Negligent Security on a Cruise Ship
Cruise vacations are supposed to be safe and secure trips where you can relax and be treated like royalty. So, when someone boards a cruise ship, they don’t expect to suffer from any crimes, accidents, or injuries.
Unfortunately, the most tragic and serious of cruise ship accidents are those that involve criminal acts. Cruise line passengers can be prey to people with malicious intentions and suffer serious personal injuries from crimes like:
- Robbery and theft
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault
Injured Victims as a Result of Negligent Cruise Ship Security
When a cruise ship fails to provide reasonable and adequate security for cruise passengers, the cruise line can be held liable for the injuries sustained by the victim under Florida’s negligent security law.
This happens when a passenger is put in danger due to the cruise ship’s failure to provide a secure and safe environment.
Negligent security is shown through things like:
- Broken locks on doors
- Poor lighting in hallways or on decks
- Inadequate security forces
- Improperly trained security personnel
- Security cameras that do not work
When someone on a cruise is the victim of a crime, they will need to file a report with the cruise ship’s security team and await further criminal investigation until the cruise ship returns to port.
Cruise line security may not be fit to investigate what has happened in the crime. This is why crime victims on cruise ships need to take photos, get names and addresses of potential witnesses, and otherwise gather facts for their claim. It is also extremely important that you get the help of an experienced Florida injury attorney like Alan Sackrin as soon as you can.
Florida Law in Cruise Ship Negligent Security Crime Cases
When someone is the victim of a crime due to the negligent security of a cruise ship departing from Florida, it is likely that the premises liability laws of the State of Florida will apply to their case. This is true even if the victim does not live in Florida.
This is because most cruise lines include a “choice of law clause” on the cruise line ticket that chooses Florida law in the event of any claims of negligence or liability. By purchasing the ticket, they will argue that you have agreed to the application of Florida law for your claim.
If you do not live in Florida, then you may need to hire a Florida injury lawyer like Alan Sackrin, who can properly handle your case from start to finish.
Lawsuit Probably Must Be Filed in Florida
These cruise line tickets will have “forum selection clauses,” which determines where the cruise accident claim must be filed. For most cruise lines operating out of Florida ports, this will be a United States District Court in the State of Florida.
For example, Royal Caribbean Cruises has a Forum Selection Clause on its cruise tickets that names the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami-Dade County Division as the selected legal forum for any negligence claims made against the cruise line, and a Florida state district court in Miami-Dade County as the alternative.
Cruise Ship Vessel Security Act Of 2010
In 2010, a new federal law titled the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 was passed. It addresses what dangers many cruise line crime victims were experiencing as a result of negligent security.
This federal law requires all cruise lines to report to the federal authorities any assaults, sexual assaults, and rapes, as well as any other crime involving violence that occurred while on their cruise ship. Additionally, all rapes and sexual assaults must be reported to the FBI.
The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 mandates that cruise lines achieve a security standard that includes things like:
- Logs of room key access to all passenger and crew rooms
- Video surveillance
- Organizing and maintaining the videos and logs
- Being prepared for sexual crimes (on-board rape kits for the immediate gathering of sex crime evidence.)
For details, see the Disney Cruise online notice to its cruise passengers regarding this law and how to report cruise line crimes.
Negligent Security Claims against Cruise Line
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime on a cruise ship, then you may have a case against the cruise line for damages. These may include punitive damages as well as damage claims for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and the like. Florida law may apply to the situation, and you will need an experienced Florida premises liability lawyer to assist with pursuing claims against cruise lines.
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Alan pursues his cases all the way through trial. He has handled cases with most insurance companies and strives to obtain the compensation you deserve. Alan will vigorously pursue a client’s rights, including taking the matter to trial and appeal if necessary.
Alan does not just settle cases because he won’t take a case to trial. Many of his clients are referrals from other attorneys who could not get the case settled and don’t want to take the case to court. If you live in the Fort Lauderdale area, do not hesitate to contact Alan today at 954-522-0207 for a free initial consultation.
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