Going on a cruise is the ideal summer vacation for many. Cruise ships are essentially floating cities, and security guards and bouncers are needed to maintain order, but sometimes they overstep their boundaries, and people get hurt.
After being assaulted by a security guard or bouncer on a cruise, you should initially focus on gathering evidence before it disappears, as there are no law enforcement officials on board to conduct a proper investigation. An attorney can help you sue the assailant, but suing the cruise line is trickier. Your ticket is a contract between you and the cruise line. If the terms of the ticket do not shield the cruise line from liability, we can sue them too. Where you file your lawsuit is also complicated. Assaults at sea often fall under federal maritime law, but local authorities might have jurisdiction if the ship was in port.
Security guards and bouncers are responsible for keeping passengers safe, not assaulting them. Our lawyers for injuries caused by cruise ship security can help you hold them accountable. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369 for a free case review.
What to Do After Being Assaulted on a Cruise by a Bouncer or Security Guard
Immediately after being assaulted by a security guard or bouncer on a cruise, you should gather as much evidence as possible. There are usually no official police forces on cruise ships, and security guards tend to act as de facto law enforcement. As such, there are no law enforcement officials to conduct a proper investigation, and evidence may easily be lost. Our lawyers for injuries caused by cruise ship security can help you find any evidence you might have missed.
The first thing you should do is call for help. Cruise ships should have medical facilities on board, and you need to get treatment for any injuries you might have sustained. In the meantime, take as many photos and videos as possible of the incident. Take pictures of your injuries, the assailant, and any witnesses nearby. We can use these photos to help prove certain details of the assault in court.
Finding witnesses might be especially important if you do not have any photos from the assault and other forms of evidence are lacking. Cruise ships tend to be full of passengers, and there is a good chance somebody saw your assault. We must reach out to these people, ask them about the incident, and try to get them to testify on your behalf.
Finally, you should alert any other authorities on the ship. If the security guard’s actions were unwarranted, other security members might detain them. If other security members are of little help, you can alert the local authorities about what happened at the next port.
Who is Liable for an Assault by a Bouncer or Security Guard on a Cruise?
Determining liability for an assault on board a cruise ship has unique challenges that typical assault cases do not. One important issue to settle as soon as possible is who should be held liable. While suing the assailant who attacked you is likely a possibility, suing the cruise line that employed them is another story. Our attorneys for injuries caused by cruise ship security can help you determine who can sue and how to go about it.
We can help you file a personal lawsuit against the security guard or bouncer who assaulted you. While being a security guard or bouncer usually requires a certain degree of force, it is not a free ticket to inflict violence upon others. We might be able to prove our case if we can show that the defendant used unreasonably dangerous force in an otherwise non-serious situation. Alternatively, we can show that the use of force was malicious and that the defendant wanted to cause harm. This might also be construed as a criminal assault, and the bouncer might face criminal prosecution.
Suing the cruise line is a possibility but not guaranteed. Our lawyers for injuries caused by cruise ship security must review your cruise ticket, as the ticket serves as a contract between you and the cruise line. Many cruise lines, especially larger ones with deep pockets, shield themselves from liability in the terms and conditions on your ticket. In such a case, suing the cruise line might not be possible, barring exceptional circumstances our attorneys can go over with you.
Where Do I File a Lawsuit After a Security Guard or Bouncer Assaulted Me on a Cruise?
Where you file your lawsuit often comes down to where the ship was located when the assault took place. Since cruise ships tend to move from port to port, there might be numerous possible jurisdictions for your lawsuit. Our attorneys for injuries caused by cruise ship security can help you figure out where your case may be heard.
Talk to our team about where the ship was when you were assaulted. If the cruise ship was docked at port, the local authorities of the port might have jurisdiction. For example, if you are on a cruise that set sail from one state and stopped at ports in other states, various other states might have jurisdiction over your case. This is particularly problematic if you are on an international cruise. If your ship was at an international port, another country might have jurisdiction, and we might need to jump through several legal hoops to transfer jurisdiction back to the United States.
U.S. federal maritime law might kick in if you were assaulted while the cruise ship was at sea between ports. In such a case, the United States federal government would have jurisdiction, and we can file your lawsuit in federal court. However, your case might have to adhere to special maritime laws rather than typical federal law.
Call Our Attorneys for Injuries Caused by Cruise Ship Security for Assistance
If a security guard assaulted you while on a cruise, you should hold them accountable for their violent behavior and get compensation for your injuries. Call our attorneys for injuries caused by cruise ship security for a free case review. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369.