Cruise ship accidents are a common experience on the many cruise ships that sail from the Port of Miami and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Cruise ship accidents and claims involve an area of maritime law that pertains only to cruise ships. Although most of the general maritime law has general application to cruise ship accidents and matters, there are some special laws only applicable to cruise ships. An example is when cruise lines insert special provisions into their passenger ticket or contract of carriage (which are authorized by United States federal statutes) that shorten the time within which a passenger may file law suit against the cruise line to one year.
Such a special statute of limitation is extremely short as compared to the normal statute of limitations for admiralty and maritime matters which is three years. Another example is that cruise lines may also designate, within their passenger ticket or contract of carriage, the only location where they can be sued. This designation is called a forum selection clause. Victims of cruise ship accidents should hire a skilled and experienced cruise ship injury lawyer to properly prosecute his or her case especially when considering all of the special laws that apply to the cruise ship industry.