Ships and boats are often governed by different laws than the rest of Florida. This gives many people the sense that they can get away with things on a boat that they would not be able to do in Miami or anywhere else in Florida. Fortunately for victims, Florida law and maritime law both prohibit sexual assault, and anyone who was sexually assaulted or molested on a ship or a boat should be entitled to justice.
The Miami attorneys for sexual assaults that occur on a ship or a boat represent survivors of sexual assault and other sexual trauma on ships and boats. We fight to hold captains, cruise ships, and individuals responsible for what happened. This means filing lawsuits and seeking compensation for your injuries and emotional trauma. To schedule a free, confidential legal consultation on your potential case, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today at (866) 386-1762.
Suing for Sexual Assault on a Ship or a Boat in Miami Waters
When you set foot on a ship or a boat in the Miami area, you are still usually governed by Florida law. This means that anything that is legal or illegal in the city is usually still legal or illegal on a boat. Once you leave Florida waters and enter national or international waters, U.S. maritime law might begin to govern you. However, sexual assault is still absolutely illegal under this law. This means that no matter where you are, you might be entitled to seek justice if you were sexually assaulted.
In a lawsuit for sexual assault, you can usually file the case against the individual who assaulted you. They are responsible for their direct actions, but you might also be able to bring other parties into the lawsuit to pay damages. If you were assaulted by a crewmember on a cruise ship, a tour boat, a ferry, or some other vessel, their employer might be responsible. Since their crew member committed the assault while they were working within the scope of their job duties, their employer might have to pay damages. Additionally, a ship owner is responsible for the safety of their crew and their passengers. This means the ship owner might be liable for providing negligent security or allowing dangerous crewmembers or passengers aboard.
Unlike criminal cases, a private civil suit against your assailant can yield damages. This can help compensate you for the harm you suffered rather than simply locking up or fining the responsible individual. The burden of proof is also lower in a civil case. Rather than proving the case “beyond a reasonable doubt,” your lawyer will need to prove your case “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This means proving that your accusations are more likely than not to be true – essentially meaning that you need the jury on your side just over 50% to win your case.
Damages for Sexual Assault on a Boat or Ship in Miami
When you file a lawsuit for sexual assault on a cruise or a boat, you might be entitled to damages. These damages can be paid to cover expenses you faced because of the assault, such as medical bills, counseling, lost wages, and other economic expenses. You can also claim damages for the pain and suffering you faced.
In most cases, you would start by claiming these damages against the individual who assaulted you. The ship owner might also be included in the lawsuit to cover damages if the individual assaulted you while working for them or because of negligent security. In some cases, this might mean holding a cruise line or a tour company responsible for the full value of your damages. In others, it might mean that the ship owner is only responsible for a portion of the damages attributable to negligent hiring or negligent security.
Your attorney will help you understand how much your case is worth and who should pay these damages. In many cases, cruise lines and other shipping companies will work to shut down cases early by offering settlements. Especially for cases of sexual assault aboard one of their ships, they may seek to include nondisclosure agreements or other gag orders to keep the incident from reaching news outlets. In many of these cases, settlements are unfair to the victim, but they prevent you from having to testify about the case in open court. Our attorneys will work to ensure that your rights are protected and help protect you from any unfair settlement offers.
What Constitutes Sexual Assault for a Lawsuit in Miami
The definition of “sexual assault” is very broad. This term can encompass unwanted sexual touching as well as rape and other more serious conduct. In most cases, simply proving that the defendant touched you without your permission in a harmful or offensive way is enough to prove “battery.” Assault and battery are usually alleged together in civil lawsuits, but they are separate things. Assault technically covers the harm from being put in fear that you will be touched while battery covers the unwanted touching itself. Courts often take sexual assault and sexual battery very seriously.
Call Our Miami Lawyer for Victims of Sexual Assault on Ships and Boats
If you were sexually assaulted or touched in an offensive way while aboard a boat or ship, contact our attorneys today. Our Miami lawyers for sexual assaults that occur on a ship or boat offer free legal consultations to help victims understand how to move forward with their potential case. To schedule a free, confidential legal consultation with our attorneys, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today at (866) 386-1762.