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Attorney for Victims of Sexual Assault or Rape on a Cruise

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One of the most traumatic and upsetting things that can happen to any passenger or staff aboard a cruise ship is sexual assault. Cruise ships are supposed to provide fun vacations, and the staff and crew on the ship are responsible for maintaining safety and security. If they fail to do so, you may be entitled to sue them for the harm you faced from preventable assault, sexual assault, and rape.

At the end of the day, the most important priority for any staff or crew on a cruise ship should be the safety of the passengers. Employees or crew on the cruise liner who violate positions of trust and responsibility to take advantage of intoxicated passengers or overpower coworkers to absolutely violate those safety and security goals. In many cases, victims of this kind of violation can take the responsible staff and the cruise line to court.

If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted on a cruise ship by another passenger, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. Our attorneys for victims of sexual assault or rape by a cruise ship passenger may be able to help you with your case. Our lawyers will work diligently to investigate your case and hold the responsible parties accountable, fighting to get you financial compensation for the harm you faced. To schedule a free legal consultation on your case, call our law offices today at (866) 386-1762.

Suing a Cruise Ship for Rape by a Passenger

If you were sexually assaulted under the watch of the cruise ship’s crew and staff, they should be held accountable for the injuries and harm that you faced. Victims of sexual assault and rape might know that they are entitled to file a lawsuit against the individual who assaulted them, but they might not know that the cruise ship could also share responsibility for their harm.

Any injuries that happen on a cruise ship are governed by maritime law instead of the law of any particular state. U.S. maritime law applies to any ships that have a homeport in the United States. Most cruise ships keep their homeport in Miami, Florida, which means that your case likely needs to be filed in a federal court in Miami. Under maritime law, assaults, sexual assaults, and rape are highly illegal, and the individuals who perpetrate these acts can be held responsible through a lawsuit. Moreover, the shipowner and operator who fails to keep the victim safe can be sued as well.

“Negligent security” is one of the most common claims filed against cruise ships in these kinds of cases. Many cruise lines hire staff members that fail to keep passengers safe, even from other passengers. For instance, bartenders who continue to sell drinks to overly intoxicated passengers put them at risk for assault or injury. Security personnel who fail to stop passengers from dragging or carrying away intoxicated guests also fail to do their duty to keep people safe on cruise ships.

These are not risks that only the passengers face; other crew members and workers on ships also face the risk of sexual assault by passengers. Victims of rape and sexual assault who worked on the ship might also be able to sue their employer and the shipowner and operator for failing to keep them safe aboard the vessel.

Filing Lawsuits for Victims of Rape and Sexual Assault by Cruise Ship Crew

The staff and crew on a cruise ship owe passengers certain duties. The cruise company must do its best to take reasonable steps to keep its passengers safe from dangers like food poisoning, water contamination, ship safety risks, and security risks. When their own staff members betray these duties and actually cause injuries and security risks, the cruise ship might be responsible for the injuries.

This means that cruise ships can usually be held liable when their staff or crew commit serious offenses against passengers and other crew members. This could include instances of assault and battery as well as sexual assault or rape. The cruise ship’s negligent security, negligent hiring of dangerous crew, or failure to investigate and root out serial abusers on their ship is a serious problem on many cruise lines, and those companies should be held liable for what their staff does.

The individuals can also be held responsible for their actions. This means that any individual perpetrator can also be sued for sexual abuse committed aboard a ship.

Typically, these lawsuits are governed by maritime law. For cases involving ships from the U.S., this means filing your case in a federal court with jurisdiction over the case. In maritime lawsuits, you typically need to file your case where the ship’s home port is – which means Miami, Florida for most U.S. cruise liners.

Compensation for Rape and Sexual Assault on a Cruise Ship

If you were the victim of rape or sexual assault that occurred on a cruise ship, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This kind of case is, at its core, an injury claim, which allows you to receive damages for the medical bills and lost wages you faced from the injury. It also allows you to claim potentially substantial compensation for the pain and suffering you faced because of the assault.

Medical treatment may be necessary after a sexual assault. In many cases, these terrible acts are committed through force and violence, which may mean that you suffered injuries that need immediate medical attention after the assault. While a ship’s infirmary may be able to treat some of your injuries, you may need emergency transportation via helicopter or another boat to get you treatment onshore. This treatment is not always professional, especially if you are taken to another country. In many cases, you may need additional medical care once you get home, plus potential rehabilitation or physical therapy. All of these costs should be compensated by the responsible parties.

In some cases, injuries might prevent you from returning to work as well. During your recovery, you may be entitled to claim damages for the lost wages you faced. You may also claim ongoing damages for lost wages if you suffered long-term injuries that keep you from performing physical tasks at work or stop you from returning to work altogether.

Generally, you can also claim damages for pain and suffering in an injury lawsuit brought under maritime law. The pain and suffering in a sexual assault case are often extremely high, and the emotional distress and mental anguish of the incident is not something that is easily set aside. These damages might be substantial, potentially covering as much as the value of the medical bills and lost wages – or more, in serious cases.

These damages are typically paid by the parties that caused them. In some cases, the court might declare that the individual assailant is responsible for some share of these damages and the ship and cruise line are responsible for another share. Ultimately, you should be entitled to claim the full value of the damages you faced, and your lawyer can work toward getting you the compensation you deserve.

Medical Expenses

The damages for medical expenses can be high in a case like this. In some cases, surgery and immediate medical attention is required to treat injuries sustained during the assault, potentially including physical injuries from blows or strangulation. When you are injured on a cruise ship, you usually need to be brought to the closest hospital for treatment. This might mean seeking medical evacuation and suffering from a delay in care, potentially making the injuries worse and requiring more advanced treatment. Even with these expanded costs, you may be entitled to have the full value of your medical care compensated.

Lost Wages

The damages for lost wages differ from case to case. In some cases, you may not have suffered severe enough injuries to keep you out of work for very long. In other cases, physical injuries might lead to disabilities that mean you need to take an extended time off of work or take a lower-paying job with reduced work tasks. In any case, you may be entitled to claim the damages for any lost wages or reduced earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

Damages for pain and suffering can be the most severe part of any sexual assault lawsuit. Victims of sexual assault may face physical pain and discomfort, but the mental effects may be more severe. Treating mental anguish and emotional distress might require therapy and mental health intervention, which can be compensated alongside medical expenses. However, the pain and suffering itself can also be compensated as part of a lawsuit.

Who Pays Damages?

In many cases, injuries caused by an on-duty employee can be compensated by the employer. In the case of an assault committed by a crew member while on duty, the ship and cruise line might be required to pay your damages. In cases where the individual assailant was off duty but the crew’s negligent security or other issues contributed to the injuries, the court may split the damages among the assailant and the cruise line. Your attorney can help you determine how these damages should be paid and how much you can claim.

Call Our Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Victim Lawyers

If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted on a cruise ship by a passenger, contact Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind immediately. Our attorneys for victims of rape and sexual assault committed by a cruise ship passenger may be able to take your case and fight to get you compensation from the individual who assaulted you as well as the cruise liner that failed to keep you safe. To learn more about how to file your claim and what your case might be worth, call our maritime law attorneys today at (866) 386-1762.

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