First, I’m going to share some of my settlements for accidents and injuries that happened while on a cruise ship. All the settlements in this article are before deduction for attorney’s fees and expenses.
Unfortunately, cruise lines often require that settlements are confidential. Thus, I can’t talk about all of my cruise ship accident settlements.
After I go into detail about some of my settlements, I’ll discuss cruise ship injury verdicts and lawsuits that are not mine.
$325,000 Settlement for Trip and Fall on a Cruise Ship (Broken Arm)
Lady tripped and fell over a threshold on a cruise ship. We claimed it was an optical illusion. She had surgery to fix her broken arm (humerus).
We worked with attorneys from a different law firm on this case.
What is the average settlement for a broken arm? It will depend on whether the cruise line’s negligence caused your broken arm (humerus). Assuming that the cruise line was negligent, you then look at your damages.
In other words, how bad is the passenger’s broken arm?
For starters, surgery increases the full value of the case.
Proving liability and the seriousness of the injury are two factors that affect case value. However, it doesn’t stop there.
$24,750+ Settlement for Slip and Fall on Cruise Ship
Settlement against a cruise line when my client, a passenger, fractured a bone. She slipped and fell on water. It happened while walking on stairs on a cruise ship.
All things equal, a broken bone is worth more than a soft tissue injury.
$22,000 Settlement (After We Sued)
For a man in his forties who was injured while cruising on Carnival cruise ship Imagination. Our client, a resident of Baltimore, Maryland was sitting down on a tender on his way from the cruise ship to Grand Cayman.
The tender was apparently an independent contractor for Carnival. Fortunately, Florida law holds that the cruise line has a non-delegable duty to provide safety to passengers when the passenger is on a tender.
The rope connecting the tender to the “loading area” where the passengers were boarding the tender apparently snapped and the rope and a piece of metal flew and hit the gentleman. He reported his injury to cruise personnel immediately.
He visited the cruise ship infirmary later that day and their notes reveal that he had complaints of an injury and pain in his non-dominant shoulder.
How long did he get medical treatment for?
He received medical treatment for about 9 months. After that, he had shoulder impingement surgery.
This cruise passenger was with family at the time of this incident. He had several witnesses. Carnival disputed the fact that the injury victim’s shoulder surgery was caused by the accident.
I sued in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Carnival’s ticket contract requires that legal action against the cruise line be brought in federal court in Miami, Florida.
How Long Do You Have to Sue if You’re Hurt On a Cruise Ship?
An injured passenger must sue within 1 year of the accident. Otherwise, your personal injury case will be permanently dismissed.
Want an example of a case getting dismissed?
Here it is:
A passenger slipped and fell on a Carnival cruise ship. She sued. But she sued after 1 year had passed.
It gets worse:
The injured passenger must notify the cruise ship of the particulars. For example, Carnival’s passenger ticket contract says that the passenger must give notice to Carnival within 185 days.
A federal appeals court has enforced this 185 day notice requirement as it applied to an independent contractor. Davis v. Valsamis, Inc., Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit 2018.
Cruise passengers should put the cruise line on notice as soon as possible after their injury or accident.
If you choose to hire a cruise injury lawyer, make sure to get one who is licensed in Miami’s federal court. We are.
For diabetic cruise ship passenger whose feet were severely burned when he walked on cruise ship outdoor surface which was unreasonably hot without proper warning. We were co-counsel.
For my client, a cruise line employee (crew member) who had knee surgery as the result of a slip and fall on the cruise ship. Our client’s diagnosis was left medial meniscus rupture, and the history was that he has a lot of pain in his left knee since he fell down 6 days ago while he was in the ship.
How Long Does It Take for a Cruise Line to Settle?
First off, there is no guarantee that a cruise line will offer compensation to the passenger. I’m talking about cruise ship slip and falls and other accidents.
That said, cruise ship accident cases often take longer to settle than many other types of cases. For example, cruise ship injury claims usually take longer to settle than car accident cases.
Because cruise lines are usually self-insured. Up to a certain amount of course.
Therefore, in most cases, cruise lines don’t worry about owing more than a certain policy limit.
On the other hand, many car insurance policies are for low limits. For example, in Florida, many drivers only have $10,000 in bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance.
Take someone who is injured in a car accident. Assume the other driver has a $10,000 BIL insurance policy. Assume the accident caused the injured person to suffer a broken leg.
If the other driver was at fault, his insurance company should quickly pay the $10,000 BIL insurance limits.
If the insurance company fails to pay, they may be acting in bad faith. And if a jury later finds that they acted in bad faith, then they may owe any amount above the small $10,000 policy limit.
But cruise lines typically don’t face bad faith. This is because they are self-insured for a large amount. Most cruise injury claims are worth way under the cruise line’s self-insured retention.
