Cruise ship landing in Houston was a short-lived experiment that has faded away, but there are still plenty of cruises coming in and out of nearby Galveston. With cruise ship traffic close by, A Houston Maritime Lawyer could stay busy. As long as there are cruise ships, there will be injuries both to crews and passengers. Of course, cruise ships will try their hardest to protect themselves, and have their own team of expert lawyers helping them. This is just one reason you need a Houston Maritime Lawyer if you have been injured on a cruise ship,
Be aware that just because you may live in Houston, and the accident may have even occurred in Houston, that is no guarantee that is where you have to file a lawsuit. There are a lot of laws that come into play, not the least of which is Maritime Law, which is its own discipline of law. Sometimes you have to file a claim in the port city of the owner of the ship, and that could even be in a different country.
Laws governing ships are very different. Where you file can be complicated, and you may not have as long as you think, as the statute of limitations may be different for cruise ships than it is for on land. Some cruise ships have a requirement that you file a notice of intent to sue even before you file a suit. A Houston Maritime Lawyer can help wade through the complicated waters, and perhaps even negotiate a settlement before it gets to court.
Part of the reason it gets so complicated is that when you are out on the ocean, you may no longer be in American waters. This brings international law into play, and if you are in another country, or your ship is from another country, that country’s laws may also come into play. Even states within the United States can have laws that could affect your case.
The ship’s crew may also have its own set of laws as well. There is the Jones Act, which governs American ships at sea, it requires boats going from one port to another within the United States, be owned and operated by Americans. It also provides protection for employees of ships, if you are an employee of a cruise ship and have been injured due to negligence on part of the owner, you may be able to sue under the Jones Act.
The laws are complicated as you can see, and the ships themselves create even more complications with the agreements they get you to sign when you take a cruise. Ordinarily there is a waiver in the fine print, aimed at relieving the ship of liability if there is an accident. These can also apply to excursions you might take on land while on the cruise.