Cruise ships are not always about welcome drinks, sundecks, and romantic dinners under the moonlit night. There are, unfortunately, many serious crimes that can occur on board a cruise ship, no matter how secure you think you may be. Petty thefts, serious assaults, battery, and even rapes have been reported on cruise ships. In fact, over 950 cruise ship crimes were reported to the FBI between 2011 and 2012, and those are only the crimes that the FBI is aware of. Unfortunately, many crimes, especially sexual assaults, go unreported. Our team of Miami maritime lawyers are here to help and have handled many cases for victims of serious criminal acts while on board a cruise ship or other vessel.
Get Treatment, if Needed
If you or a loved one are the victim of a physical assault or rape by a fellow passenger or crew member, seek immediate medical attention. Cruise ships should have trained medical professionals on board to provide treatment. Be sure, once you return to land, to get copies of the medical records so you can provide them to the authorities and to your attorney. This will help established that the incident occurred if a claim is pursued against the cruise liner and/or an employee of the liner.
For any crime, whether it be a physical injury or theft, speak to the Captain or an official on board and tell them exactly what happened and where. This is important since it puts the staff on notice that a criminal act has occurred on board and will likely result in an incident report being filed to document the incident. Again, this helps create the record of what transpired that will assist in pursuing criminal charges or a civil claim once you return to land.
Read Your Ticket
Carefully read the back of your cruise ship ticket to know what claims you can make against the liner. For example, many people don’t realize that the statute of limitations for certain types of claims is only one year. For criminal acts, the limitations period may not apply, but it depends on what happened to you or your loved one. Again, this is why it is important to speak to a maritime lawyer.
Speak to an Experienced Maritime Law Firm
Our Miami cruise ship crime attorneys are familiar with the tactics many cruise lines use in order to avoid legal responsibility for criminal acts. Gerson & Schwartz, PA is at the forefront of assisting cruise ship passengers including cruise ship crime victims throughout the United States. Our law firm continues to lobby the international cruise community for stricter laws, rules, and regulations in order to protect passengers and even crew members. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a rape, sexual assault, or other violent crime on a cruise ship, contact our law firm for a free consultation. All cases will be discussed with an attorney directly. For more information on how we can help call 305-371-6000.