Our Cruise Ship Rape Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions

Proudly Representing Cruise Ship Cases in Miami, Nearby Areas of Florida and Nationwide

These answers to frequently asked questions are provided by cruise ship rape attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey.

Many clients ask questions regarding attorney fees and case value. We have outlined the questions asked of our Florida cruise ship rape lawyers most often.

What are my fees?
In personal injury cases, including cruise ship assaults, fees are on a contingency basis. That is, if you do not receive compensation for your personal injury, we do not charge a fee. In complex commercial litigation, our fees, of course, are on an hourly basis. We would like to discuss them with you. All initial consultations are free.

The Florida Bar requires that each Florida lawyer provide you, the client, with a Statement of Client’s Rights, and that you sign the statement indicating you have received it. We provide all of our clients the Statement of Client’s Rights with a written fee agreement.

Back to Top

Can I settle out of court, and what is mediation?
A claim can be settled at any time, including before the suit is filed, after the suit is filed, and, of course, before trial is started. Suits and claims can also be settled during or after trial. Statistically, most cases settle before trial and few ever go to trial. John H. (Jack) Hickey and The Legal Team can, and do, take cases to trial.

Mediation is an informal procedure where all parties and their lawyers meet in a conference room to attempt to negotiate a settlement. At mediation, I will make a brief presentation discussing our side of the case with the mediator (usually a retired lawyer or a judge) and, of course, with the lawyer for the other side and his or her representative (usually the insurance company adjuster). The lawyer for the other side will then make a brief presentation about their side of the case. You are required to attend mediation, but you are not required to say anything or to settle.

After the initial presentations are made, the mediator will meet with you and me separately from the other side and their lawyer. The mediator will then discuss the positives and negatives of our case and attempt to persuade us to lower our demand. The mediator will then meet with the other side, also in private, and attempt to persuade them to increase their offer to us. This process can be as short as one hour or can go on for several hours. The court orders that mediation takes place and that you and the other side appear in person at the mediation. The court does not order, of course, that the case settle at mediation.

Back to Top

How much is my personal injury case worth?
Every case is at least slightly different. In personal injury cases, you are entitled to compensation for such things as pain and suffering (past and future); lost wages and ability to earn income (past and future); medical expenses (past and future); disfigurement; disability, and loss of enjoyment of life (past and future). In order to evaluate your personal injury claim, we will have to speak with you and ask you some questions. Some of the questions we will ask are the following (you can speed up the process by providing this information in your e-mail or telephone call):

  • Full name, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail.
  • Date of birth.
  • When did the accident or incident occur (date and time)?
  • Where did the accident happen?
  • Describe what happened and what caused the accident.
  • Describe your injuries.
  • When and how long were you treated in a hospital or by physicians?
  • Have you had surgery? How many? What kind?
  • What are your medical expenses, including those that have been paid for and those that have not (and what medical expenses do you anticipate having in the future)?
  • Have you lost time from work as a result of your accident? How much in lost wages have you incurred so far? How much in lost wages will you incur in the future?
  • Describe your disabilities and what you can’t do now that you could do before the accident.
  • Were you ever treated for this type of injury or problem before this accident?

Back to Top

Should I, as an accident victim, negotiate with the insurance adjuster (or the company, the cruise line, or the railroad), and why aren’t they on my side?
No. The insurance adjuster is not on your side. He or she is trained to negotiate and they know the law. Also, they are removed from the situation and you are not. You are personally involved, and you need to take yourself out of it. Get professional help. Call a Miami cruise ship rape attorney. If your case fits the type of case we take, we will represent you. If not, and if we are able to, we will help you get the lawyer you need.

Back to Top

I had an accident on a cruise ship and I live outside Florida. Don’t I need a lawyer who is here where I live? Don’t I need a lawyer where the cruise ship left from?
You need a lawyer who is where the cruise ship requires you to sue, and you need a maritime attorney who knows the cruise lines. Where your lawyer should be located: MIAMI. In the ticket for the cruise, there is a lot of fine print. In that fine print, it says where you are required to file suit against the cruise lines. (It also says that you have to give them notice within a certain period of time—usually 6 months—and to file suit within a year). For Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, they require that you sue in MIAMI. WHAT KIND OF LAWYER: A cruise ship rape attorney who knows the cruise lines. The maritime law applies. We know maritime law. We know the cruise lines. John H. (Jack) Hickey used to represent the major cruise lines for 17 years. Now he is here for you.

