In a previous blog, our cruise ship rape lawyer Rick Alsina discussed the recent Senate committee hearing, where the prevalence of sexual assault crimes on cruise ships was addressed. The language Senator John D. Rockefeller used was strong and to the point. He was “fed up” with the cruise industry and said that the industry too frequently treated its injured or assaulted passengers and crew with “callousness and disregard,” (U.S.A. Today reports).
Rockefeller has recently introduced the Cruise Passenger Protection Act to the Senate. This act, when passed, will require passenger vessels to provide more transparent cruise passenger ticket contracts. The act will also place stricter safety requirements on cruise lines and passenger vessels. This proposal seems like a win for passengers. Let’s examine the act in further detail.
One of the many provisions of the act includes requiring cruise lines to summarize key terms of their passenger ticket contracts to ensure that passengers know what they’re getting into (and what rights they are foregoing) before they step on-board a cruise ship. The act will also require cruise lines to summarize the key terms of their passenger ticket contracts in all of their advertising. This would ensure that potential cruisers will be informed about their rights before they decide to purchase a ticket.
Unfortunately, until the Cruise Passenger Protection Act goes into effect, cruise ship passenger ticket contracts will continue to remain murky and contain ambiguous loopholes. As it stands, these contracts limit a cruise line’s liability when someone is injured on a cruise or involved in a crime, even if the incident is as serious as sexual assault or rape. For this reason, it is imperative that you contact a cruise ship rape lawyer if you happen to be injured or sexually assaulted while in international waters. Trying to fight the cruise lines on your own is extremely difficult, but an attorney experienced with the ins and outs of the cruise passenger ticket contract can help you fight for your rights and receive compensation for your injuries.
Our hope is that the Cruise Passenger Protection Act will clarify issues related to passenger’s bill of rights, and require more transparency regarding cruise line liability, or lack thereof. Passengers have a right to be informed specifically and clearly about what legal privileges they forego when they step on board a cruise ship.
Some of the other provisions of the act include: ensuring that cruise passenger ticket contracts do not violate federal law; requiring cruise lines to log and report deaths, injuries, missing persons, and crimes that occur while on board a ship, as well as establish a website where these incidents will be documented; and establishing a toll-free number that passengers can call if they find themselves in trouble while aboard a vessel. The hotline will allow federal transportation officials to more readily investigate complaints. Cruise lines will be required to provide more transparent access to video surveillance and other records, and more readily inform passengers when video surveillance is being used. A cruise ship rape lawyer will also be able to use these records to help passengers file a case in the event of a sexual crime, as well as any other type of onboard crime or accident.
Perhaps most importantly, the act will oversee certification of training for security personnel, crew members, and law enforcement officials in the proper prevention, detection, and handling of evidence in international waters, which has often been an issue. Cruise lines will not usually hire law enforcement officers specifically trained to handle crimes and as a result, evidence is usually tampered with or undocumented, leaving a victim little recourse when trying to file a claim. The hope is that this act will help prevent any type of incident from occurring while overseas, but especially sexual crimes, which are the most common types of crimes on the high seas. Until then, passengers who have been injured or assaulted while on board a cruise ship should always take steps to protect themselves, and this includes seeking representation with a cruise ship rape lawyer in the event they become the victim of a sexual crime.