Cruise ship injuries certainly occur in traumatic accidents involving ships, but those kinds of accidents are rare. Instead, most cruise ship injuries occur because of smaller accidents, poor security, or lack of medical attention onboard. In many cases, the company responsible for your injuries can be taken to court and held financially liable for the injuries they caused. There are no good statistics available on what the average settlement for a cruise ship injury is, but cruise ship accident lawyer Prosper Shaked explains some of the factors that affect how much your cruise ship injury case might be worth.
Calculating Damages in a Cruise Ship Injury Case
In most injury cases, you can claim many areas of damages as part of your personal injury lawsuit. After a maritime accident, the responsible party could be ordered by a court to pay for any number of financial and physical harms that stem from the negligence that caused the accident. That means that many harms that you might not think to consider could be included as damages in your injury case.
Many injuries sustained in a cruise ship accident require medical treatment. Especially if your injury was made worse by the cruise ship’s inability to provide you with adequate medical attention, your injuries or conditions could be severe by the time a doctor treats you. Damages for medical bills can include the obvious expenses, such as surgeries, hospital visits, and follow-up appointments. However, these damages could also include less obvious damages such as X-Rays and MRIs, medical transportation costs, the cost of medical devices like wheelchairs and crutches, and rehabilitation and physical therapy.
If you received negligent medical care, either on-board the cruise ship or back on land, you could also receive damages for those harms from the cruise ship. Were it not for the cruise ship’s negligence, you would never have needed the surgical or medical procedures that were performed negligently. Ultimately, you may need to prove the doctor’s medical negligence as part of your case, but the cruise liner could actually be the one required to pay the damages.
In addition to medical expenses, you may face financial harms if you were unable to work while recovering. Some injuries are severe enough to prevent you from returning to work at all. In both situations, you may be entitled to claim damages for lost wages. Many cruise ship injuries are actually workplace injuries affecting the staff on cruise ships, which can make lost wages an important issue in the case.
There may also be direct damages for your pain and suffering. Especially if you suffered injuries as the victim of a crime or were subjected to a long wait before getting adequate medical attention, you may have suffered greatly for your injuries. “Pain and suffering” damages are meant to help compensate you directly for the physical pain and mental suffering you faced because of the accident.
There are other additional damages, such as loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, and other potential damages you could also seek in a personal injury case.
Ultimately, the court calculates these damages by tallying up any bills or expenses you faced, calculating the total lost wages (which could include projections of future lost wages), and valuing your pain and suffering based on its severity. The total is difficult to calculate in some cases, but our Miami personal injury lawyer can help guide you to understanding this value. In some cases, your attorney may be able to give you a good idea of what your case should be worth based on their experiences with similar cases, though “average values” are not readily available for comparison.
Is a Settlement Higher than In-Court Damages for a Cruise Ship Accident?
Many lawyers discuss their “settlements” when discussing the amount of money a client has won in a previous case. When you take your case to court, many large companies like cruise liners will work toward a case settlement rather than taking the case through trial from beginning to end. This often saves both parties potential expenses in legal fees and the costs of putting on and preparing for a trial. In some cases, a settlement fully covers your needs – but in others, it may fall short.
Always talk to an attorney before settling your injury case. The attorney for the defendant, e.g. the cruise liner, may claim that the settlement they’re offering is fair and covers any expenses you could claim at trial. However, your attorney may be able to point out specific areas of damages the settlement may fail to include. For instance, when a cruise company is extremely negligent or your injuries are caused by a pattern of negligence, the court may order “punitive damages” to punish the negligent parties. However, a settlement would never include these damages and may fall short on your lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Talk to an attorney for help understanding how the options of settling and going to trial may work in your case. The strategy behind accepting a settlement or rejecting a settlement and fighting your case in court is something your attorney can help you understand.
Miami Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured on a cruise ship, or if you lost a loved one to a deadly cruise ship accident, talk to an attorney today about how to sue for a cruise ship injury in Miami. Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked offers free consultations on new injury cases to help you understand what your case might be worth and how hiring an attorney can help in your case. For a free consultation, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.