What to do if I fell on a slippery deck on a cruise ship and broke 5 ribs but didn’t know it until I got home and had X-rays?

They have reimbursed my medical out of pocket, but will offer nothing for the pain and suffering. I have 1 year according to their passage contract and it must be litigated in southern CA. It was confirmed by their security and their customer relations manager that it was a hazardous area. I believe it was negligence and they should pay restitution. I have asked for a replacement anniv. cruise as settlement and their position is no additional compensation will be offered. Can I sue them for pain and suffering? I have 2 scheduled surgeries non related that I think I will max out my medical coverage. Should they compensate?

Asked on November 9, 2012 under Personal Injury, California


Leigh Anne Timiney / Timiney Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally, it is appropriate for an insurance company to offer an injured party some compensation for pain and suffering.  That being said, insurance companies are getting tighter and tighter about what they are willing to offer to settle personal injury claims.  Certainly you can sue them for the pain and suffering portion of your claim, but you have to consider whether or not you really want to do that.  Typically what you can expect in a pain and suffering settlement is some variable of what your medical bills are.  While I understand that broken ribs can be extremely painful ( I broke two on a ride a Disneyland ), they generally do not require a lot of medical care, heal fairly well and generally do not leave any permanent injury.  That being said, the amount you could expect for a pain and suffering award is not a highly significant amount of money.  As such, pursuing a formal civil lawsuit, in which you would need to hire an attorney, just might not be cost effective for you.  Suing someone is expensive, time consuming and draining.  What you might ultimately realize in the end may not justify the means.    

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