Your Ticket: A Restrictive Legal Contract Most cruise passengers don’t read the terms and conditions printed on their cruise vouchers. But these vouchers are carefully written legal contracts, filled with some restrictions that may surprise you. Law firms that represent passengers hurt on cruise ships believe these terms are severely one-sided in favor of the cruise company. Shute v. Carnival Cruise Lines In 1991, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling declared the venue restrictions specified in cruise contracts legal. At that time, Carnival Cruise Lines said that any claims against them had to be litigated in Miami. After the ruling, all the other cruise companies added the same venue restrictions to their terms. That’s why, when you need a skilled and experienced cruise ship lawyer, you should look in Miami. Will a Trial Be Necessary? A trial is not always necessary to be compensated after being injured on a cruise. In fact, around 80% of lawsuits, including cruise lawsuits, are settled before trial. However, you can be assured that cruise lines won’t go out of their way to be accommodating. That’s why you must work with a cruise law firm that knows how cruise lines operate and how to stand up to them. Cruise Lines Expect You to Give Up People who try to work directly with cruise lines usually find that they get no response at all, or they get a seemingly sympathetic response at a late enough date that the statute of limitations passes before the cruise company can be held responsible. You have one year from the time of the accident to pursue a cruise company. Trying to work directly with the company is usually a waste of time. You Don’t Have to Back Down This is not to say that you cannot prevail against a cruise company in court. A cruise ship lawyer with experience going up against these companies knows their strategies and tactics and knows how to deal with them. Many aspects of cruise terms are not based on U.S. law, but on maritime law and international treaties, and to succeed against a cruise company, you have to have legal representation with the right experience and skills.