Additionally, in most cruise ship accident cases, the passenger can’t file a consumer complaint with the state Department of Insurance. This is because the passenger often isn’t dealing with an insurance company.
$55K Verdict for Pain and Suffering for Cruise Ship Slip and Fall (Herniated Disc and Shoulder Injury)
This is not my case. A was walking on a Royal Caribbean gangway. It was raining.
He claimed that he slipped and fell on a Royal Caribbean gangway.
His lawsuit alleged that the slip and fall caused or aggravated his herniated disc and shoulder injury. Specifically, he was diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear.
The jury awarded $55,000 for his pain and suffering from this cruise slip and fall.
Passenger Sues Carnival for Trip and Fall (Broken Foot)
This is not my case. On October 22, 2016, Carmela Deroy was on a Carnival cruise ship. In particular, she was on the Carnival Valor.
She claimed that she tripped and fell on the hidden dip in the deck.
As a result, she broke her right foot. Since we use our right foot to driver cars, this may increase a foot injury lawsuit settlement.
Carnival extended the period for filing the lawsuit. (Typically, a cruise ship passenger has one year to sue.)
She hired a Fort Lauderdale, Florida personal injury attorney. Fort Lauderdale is about a 45 minute driver from Miami.
Why did she hire an attorney near Miami?
Because the Carnival ship traveled between at least one domestic (United States) port and one foreign port.
Thus, the injured passenger must sue Carnival in Miami, Florida. The passenger ticket requires it. There are no exceptions.
Passengers have lost out on injury settlements by not suing in Miami.
On February 20, 2018, Deroy’s attorney sued Carnival. Her lawsuit asked for:
- permanent bodily injury, pain, disability
loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life
aggravation of pre-existing condition
loss of the ability to earn money
loss of the pleasure of the complete cruise
and all other damages
This case is still ongoing. I will periodically try to check on this lawsuit. If it leads to a cruise ship injury settlement, I will write about it.
In many ways a cruise ship lawsuit settlement is similar to a hotel injury settlement. In essence, a cruise ship is a floating hotel.
Does Carnival Admit That Liquids (On Floors) Cause Passenger Injuries?
In Sampson v Carnival, a passenger’s attorney sued Carnival. This is not my law firm’s case.
In the lawsuit, the passenger’s attorney produced a Carnival document that talked about slip and falls.
On October 24, 2014, Angela Sampson slipped and fell on a Carnival cruise ship. It was the Carnival Inspiration. The ship sailed out of California. However, the lawsuit was field in Miami, Florida.
Why did the passenger’s attorney sue in Miami?
Again, because Carnival’s passenger ticket requires lawsuits to be filed in Miami. At least for cruises that sail from the United States.
The document said that spills are very common in high traffic areas like Lido Restaurant/Beverage Stations, public areas like Bars & Lounges. It also said that spills are one of the leading causes of Guest accidents.
Here is a Carnival training document about spills:
In that same case, the passenger’s attorney also questioned a Carnival employee about another document. Here is Carnival’s document entitled “Areas of Most Potential Slip and Falls”:
On May 25, 2017, Sampson’s attorney filed a notice of settlement withe court. It said that Sampson and Carnival settled this case.
Unfortunately, like most cruise ship injury settlements, the settlement amount wasn’t mentioned.
How is a Cruise Ship Injury Case Different from a Car Accident Case?
There are too many differences to list them here. However, I want to discuss one big difference.
Cruise ship adjusters are tough to get a response from. They are typically bad at responding to emails, letters or phone calls.
Even though those auto insurers make offers for less than the injury claim is worth, there is one positive aspect. Claims adjusters from those car insurance companies are much easier to speak with than cruise ship adjusters.
Car insurance adjusters usually promptly return phone calls. Unfortunately, cruise ship adjusters don’t.
Here are some of my personal injury settlements.
Want to Learn more about Carnival Cruise Line Accident Claims?
Check out these 8 must see articles:
- Carnival Cruise Slip and Fall Accident Claims
- Carnival Cruise Passenger Gets $2,998,155 for 6 Knee Surgeries from Slip and Fall
- $7,500 Verdict for Carnival Cruise Slip and Fall on Oily Substance
- Carnival Cruise Slip and Fall on Condensation or Slippery Tile Claim
- Passenger’s Slip and Fall on Carnival Cruise Dismissed Where No Substance on Floor
- Carnival Doesn’t Have to Give Past Incident Reports of Hazard that Caused Your Fall
- Court Lets Slip and Fall on Wet and Slippery Substance Go Forward vs. Carnival
- Carnival Cruise Slip and Fall Case Dismissed for Failure to Sue in Time
I want to represent you if you were hurt in an accident on a cruise ship.
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