|What Laws Does Cruise Ship Follow?|
Why Are Cruise Ship Laws and Jurisdiction So Complex to Understand and Adhere To?
One of the main reasons that investigating and prosecuting crime at a cruise ship can be more challenging because the maritime jurisdiction and laws are the least updated and untouched of the legal sector. In some countries, maritime and ship laws are decades and even a hundred years older.
Moreover, lawsuits over accidents or crime occurring aboard ships are filed in specific courts that are selected by cruise lines. The victims have to file a lawsuit within 1 year of personal injury. Also, the cruise lines must provide a written claim within a half year of the incident.
Thereby, navigating through the whole lawsuit filed over a cruise ship incident can be very complex, even after hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Cruise Ship Laws
A cruise ship crew owes its passengers safe transportation from one destination to another but the passengers have an equal chance of getting robbed, injured, sexually assaulted and killed on a cruise ship as on the land.
People that have an encounter with the onboard robbers or have gotten into some accident on a cruise ship can file a lawsuit against the cruise shipowner or the cruise line. They can also file a compensation claim case against the operator who had sold them the ticket to that cruise ship.
However, these claims subject to cruise ship laws.
The below passage highlights some important cruise ship laws where they may be applicable while filing a case.
Cruise ships that you see now on international waters have different countries’ flags on it. These flags are the sign that the vessels on these cruises are inspected under the laws of all the particular countries. SOLAS, an international regulatory system regulates fire safety equipment, fire-fighting equipment, crew competency, vessel control, navigation safety, watercraft stability, environmental management, and safety management.
On all the U.S vessels, the crew and operators of the cruise ship must comply with the SOLAS regulations as these laws set standards for sea training and experience.
Duty of Care Owed to Cruise Line Passengers
As discussed earlier, the crew and the cruise company owe its passengers a safe journey from one destination to another. They have a heightened duty on their shoulders to protect their passengers from physical harm. They also have to ensure that the voyagers reach their final destination safely.
There’s one special duty of care-owed crew and that is to protect them from rape attacks, assault attacks and another life-threatening attack from all the crew members.
Whenever a cruise line receives a missing passenger’s report, it is the crew duty to start a search operation for that person on the vessel. If that person is not found on the vessel, the vessel must go back to the location where the person was seen last.
If a cruise line does not start a reasonable search operation for that person, then it must be held liable and accountable for the passenger’s disappearance.
Cruise Ship Injuries Compensation Claim
Passengers might also get injured onboard. They have a right to sue the cruise line for getting well-deserved compensation for lost wages, medical bills and property damage. However, the case would be governed by the maritime laws mentioned on the cruise ticket.
Cruise ships have a forum selection clause and maritime laws printed at the back of their tickets. However, if a passenger does not file a lawsuit and does not abide by the cruise ship laws and regulations, such as creating a conflict or contract with a cruise line crew member, then the cruise line might refuse to hear the suit out.
Cruise ships law enforcement requires the injured passenger to provide written notice of injury to the cruise line within 6 months or else, the court would dismiss the suit. Usually, the time for the written notice by cruise ship laws and regulations is 3 years but under the Miami and Florida cruise ship laws, it is only 1 year.
Jones Act covers the cruise ship law enforcement for employees. If an employee gets an injury during his course of employment and that too onboard, then this seaman is entitled to have compensation money to cover his medical bills and lost wages.