On a boat or ship, there is often nowhere to turn for safety or help except the other people on the boat or to Coast Guard patrols. If you are put into a dangerous situation, predatory individuals could commit rape or sexual assault against you.
Our Florida attorneys for victims of sexual assault on a boat fight for victims and help them seek justice for the harm they faced. The harm of sexual assault is often more than the physical aspects, and you could be entitled to compensation for PTSD symptoms and mental anguish related to the event. Our attorneys fight to hold boat owners, crewmembers, other passengers, and other assailants responsible for sexual assault on boats and ships. For a free consultation on your case, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (866) 386-1762.
Suing for Rape on a Boat in Florida
Many cases of sexual assault and rape are committed by someone the victim knows, potentially occurring at parties or dates on private boats. Party boats, yachts, and other vessels are often the site of sexual assault. In cases where the assailant specifically acted to get the victim intoxicated, drug the victim, or isolate them from help by taking them to a boat, the assailant is quite obviously at fault for intentional injuries and sexual assault – and the courts can hold them accountable.
When you sue someone for sexual assault, it can be filed as a civil case. This is separate from any criminal cases that might be filed against the assailant. Unlike a criminal case, a civil lawsuit focuses on the victim and what the court can do to help pay the victim. Instead of punishing the assailant – though “punitive damages” can be claimed in some cases – the goal is to make the assailant compensate the victim for their injuries and mental anguish.
Proving a Civil Lawsuit for Sexual Assault on a Boat or Ship in Florida
In many cases, victims fear coming forward and telling their story about rape and sexual assault because they fear they will not be believed. In some cases, the only evidence of what happened to the victim might be their own testimony. Many people fear that this will not be enough because the defendant simply denies the allegations. Ultimately, you only need to prove that it is “more likely than not” that your story was true to meet the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit for sexual assault. This standard is much more lenient for the victim than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases.
Your testimony about what happened will be the foundation of your case. However, “rape kits” and blood test results can also help scientifically back up claims of sexual assault. Many sexual assault cases also have other evidence that can help corroborate your story and make it more likely that a jury will agree with your side of the story:
- Testimony from friends or witnesses at a party
- Testimony that helps confirm your location at the date and time of the events
- Photos, videos, and geo-tagging information from a cell phone that helps prove your location or story
- Security camera footage at the marina or docks
- Statements made by the assailant to other people about the events in question
- Physical evidence of bruising, bleeding, or other trauma
Deadline for Filing a Claim for Sexual Assault on a Boat in Florida
In many cases, coming forward about your case is incredibly difficult. Because of this, many people wait until months or years after the event before they can even talk about it to another person, let alone discuss the matter in open court. As such, evidence and corroborating information might be lost, or peoples’ memories might begin to slip. Florida’s “statute of limitations” for sexual assault cases might cut off your right to sue after too long, so it is important that you at least talk to an attorney about trying to preserve your claim and filing it in court.
Under Florida law, there is no deadline for sexual assault lawsuits if you were under 16 years old at the time of the assault. For 16- or 17-year-old victims, the deadline to file your case is usually 7 years. For adults sexually assaulted on a boat in Florida, the deadline to file your case is usually 4 years.
In some cases, there might be laws that help you extend your filing deadline, but these laws rarely apply to these kinds of cases.
Damages for Sexual Assault on a Boat in Florida
If you were sexually assaulted, you could be entitled to compensation for any harms that resulted from the assault. This can include damages to punish the victim in some cases, potentially resulting in additional damages. Especially if the events on the boat constituted false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and other harms, you could be entitled to additional damages. Additional punitive damages can also be claimed in some cases where you sue an employer for sexual assault, such as the owner or operator of a yacht where you served as a crewmember.
In any case, damages for these kinds of claims often cover the cost of medical bills to treat any injuries related to the assault, any wages lost because of those injuries, any physical pain related to the assault, and any emotional and mental suffering related to the sexual assault. Talk to a lawyer for help calculating the damages in your case.
Call Our Injury Attorney for Victims of Sexual Assault on a Boat or Ship in Florida Waters
Unwanted sexual touching and rape are serious issues. Our Florida attorneys for victims of sexual assault on a boat aggressively pursue these cases in court, fighting to hold the assailant responsible and get our clients substantial compensation for the harm they faced. To schedule a free case consultation and to learn more about filing your claim, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today at (866) 386-1762.