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What is the Average Settlement for a Cruise Ship Injury?

on  Maritime Accidents

There is no average settlement for a cruise ship injury or accident. That’s because every accident or injury on a cruise is different. Each situation is unique, so there isn’t a standard rule for how much money you might get. What happened in your case will decide how much money you might receive as compensation. Because of this, there isn’t a fixed or “average” amount of money that people typically get when they get hurt on a cruise ship.

Imagine you and a friend both got hurt while on a cruise, but your injuries happened differently. Maybe your friend slipped near the pool while you got food poisoning from improperly handled food. While these might seem similar, they’re not. Each one involves differing types of injuries, degrees of harm, and levels of liability.

Because each case is different, there’s no standard rule for how much money you might receive as compensation for your injury. It’s not like a game where everyone wins the same prize. Instead, the amount of money you might get depends on what actually happened to you and how that has affected your life and your future.

So, when someone says there’s no “average settlement for cruise ship injuries,” they mean that each case is unique, and the amount of money you might get is decided by the specific details of what happened to you. 

Cruise Ship Injuries Aren’t Always Catastrophic

It’s hard to forget when a serious cruise ship accident occurs. Serious maritime accidents, such as the Titanic, or the Costa Concordia, which ran aground off the coast of Italy in 2012, injuring 64 and killing 32 passengers, captivate our news feeds. However, most of those types of cruise ship accidents are rare.  Instead, most cruise ship injuries occur because of more minor accidents, such as poor security or lack of medical attention onboard.  

If you’re injured while onboard a cruise ship, you need to put yourself and your future first. Cruise lines are large and highly profitable organizations that should put the safety of their passengers above all else. You can hold them responsible for your injuries when they fail to do so. 

But how much is the average settlement for a cruise ship injury, and will it be enough to cover your medical expenses and damages? 

In many cases, you can file a personal injury claim or a cruise ship accident lawsuit to hold negligent cruise lines and their employees financially liable for the injuries they caused. However, before you take that step, you must call an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer to represent you. 

When you meet with cruise ship accident lawyer Prosper Shaked in a FREE initial consultation, he’ll review the details of your accident and injuries to help you explore your legal options. Once he knows the specifics of your incident, he can give you a better idea of how much your cruise ship injury case might be worth.

Was It An Accident or Negligence?

Suppose you fell on a cruise ship and broke your ankle while walking down the stairs. Was it an accident because you lost your footing, or did you fall because the stairs were wet and slippery? 

Some accidents are “just accidents,” meaning they happen by chance. But other accidents occur because the cruise company, its workers, or even other groups linked to the cruise company (such as the doctors on the ship or the people organizing activities) are not careful enough. 

For instance, let’s say a passenger gets hurt during an activity organized by the cruise company. If the cruise company didn’t provide the proper safety equipment or didn’t train the staff running the activity, the accident might have been caused by their negligence. Similarly, if a passenger gets hurt by a doctor’s actions on the ship, it could be due to the medical personnel’s negligence.

Even excursion operators, sometimes recommended by the cruise line for activities at ports of call, could contribute to accidents if they don’t follow safety guidelines.

When situations like this happen, where accidents occur because someone didn’t take the proper care, it’s possible to make them responsible for their carelessness. In other words, you can hold them accountable for not doing what they should have done to keep things safe.

What Types of Damages Can You Recover?

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 financial and physical harm that stems from the negligence that caused the accident.  

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 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 suffered complications or a worsening condition.  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 harm if you cannot work while recovering.  Some injuries are severe enough to prevent you from returning to work.  In both situations, you may be entitled to claim damages for lost wages, earnings, and benefits.  

Many cruise ship injuries are workplace injuries affecting the staff on cruise ships, which can make lost wages an important issue in the case.

You can also seek compensation for your pain and suffering.  Perhaps you suffered injuries as the victim of a crime or were subjected to a long wait before getting adequate medical attention. The pain and suffering you experience and continue to endure can wreak havoc on your life. You may suffer from anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. 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.

How Do You Calculate Damages in a Cruise Ship 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.  Sometimes, the total is difficult to calculate, but our Miami personal injury lawyer can help you understand 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.

Should I Take a Settlement or Go to Court After 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.  Sometimes, a settlement fully covers your needs, but it may fall short in others.

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 a pattern of negligence causes your injuries, 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 a personal injury attorney for help understanding how 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.

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.  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 today at (305) 694-2676.