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Being the victim of a sexual assault in Florida can result in a complex legal battle to recover the compensation that you deserve. Why? Primarily, this is due to the reality that boats and other vessels are often subject not only to local Florida law, but also maritime law. In order to build a strong case to recover the damages you deserve after a sexual assault on a yacht in Miami, you need to have a thorough understanding of how maritime and local law applies to the unique facts and circumstances of your case.
For a free consultation to determine if you have a case, connect with a Miami yacht sexual assault attorney at Brais Law. Our dedicated attorneys have decades of combined maritime law experience, and over 70 years of combined trial experience helping clients get what they deserve.
When you set foot on a boat in Miami or anywhere else in south Florida, generally Florida law will apply. What this means is that any law that is active in Florida will be active and applicable while you are on the boat. Any behaviors or activities that are illegal on land in Florida will also be illegal on the boat while it is in Florida waters.
Once the boat or yacht leaves Florida, U.S. maritime law will generally take over, meaning that only actions that are illegal under U.S. maritime law will be illegal on the boat. Sexual assault is illegal under U.S. maritime law. Whether your boat was in Florida or international waters when the assault occurred, you may have a right to pursue justice for your sexual assault.
After a sexaul assault, the unique facts and circumstances of your case will determine the liable parties. Generally, you are able to file a lawsuit against the person who assaulted you, as they are directly and personally responsible for their actions and the repercussions of them. In some instances, other parties may also be responsible for your damages.
If you were sexually assaulted by a crewmember on the yacht, the employer of the crewmember could also be held legally responsible for your damages. How? Because given that the crewmember engaged in the assault while they were working on the vessel, their employer could be liable for the related damages. In situations where the yacht owner failed to provide for the safety of crewmembers and passengers through negligent security, or by allowing dangerous passengers or crewmembers onboard, the owner could also be held liable.
While you might think that a sexaul assault is only a criminal matter, that is not the case. When someone engages in an illegal activity like a sexual assault, they can be subject to criminal charges that would require them to pay fines, face imprisonment, and obtain felon status. Still, if you are the victim of a crime that causes you injuries, you are also able to bring a civil lawsuit to collect compensation for your damages.
Through a civil lawsuit you can collect monetary compensation for the costs and damages related to your sexual assault. This includes not only medical expenses and lost wages after the incident, but also the potential of further damages for pain and suffering, long-term mental health counseling, and various other factors.
It bears mentioning that the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is different than in a criminal lawsuit. While in a criminal case the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt” for each and every element of the crime, for a civil suit, the burden is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Your Miami yacht sexual assault attorney is fully aware of this and will apply the evidence in your favor to produce the most advantageous outcome in your case.
If you have been the victim of a sexual assault on a yacht or other vessel that boarded in Miami or the Florida coast, you could be entitled to compenastion. The Miami yacht sexual assault lawyers at Brais Law are available to discuss your case by calling us at (305) 416-2901, or visit our site to schedule your free initial consultation.