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Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer: Information On The Cruise Ship Sexual Assault Law

October 30, 2010

Vacationing on a cruise recently got safer for many women. In 2009, after victims advocacy groups lobbied Congress to pass better laws regarding the significant problem of sexual assaults on cruise ships, Congress enacted the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act. Although it is hard to believe, prior to the passage of this Act, women who were sexually assaulted while on a cruise were not provided with any significant medical attention while on board the ship. Also prior to this Act, cruise ships did not carry forensic kits, so it was difficult to preserve forensic evidence, making it much less likely that the responsible party would be caught and brought to justice.

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act requires that cruise ships provide women who claim they have been the victim of a sexual assault while on the ship with access to national sexual assault hotlines. The victims are also now entitled to medications that can help to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and are entitled to a sexual assault forensic exam. In addition, it is now mandatory for cruise ships to install both security latches and peep holes on cabin doors to make them more safe and secure. Furthermore, the cruise lines must also now report any sexual assault incidents to the FBI.

Keep in mind while on your cruise – you need to be as aware of your surroundings on a ship as you would if you were in a big city:

  • Avoid walking down darkened hallways alone.
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
  • Never agree to go to the crew only section of the ship!
  • The senior crew is there to increase the safety of passengers and to help keep them from suffering a sexual assault or a cruise ship injury, but they can’t cover the entire ship at one time so take the necessary steps and watch out for your own safety.
  • Listen to your gut – if it tells you something is wrong, it probably is.
  • Notify the Purser’s Office as soon as you suspect trouble.

Hopefully, your cruise vacation will be wonderful and will be all that you’d hoped it would be, but if you suffer a cruise ship injury or a sexual assault, contact a cruise ship accident attorney as soon as possible. Attorneys who specialize in cruise ship injury cases should be experienced with both State and Federal laws that may apply to your accident claim.  Cruise ship accident claims, whether occurring on-board, or during an on-shore excursion, can be governed by State, Federal or Maritime laws and it is critical to identify which laws control your accident case.  One important distinction for cruise ship accident claims involves the Statute of Limitations for on-board accident claims.  Most Cruise Ship companies have a clause in the terms and condtions of its ticket which requires an accident claim to be brought within one year of the date of the accident, and in a specific court.  For instance, Carnival Cruise Lines requires claims for on-board accidents to be brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami).

For more information about your cruise ship injury or sexual assault claim, contact cruise ship accident lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today. Mr. Maus provides a free, no obligation consultation to answer your questions as to whether you have a claim against your cruise line. He is an experienced cruise ship injury claims lawyer who has handled thousands of claims ranging from sexual assault, slip and trip and falls, cruise ship viruses and violations of safety and cleanliness standards, injuries during onshore excursions, and many other types of claims which are related to cruise ships.   His office handles claims on a contingent basis which means there are no attorney’s fees charged unless a recovery is made on your behalf. Mr. Maus is licensed to practice throughout the State of Florida, in the Southern and Middle Districts of the United States District Court, is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court, and is an “AV” rated by Martindale Hubbell, the highest legal ability rating awarded, and the highest ethical rating awarded to attorneys.

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