Back to Top

If I have been the victim of a sexual assault on a cruise ship, what do I do and where can I turn?
Here are our 10 TIPS for what to do if you are sexually assaulted onboard a cruise ship:

  • Report it immediately to the security officer onboard the ship.
  • Go to the ship’s infirmary immediately for treatment of any physical injuries and to report the incident.
  • Get the names of all of the crewmembers involved or who were nearby.
  • Get the full names and all contact information of all passengers with any information.
  • Report the incident immediately to the FBI. Yes, they do investigate these incidents.
  • Go immediately to the nearest rape treatment center. Every major hospital has one. The ER’s of most hospitals have rules and protocols for treating and testing for rape.
  • Go immediately to get medical treatment for your physical injuries or problems. This would include a gynecologist, orthopedic surgeon, plastic surgeon, and family doctor.
  • Take photos of any physical injuries or bruises. “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
  • Seek psychological counseling.
  • CALL US TODAY TOLL FREE AT 1.800.215.7117. We can help. We have experience in representing the victims of rape, sexual assault and sexual battery on cruise ships. John H. (Jack) Hickey represented the major cruise lines for 17 years and now represents you the seriously injured person. Hickey is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and by The Florida Bar; Past President of the Dade County (Miami) Bar Association; and has been recognized by his peers as a “TOP LAWYER”by the South Florida Legal Guide in the areas of Maritime and Personal Injury; as a “SUPER LAWYER”(top 5% of lawyers) by SuperLawyer Magazine; and as a “LEGAL ELITE”(top 1.7% of lawyers) by Florida Trend Magazine. Call us for a free consultation today at 1.800.215.7117.

Back to Top

Can you tell me how much my case is worth?
No one over the phone can really tell you how much your case is worth. It depends on a whole set of factors. Generally, lawyers and the adjusters for the big companies evaluate a claim based on the liability, that is fault, and on damages. Liability is who and how much the company is at fault and how much you are at fault. The jury in court gets to compare the fault of the company and your fault.

Damages usually include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses in the past and in the future
  • Lost income in the past and in the future which is actually the loss of the ability to earn income
  • Pain and suffering in the past and in the future
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life in the past and in the future
  • Scarring and disfigurement in the past and in the future
  • Disability in the past and in the future
  • Mental anguish in the past and in the future
  • Loss of consortium that is the loss of the companionship and affection of a spouse in the past and in the future (this generally is not available in maritime law).

Back to Top

Why should we hire you?
You should hire any Florida cruise ship rape lawyer only after you have looked at their background, education, and experience, and, of course, their results. All of this is on our website. John H. (Jack) Hickey has a unique blend of Experience, Leadership, and Results. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading trial attorneys, is a leader in the legal community, and has achieved outstanding results for his clients. You be the judge. Call us for a free consultation today: 1.800.215.7117.

How can I afford an attorney? How do you charge?
3 points:
(1) FREE CONSULTATIONS: We offer free consultations about your case. Call us; we like to ask a lot of questions about what happened.
(2) NO OBLIGATION. When you call us about your case, you are not committed or obligated in any way. Of course anything you tell us is strictly confidential even if you never hire us.
(3) CONTINGENCY FEES. This is how we charge. If we do not recover, you do not pay. The full terms of all of this are in our fee agreement which we will give you a copy of and which we can explain to you.

Back to Top

If I call you, are you going to charge me?
No. All consultations are free. Of course, everything you tell us is confidential even if you never hire us.

Back to Top

What do you do after I hire you, and will I be required to do anything for my claim or my lawsuit?
With every case, we have a game plan, a plan of action. First, we get as much information from you and your family as possible. We do this by our in office or over the phone interview of you. We also send you a checklist of things to do and to get us. This is your homework assignment. Next we investigate. That may mean that we talk to witnesses, including you and your family and friends. That also may mean getting whatever reports are out there on the incident. We also take photos or have them taken of you and of the scene. Then we get other records like medical records and bills. If necessary we prepare a complaint to file in court. After that, in the lawsuit, we will send out what is called discovery to the other side. That is primarily interrogatories (written questions to be answered under oath), request to produce (a request for documents and items), and notices of deposition (a notice to the other side that we are going to take the deposition of their representative. This is a sworn statement where the witness in the presence of his or her attorney, and all of the attorneys on the case, and a court reporter and sometimes a video camera answers questions about the case, their involvement and knowledge).

