If your loved one recently went missing while on a cruise, you may be shocked to learn that it is not an uncommon tragedy. Unfortunately, several passengers disappear while on cruise ships each year. That being said, it may comfort victims’ families to learn that they can often file a lawsuit to hold negligent cruise ships accountable.
On average, there are multiple cruise ship disappearances annually. The most common cause is thought to be passengers falling overboard and, unfortunately, violence. While cruise ships must report such information to the FBI and follow strict safety guidelines, negligence may contribute to your loved one’s disappearance. If a cruise ship is responsible for a passenger’s disappearance, a victim’s family may be able to file a lawsuit for damages to get justice for their disappeared loved one.
Our attorneys are dedicated to representing the families of disappeared cruise ship passengers. For a free case evaluation with the Miami cruise ship accident attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A., call us today at (305) 204-5369.
Annual Cruise Ship Disappearances
Unfortunately, the actual number of annual disappearances from cruise ships is unknown. It is estimated that over 200 passengers have gone missing within the past twenty years. When cruise ships don’t report missing persons to the FBI, it can be difficult to know the exact number of annual disappearances on cruise ships.
Starting in 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation began keeping an archive of cruise line incident reports. These reports contain information from various popular cruise lines that operate out of the United States, noting missing persons and other incidents. Under the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA), criminal activity on cruises must be reported to the FBI. The most recent statistics available are from early 2021.
Since 2018, seven people have been reported missing from cruise lines, according to archives provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The most recent suspicious death on a cruise ship happened between October and December of 2019.
In 2018, three people were reported missing by Carnival Cruise Lines. Both Holland America Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean reported a disappeared passenger during that same year. In 2019, two people were reported missing by the Carnival Cruise Lines.
While the CVSSA does require cruise lines to report disappeared passengers, doing so can tarnish a company’s reputation. Unfortunately, some cruise lines may ignore the law and omit disappeared passengers from their quarterly reports to the FBI. As the CVSSA was only passed recently, there are no official statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding annual disappearances from cruise ships before 2010.
Any number of disappearances from cruise ships, even just one, would be too high. If your loved one went missing while on a cruise, you should contact our cruise ship disappearance attorneys. Our cruise ship disappearance lawyers can take on these large companies to get your family the compensation it deserves to help mourn your missing loved one.
Why Do So Many People Go Missing on Cruise Ships Each Year?
Many factors can cause cruise ship disappearances. That being said, the leading cause is assumed to be passengers falling overboard. Of course, other things can contribute to a passenger’s disappearance, such as crime or negligence on behalf of a cruise ship company.
Unfortunately, many cruise ship disappearances are attributed to passengers falling overboard. If there aren’t proper safety measures in place, a passenger may fall overboard and go missing. If there is no way to monitor passengers’ activity or there aren’t adequate guardrails to enclose deck areas safely, passengers are in danger of falling overboard.
That being said, falling overboard is not thought to be the only factor in cruise ship disappearances. It is also possible that your loved one was a victim of other forms of negligence that contributed to their disappearance. Unfortunately, a cruise ship employee can contribute to a passenger’s disappearance or a cruise ship’s lax security can lead to a passenger going missing.
In truth, the precise reasons for a loved one’s disappearance while on a cruise ship may be unknown. When a person goes missing, it can be difficult to ascertain exactly why such a thing happened without additional evidence. Our cruise ship missing persons attorneys will investigate your loved one’s disappearance and aim to prove that a cruise ship’s negligence contributed to their disappearance.
What Should Cruise Ships Do to Prevent Disappearances?
The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act was passed in 2010 as the first piece of federal legislation to prevent crime and various incidents on cruise ships. For cruise ships to combat disappearances, they should abide by the CVSSA. If, while following the rules laid out by the CVSSA, passengers should continue to disappear in concerning numbers, cruise ships should apply additional safety measures to protect their passengers.
In the CVSSA, clear safety measures are laid out for cruise ships to follow. For example, to prevent passengers from disappearing by falling overboard, cruise ships should have ship rails at an adequate height, 42 inches above the cabin deck.
The CVSSA also dictates that cruise ships have adequate monitoring technology, like security cameras, along the decks to capture images of passengers that have fallen overboard, as well additional safety measures for passengers.
According to the CVSSA, cruise ships must report missing passengers that disappear at any point throughout a voyage to the FBI, regardless of where the ship is at the time of disappearance. The CVSSA also lays out guidelines for responding to a missing passenger and how to preserve evidence. Cruise ships must also publish statistics on disappeared persons on their websites for passengers to see. Additionally, all cruise ships must have at least one crew member with a Maritime Administration Certification.
Should You Hire an Attorney After a Cruise Ship Disappearance?
If your loved one disappeared while on a cruise, you should certainly hire a lawyer. Our cruise ship injuries and accident attorneys can help families understand their rights and fight for the justice they deserve.
