It’s difficult to imagine yourself doing anything on a cruise other than having fun. Thoughts about reading a book in the sun, napping, playing shuffleboard, and on land excursions are all scenarios that should and will happen for most of the passengers. Unfortunately, there is another situation that happens to a shocking number of cruisers on a regular basis: sexual assault.
For more information on how a New York cruise ship accident lawsuit can help you, see our dedicated article.
The simple fact of the matter is that once the ship sets sail, all passengers are confined to the ship, which has many dark corners and closed door where someone with bad intentions can commit an assault.
It is a cruise company’s responsibility to do everything that is reasonably within their power to protect passengers. Typically this includes:
Background checks are not, however, performed on passengers and anyone with a valid I.D. is able to purchase a ticket. In addition to this, the steps that should be taken to protect all passengers are often overlooked and as a result, a passenger becomes a victim.
Due to the high number of reported sexual assaults on cruise ships, Congress voted to pass the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (CVSSA). The act gave passengers certain rights after an assault and also helped to clear up issues of jurisdiction so that law enforcement is clear in their role.
According to CVSSA, passengers have the right to:
When an American is assaulted on a cruise and the ship either sets sail from or arrives at the U.S., the FBI will immediately have jurisdiction over the criminal case. A representative will work the victim and explain the process of pursuing justice. However, this isn’t the only form of justice that a victim is typically eligible for.
Victims also have the right to file a sexual assault lawsuit. This is in addition to any criminal charges filed against their attacker and, while money can’t change what happened, is a way for the victim to obtain compensation for their losses.
Civil lawsuits are filed against the party whose negligence resulted in the harm that the plaintiff sustained. The defendant in these cases isn’t always the person who attacked the plaintiff, it can also be the company that owned the cruise ship.
Compensation that may be available includes coverage of medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, and even the emotional turmoil that the victim has experienced and continues to deal with on a daily basis.
Due to the complicated nature of cruise ship assaults and the fact that victims are already dealing with enough stress, it’s best to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
At Banville Law, we understand that this is an extremely difficult time and that it might be hard for you to talk about what you’ve been through. Just know that you are not alone and not only are we here to listen but we can also help you find the emotional support you need.