passengers on board each cruise, accidents are a common occurrence.

Cruise ship operators, such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises and their respective employees owe a duty of reasonable care to passengers. This means that they must protect passengers from dangers that occur during the cruise. For example, the employees of a cruise ship are obligated to keep the decks dry or provide warnings that an area may be wet. Failure to do may result in liability for the cruise line operators and owners. Additionally, cruise ship operators must care for their employees, and thus may be liable should an employee be injured while onboard.

There are many different types of cruise ship and boating incidents of which the owner, operator and/ or some other individual or corporation may be held liable. These include negligent operation accidents, traditional slip and falls, contaminated food cases and recreational activity accidents. Accidents may differ on the duties of care and standards of liability depending on the specific facts of each case, and on whether it is a cruise ship, privately owned vessel or a commercial vessel accident.

It is important to note that because of the special laws that apply off shores, it is essential to contact an attorney promptly should a cruise or boating accident occur. Traditionally, the law requires that cruise ship operators be contacted within six months following an accident.

Our firm, Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. handles all types of boating and cruise ship accidents. Please contact us at 305-445-1111 if we can be of assistance to you.

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