You will be required also to participate in discovery as well. You also will have to answer interrogatories, and provide documents, give a deposition, and go to a doctor hired by the insurance company.

Back to Top

My medical bills are piling up; what do I do about those? Can’t we just send them to the cruise line/insurance company/company/railroad?
Generally, the company will not pay these, unless there is a settlement or a jury verdict. Unfortunately you have to deal with them.

Back to Top

How do I get started? What is the first step now?
Call us. Our Miami cruise ship rape attorney can evaluate your claim. If we do represent you, we will guide you through all of this. Call us today at 1.800.215.7117. Thanks.

Still have questions? If so, contact cruise ship assault attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey in Miami, Florida, to schedule a free consultation.

Back to Top

Are there time limits on when I have to act? What time limits do I have?

  • There are always time limits and deadlines in the law. This is not legal advice and the only way we can tell you accurately what your time limits are is to speak with you and learn about your case. However, we want you to know the basics.
  • When you sue a government or the cruise lines there are time limits on giving notice of the claim. This notice is before you file a lawsuit.
  • There is always a deadline for actually filing a lawsuit. This deadline is called a “statute of limitation”. The deadline or statute of limitation, usually, begins to run from the date of the accident or incident.
  • For a cruise ship accident, or any accident or incident involving a passenger on a cruise ship, the deadline is 1 year. For an accident on land, the deadline in Florida usually is 4 years. For medical malpractice, the deadline is 2 years. The medical malpractice deadline begins to run from the incident or from when you the patient knew or should have known of the negligence.

You need to hire an attorney well BEFORE these deadlines expire. That is why we recommend that you CALL TOLL FREE TODAY: 1.800.215.7117.

Back to Top

I sent a letter to the cruise line or to the store or to the place where I had my accident. Isn’t that enough to the file a claim?
No. It is not enough. It may be good and it may be required in some instances to give notice or send a letter to someone about their negligence. But it is never enough. Most of the time, that has no legal significance. What counts is filing a lawsuit in the right court.

If you file in the wrong court or past the deadline, you have no claim. We know what court is right. At HICKEY LAW FIRM, P.A., we have the staff and attorney to assist you. The lead trial lawyer is John H. (Jack) Hickey. He has 28 years of experience practicing law; is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Lawyer; is rated A/V by the international legal directory Martindale-Hubbell (the highest rating, achieved by only 5% of lawyers); and is Past President of the Dade County Bar Association. Hickey represented the cruise lines, railroads, and insurance companies for the first 17 years of his practice. For the last 11 years, he has represented the seriously injured against the cruise lines, railroads, and insurance companies. CALL TOLL FREE TODAY 1.800.215.7117.

Back to Top

I don’t live in Florida. Can’t I hire a lawyer here and file a lawsuit against the cruise lines here where live?
No. You have to file suit against the cruise lines where the ticket requires you to file. For Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Celebrity Cruise Lines, Costa Cruise Lines, and some others, the place is Miami, Florida.

Back to Top

Do I have a claim? Do I have a good case?
We can tell you about your case when we talk to you. And we do not charge for consultations. That’s right; ALL CONSULTATIONS ARE FREE. That is why we say: CALL TOLL FREE TODAY: 1.800.215.7117.

Back to Top

What are the top 10 things to do if I have been the victim of sexual assault?

  • Report it immediately to the security officer onboard the ship.
  • Go to the ship’s infirmary immediately for treatment of any physical injuries and to report the incident.
  • Get the names of all of the crewmembers involved or who were nearby.
  • Get the full names and all contact information of all passengers with any information.
  • Report the incident immediately to the FBI. Yes, they do investigate these incidents.
  • Go immediately to the nearest rape treatment center. Every major hospital has one. The ER’s of most hospitals have rules and protocols for treating and testing for rape.
  • Go immediately to get medical treatment for your physical injuries or problems. This would include a gynecologist, orthopedic surgeon, plastic surgeon, and family doctor.
  • Take photos of any physical injuries or bruises. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
  • Seek psychological counseling.
  • CALL US TODAY TOLL FREE AT 1.800.215.7117. We can help. We have experience in representing the victims of rape, sexual assault and sexual battery on cruise ships. John H. (Jack) Hickey represented the major cruise lines for 17 years and now represents you the seriously injured person. Hickey is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and by The Florida Bar; Past President of the Dade County (Miami) Bar Association; and has been recognized by his peers as a “TOP LAWYER”by the South Florida Legal Guide in the areas of Maritime and Personal Injury; as a “SUPERLAWYER”(top 5% of lawyers) by SuperLawyer Magazine; and as a “LEGAL ELITE”(top 1.7% of lawyers) by Florida Trend Magazine. Call us for a free consultation today at 1.800.215.7117.

