Holland America Line Passenger Injuries
If you are injured while on a Holland America Line cruise, it’s important that you understand that cruise injury cases are different than other land-based personal injury cases. Special contractual rules govern the time period to bring a personal injury claim against Holland America Line and where the claim must be brought. The extent that you will be able to recover damages for your injuries will be determined by general maritime law and the cruise tour contract with Holland America Line. As a result, it’s important that you consult with a maritime injury lawyer that has experience with claims against Holland America Line.
Injuries occur on Holland America Line ships during a variety of circumstances, including transfers to and from the tender vessels that take passengers to shore, due to unsafe conditions on the ship, as a result of slippery surfaces on deck, due to the negligence of crew members, and many other conditions. Whether you will be able to make a recovery will depend on the precise circumstances of your injury.How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?
Personal injury claims against Holland America Line must be filed in Seattle federal court within one year of your injury. You must also notify Holland America Line in writing of the claim within 6 months of the injury. Only a lawyer admitted to practice in federal court in Seattle can file a lawsuit for you. The maritime injury lawyers of Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC have been handling personal injury claims against Holland America Line for decades and are ready to assist you. Although claims must be filed within one year in federal court in Seattle, it’s important that you contact our firm as soon as possible so that we may take action to protect your rights and preserve any important evidence or witness testimony.Why Do I Need a Seattle Lawyer?
The cruise tour contract that Holland America Line provided when you purchased your ticket lays out important limitations on your right to bring a claim. The cruise tour contract provides that you must file your case in federal court in Seattle within one year and that you must provide Holland America Line notice of your injury within 6 months. To file a lawsuit in federal court in Seattle, your lawyer must be admitted to practice in the Western District of Washington.What is Holland America Line’s Duty to Its Passengers?
A cruise ship owner or operator owes those aboard its vessel a duty of "reasonable care under the circumstances of each case." Kermarec v. Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, 358 U.S. 625, 632, 79 S. Ct. 406, 3 L. Ed. 2d 550 (1959). Because a ship owner's duty depends on the circumstances, it "may be a very high degree of care [or] something less." Catalina Cruises, Inc. v. Luna, 137 F.3d 1422, 1425 (9th Cir. 1998) (quoting Rainey v. Paquet Cruises, Inc., 709 F.2d 169, 170-71 (2d Cir. 1983)). Factors courts consider in determining the scope of Holland America Line’s duty to a passenger include: (1) whether the danger plaintiff encountered was peculiar to maritime travel; (2) Holland America Line’s degree of control over the passenger at the time of the injury; and (3) Holland America Line’s ability to take appropriate precautions to protect the passenger. Kamens v. Holland Am. Line, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47491, 6-7 (W.D. Wash. May 12, 2010); see also Smith v. S. Gulf Marine Co. No. 2, Inc., 791 F.2d 416, 421 (5th Cir. 1986); Kirk v. Holland Am. Line, Inc., 616 F. Supp. 2d 1101, 1104-05 (W.D. Wash. 2007) ("The 'totality of the circumstances' . . . includes such factors as whether the passengers had any clear alternatives and whether they were still being controlled by the cruise ship . . . ."); In re Catalina Cruises, Inc., 930 F. Supp. 1384, 1391 (C.D. Cal. 1996) (citing Smith, 791 F.2d at 421).How Do I Contact a Maritime Injury Lawyer in Seattle?
You may contact our law firm at 206.624.8844 to speak with an experienced cruise ship injury lawyer in Seattle. We offer a free initial consultation and will provide our legal opinion about the specific facts of your case and the availability of injury compensation.