Before you can sue a cruise line for the disappearance of your loved one, you should speak with a lawyer. Unfortunately, passengers may unknowingly waive some of their rights when they step aboard a ship. Your lawyer can read the fine print of your loved one’s ticket to inform you of your rights after their disappearance.
That being said, there are some scenarios where cruise ships will always be liable for a passenger’s disappearance because of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. Understandably, families of missing passengers may be unaware of the CVSSA and how it protects their rights. By hiring an attorney, families can better understand how to hold a cruise ship accountable for their loved one’s preventable disappearance.
Can You File a Lawsuit if Your Loved One Went Missing on a Cruise Ship?
Cruise ships should be an enjoyable vacation for their passengers and not the site of terrible tragedies. If your loved one disappeared while on a cruise ship, you can hire our cruise ship family member disappearance attorneys to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
There should be substantial safety measures in place on a cruise ship to prevent passengers from disappearing. If a cruise ship ignored one of the requirements of the CVSSA and that negligence led to your loved one’s disappearance, you can file a lawsuit for compensatory damages.
For example, suppose the cruise ship ignored the CVSSA and did not have the necessary security cameras. Not only are these cameras meant to keep passengers safe, but cruise ship companies are required to provide the FBI with the footage to aid in the investigation of a disappeared passenger. If a cruise ship’s negligence impedes the investigation and makes it more difficult to ascertain what happened to your loved one, you can pursue civil litigation.
There are other instances where a disappeared cruise ship passenger’s family can file a lawsuit against a cruise line. For example, suppose a cruise ship did not have high enough safety rails, allowing for your loved one to fall overboard. Or suppose it did not have at least one crew member with the proper safety certification. Or perhaps the cruise line did not report your loved one’s disappearance to the FBI at all, completely ignoring the CVSSA’s requirements. Suppose the cruise line did not perform a search and rescue mission for a passenger who fell overboard. Or, finally, suppose a crew member was responsible for your loved one’s disappearance. A disappeared passenger’s family could file a lawsuit against the cruise line in question in each scenario.
That being said, it can be difficult to stand up to such large companies by yourself. Hiring a cruise ship disappearance lawyer to help you get the justice your loved one deserves. Our experienced lawyers are prepared to take on these powerful companies and fight for your disappeared loved one.
How to Prove Fault in a Cruise Ship Disappearance Lawsuit
Proving fault in a cruise ship disappearance lawsuit can be difficult, especially if the cruise line is adamant about maintaining its reputation. Because of this, victims’ families require a skilled cruise ship disappearance lawyer to represent their interests.
If a cruise ship does not want to accept fault for your loved one’s disappearance, which is often the case, it can be difficult to prove fault. A cruise ship may claim that your loved one disappeared while off the ship in an incident completely unrelated to the company’s negligence. Such behavior is irresponsible and does a disservice to your missing loved one. Our lawyers will investigate your loved one’s disappearance to prove a cruise ship’s negligence.
The simplest way to prove fault in a cruise ship disappearance lawsuit is to show that a cruise line ignored the CVSSA’s safety guidelines. Because there are strict rules to prevent disappearances and rules regarding protocol after a passenger disappears, there are many stages in the process where a cruise line can act negligently. Our attorneys’ goal is to prove that the cruise ship in question acted negligently or intentionally covered up your loved one’s disappearance, either contributing to their disappearance in the first place or impeding the investigation.
Cruise ship disappearance cases can be difficult to litigate because passengers often go missing while overseas. Families may experience a delay in learning about their loved one’s disappearance, and cruise ships may use the voyage itself as an excuse. The more time that goes by, the more difficult it can be to prove fault. However, our Florida boat accident attorneys have years of experience representing disappeared victims’ families and holding these companies liable for their negligence.
Recovering Damages in a Cruise Ship Disappearance Lawsuit
The grief your family has endured since the disappearance of your loved one should not be understated. Cruise ship disappearances are traumatic for a victim’s family and require compensatory damages to help them heal. You can get justice for your disappeared loved one and recover damages through a cruise ship disappearance lawsuit.
Our cruise ship disappearance lawyers approach these types of lawsuits with the utmost compassion and care. We understand how tragic cruise ship disappearances are and how deeply saddening they can be for victims’ families. Because of this, our goal is to recover sufficient compensatory damages to get justice for your loved one.
In a cruise ship disappearance lawsuit, families can recover both economic and non-economic damages. If your disappeared loved one supported your family financially, you could recover economic damages that reflect their lost wages.
Generally, non-economic damages refer to an incident’s emotional impact on a disappeared cruise ship passenger’s family. Clearly, this number is difficult to quantify, as the grief and anger you undoubtedly feel are overwhelming. That being said, our lawyers will attempt to recover sufficient non-economic damages to hold a responsible cruise ship line liable for its negligence and contribution to your loved one’s disappearance.
Call Our Attorneys if Your Loved One Went Missing on a Cruise Ship
The families of missing cruise ship passengers deserve justice for their loved ones’ preventable disappearances. For a free case evaluation with the cruise ship disappearance attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A., call us today at (305) 204-5369.