Unfortunately, not all cruise ship passengers head home with fond memories of their time on board the ship. Some passengers become the victim of a cruise ship assault or sexual assault, suffering physical and emotional harm. While passengers may like to believe cruise lines only hire trustworthy individuals, FBI statistics show that over half of all cruise ship assaults are perpetrated by crewmembers.
If you find yourself the victim of a cruise ship assault:
- Avoid doing anything that might jeopardize forensic evidence if the assault was sexual in nature, such as eating, drinking, showering or changing clothes
- Immediately report the incident to ship security and seek treatment at the onboard medical facilities
- Call the FBI and U.S. Coast Guard to report the incident
- Insist that ship officials secure the crime scene by taping or sealing it off to avoid contamination from other passengers
- Record witness names and contact information
- Take pictures of the crime scene and your injuries as soon as possible
After you return home, obtain follow-up treatment for your injuries if necessary. You may also wish to seek counseling as you begin to cope with the trauma you experienced. Additionally, it is very important that you promptly contact an experienced maritime attorney to learn about your legal rights. Cruise tickets govern when and where you can file a claim against the cruise line, and they also limit the time you have to file a claim. If you miss this time period, you will not be able to pursue any of the claims to which you are entitled under the law.
Did a cruise line employee or fellow passenger assault you? If so, you should contact a Boston maritime attorney today to ensure your legal rights are protected and to help explain the law to you.
Latti & Anderson LLP –Boston maritime trial lawyers