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I was hurt in an accident on a cruise ship while overseas, but the cruise started in New York. Will the location of the ship when I was hurt affect my potential claim?

Yes. The location of a ship when an accident occurs is one of the main complicating factors among cruise ship accidents that lead to injury. Cruise ships travel under a variety of laws, including international maritime law, U.S. law, laws that apply where the ship is located and laws of the country where the ship is registered. Cruise line operators count on this jumble of law to hinder passengers’ legal claims.

Individual ships fly the flag of the country where they are registered, and, in general, the laws of that country apply aboard that ship. This is sometimes known as adopting a “flag of convenience.” Meanwhile, passengers are protected by international maritime law, which makes a cruise line liable for injuries to passengers, and by additional laws that apply to ships that leave U.S. ports.

Part of the problem is that foreign countries may not provide protections that U.S. law would provide to a passenger who has been injured in an accident or assault. In most cases, it is unlikely that an injured passenger understands even the basics of a foreign country’s law. At the time of their injury, they are at the mercy of local officials and the ship’s crew. Afterward, they find themselves trying to get answers from an international conglomerate that owns the ship.

But, if you contact a Cohen & Jaffe cruise ship negligence lawyer, our knowledgeable attorneys can untangle the web of laws that apply to your case. If negligence on the part of the ship’s crew or the cruise line company contributed to your injuries and loss, we’ll help you pursue a claim.

Posted in: Cruise Ship Accident FAQs