Back to Top

Where do I have to file my claim?
Miami, Florida if it is Carnival Cruise Lines (owned by Carnival Corp.), Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.), Celebrity Cruise Lines (owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.) or Norwegian Cruise Lines (owned by NCL (Bahamas) Ltd. or NCL America, Inc.).

Back to Top

Why do I have to file my claim there?
Because the ticket in small print requires you to file there. These clauses in the tickets are called in the law venue selection clauses. They tell you what venue, that is what location, you have to file suit in.

These clauses have been tested in court. They are enforceable. The United States Supreme Court in Carnival Cruise Lines v. Shute, the Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which held that the venue selection clause in the Carnival ticket was enforceable.

The venue selection clause in those tickets requires you to file suit no matter where the ship left from or where the ship was going to. In other words, the cruise lines get to select where you have to sue them under our law. The cruise lines above have selected Miami, Florida because they are based here.

The ships owned and operated by Carnival Corporation under the trade name of Carnival Cruise lines are:

  • Carnival Conquest
  • Carnival Destiny
  • Carnival Dream
  • Carnival Ecstasy
  • Carnival Elation
  • Carnival Fantasy
  • Carnival Fascination
  • Carnival Freedom
  • Carnival Glory
  • Carnival Imagination
  • Carnival Inspiration
  • Carnival Legend
  • Carnival Liberty
  • Carnival Miracle
  • Carnival Paradise
  • Carnival Pride
  • Carnival Sensation
  • Carnival Spirit
  • Carnival Splendor
  • Carnival Triumph
  • Carnival Valor
  • Carnival Victory
  • Holiday

The ships owned or operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise line (owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd) are:

  • Adventure of the Seas
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Enchantment of the Seas
  • Explorer of the Seas
  • Freedom of the Seas
  • Grandeur of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas
  • Jewel of the Seas
  • Legend of the Seas
  • Liberty of the Seas
  • Majesty of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas
  • Monarch of the Seas
  • Navigator of the Seas
  • Radiance of the Seas
  • Rhapsody of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Sovereign of the Seas
  • Splendour of the Seas
  • Vision of the Seas
  • Voyager of the Seas

The ships owned or operated by Celebrity Cruise Lines (owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.) are:

  • Celebrity Century
  • Celebrity Constellation
  • Celebrity Equinox
  • Celebrity Galaxy
  • Celebrity Infinity
  • Celebrity Mercury
  • Celebrity Millennium
  • Celebrity Solstice
  • Celebrity Summit
  • Celebrity Xpedition

The ships owned or operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines (owned by NCL (Bahamas) Ltd. or NCL America, Inc.) are:

  • Norwegian Dawn
  • Norwegian Dream
  • Norwegian Gem
  • Norwegian Jade
  • Norwegian Jewel
  • Norwegian Majesty
  • Norwegian Pearl
  • Norwegian Sky
  • Norwegian Spirit
  • Norwegian Star
  • Norwegian Sun
  • Pride of America

Back to Top

Is there any rush to getting a lawyer involved?
There are some timing issues. First, we want to request that the cruise line preserve the evidence such as the closed circuit TV monitor files of the incident and the perpetrators. It is our experience that the cruise lines “lose” evidence or say that the video has been automatically recorded over. (After all, Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines are convicted felons for lying to the United States Coast Guard – on a regular, systematic basis – about toxic dumping at sea).

Second, we can act as a liaison between you and the FBI and make sure that the FBI gets everything they need and request.

Of course, we also provide the cruise line with the required 6-month notice and file suit within one year here in Miami, Florida.

Back to Top

Contact Hickey Law Firm, P.A. Today

If you are a raped crew member or if you are the victim of rape on cruise ships, our cruise ship rape attorneys can help; call our Miami law firm now for a private, free discussion of your case and to answer any additional questions you have.