Maritime Sex Abuse Lawyer

Crew members who are sexually abused while on a commercial ship, cruise ship, yacht, or similar vessel may be able to pursue justice by filing a civil sexual abuse lawsuit.

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Sexual Abuse at Sea Attorneys

Working on a ship or sea vessel has its challenges, including being exposed to dangerous weather conditions and isolation. However, maritime employees may also be sexually assaulted while at sea. When a maritime employee is sexually assaulted by a coworker or supervisor, the shipowner or similar entity may be held legally liable if it can be shown that they failed to create a safe environment for everyone onboard.

Any kind of sexual assault is unacceptable. If you are a crew member that was sexually assaulted by a supervisor or coworker, contact the lawyers at Edwards Pottinger for a free legal consultation. They can help you understand your legal rights and pursue the next best steps towards securing justice.

How Common is Maritime Sex Abuse?

Any kind of sexual misconduct is devastating to the survivors who had to endure it. Statistics show that sexual assault onboard ships and vessels is more common than expected. In 2016, there were 62 reported sexual assaults that happened on cruise ships specifically that embarked or disembarked in the U.S.

While the owners of private vessels and employers of vessel ships are supposed to provide safe working conditions for their crew members, this often goes overlooked despite legal obligations. Sexual assault and abuse often occur in cargo rooms, the engine room, kitchen, sleeping quarters, and in secluded areas on deck. Seamen (which includes women) are often targeted by other crew members.

Unfortunately, many sexual assaults at sea go unreported. Survivors may be unaware of their legal rights in the matter, or they may fear speaking out, particularly if they are a crew member and/or are one of the few women on board. The United States Merchant Marine Academy offers a recent example of the culture of secrecy that often surrounds sexual assaults at sea. Former cadets have alleged that sexual abuse that occurred during the school’s Sea Year training program were often covered up.

Regardless of where and how the assault happens overseas, survivors of maritime sex abuse should seek help from an experienced maritime sex abuse law firm that can help them pursue justice. In addition to receiving personal closure and healing, in reporting the crime survivors can help create safer ships for all.

How the Jones Act Governs Maritime Sex Abuse

The Jones Act was created to protect seamen. Under this act, maritime businesses and employers have an obligation to make sure that crew members work in a reasonably safe environment; this includes not only making sure that the ship itself is safe, but that fellow employees are not dangerous or otherwise threaten the safety of others. This Act of Congress governs the liability of vessel employers for any work-related injury or death of an employee.

Essentially, the Jones Act allows gives an injured maritime crew member the opportunity to seek justice against their employers for any form of neglect or injuries, both physical and psychological, under maritime law. In order for the claim to be successful, the plaintiff (the individual filing the lawsuit) must be able to show that the maritime company acted unreasonably or recklessly or otherwise failed to take reasonable measures to prevent an assault from happening. Under the Jones Act, a claim can also help raise awareness that a vessel is unseaworthy.

What To Do If You Were Sexually Assaulted At Sea

If you were sexually assaulted while at sea, it is important that you do all that is necessary to protect yourself physically as well as legally. First, you should report the crime as soon as possible. You can report the assault to the ship’s captain or to the ship’s security. Make sure to describe the assailant as much as possible. It can also be beneficial to have photographic evidence of injuries or the location of the attack. Additionally, you should see the ship’s doctor in order to undergo a full examination. This will protect your health and well-being as well as preserve key evidence of the crime.

After you report the attack and see a doctor, it is important to not discuss the crime with anyone other than your maritime sex abuse lawyer. This will help reduce the chance of others influencing your recollection of the incident.

Once you are able to, you should contact a maritime sex abuse lawyer as soon as you can. Survivors typically only have a small window of time during which they can file a maritime sex abuse lawsuit.

Can I File a Lawsuit if I Was Sexually Assaulted at Sea?

If you were sexually assaulted at sea, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the owner of the vessel or a similar entity. It is the ship owner’s responsibility to ensure a safe work environment and prevent any foreseeable assaults. If the employer was aware or should have been aware of an employee who posed a threat to others but failed to take action to protect crew members, they may be held liable if an assault were to take place.

If a crew member is not reasonably fit to take up the duties of being a ship employee, you may also have a claim for unseaworthiness. A vessel is unseaworthy when a crew member is “not equal in disposition and seamanship to the ordinary men in the calling.”

If you are a survivor of maritime sex abuse, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering and any relevant financial losses. This can include compensation for emotional trauma, medical bills, therapy costs, and more.

Why Call A Maritime Sex Abuse Law Firm?

If you are a survivor of maritime sex abuse, an attorney may be able help you seek justice. A maritime sex abuse lawyer can help report the attack on your behalf and give you the proper legal guidance in order to move forward. A maritime sex abuse attorney can also help you file a lawsuit against the potentially liable parties and represent your interests during settlement negotiations and/or a trial.

A maritime sex abuse attorney at Edwards Pottinger can help you hold your abuser, the vessel owner, or any other responsible party liable for the crime. It can be difficult to deal with the aftermath of a maritime sexual assault, but our maritime sex abuse law firm is here to help facilitate the process on your behalf. Our sex abuse attorneys have helped numerous clients obtain justice against high-profile individuals and entities and have the experience to help you with your case.

If you are a maritime employee who has been sexually abused by a coworker or crew member, Edwards Pottinger can help. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with challenging and sensitive cases regarding sexual abuse at sea, including cases against maritime employers, vessel owners, and cruise line operators. Contact the attorneys at Edwards Pottinger to schedule a free confidential consultation and learn how we may help you pursue justice.

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