What is a fair settlement from cruiseline injury while on our honeymoon?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is a fair settlement from cruiseline injury while on our honeymoon?

My husband and I were on our honeymoon and signed up for teeth whitening our first day onboard a cruiseline. We both received severe burns to our gums; they blistered and bled for 5 days. hey paid for our onboard medical and did not charge us for the whitening services. I have them talked up from $500 to $1690 as a “final offer” (100% refund for our cruise price). don’t feel this is enough since it was our honeymoon. It doesn’t include oyr flight, missed work, or any pain/suffering. Is it worth hiring an attorney or is the $1690 fair?

Asked on May 14, 2012 under Personal Injury, Iowa

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your personal injury claim and your husband's personal injury claim are separate claims and should not be lumped together as one claim.

Compensation should include the medical bills, pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  It is good that you are being given a 100% refund on the cruise, but these other items should also be included.  There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  It just depends on the facts of the case.  For example, if you are still having residual complaints after completing your medical treatment, that would result in additional compensation compared to someone with a similar injury who did not have residual complaints of pain, etc. after completing medical treatment. If the medical reports state that you or your husband will need future medical treatment for your injuries, the estimated cost of the future treatment discounted to  present value should be included in the settlement.   I would usually ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get that.  The insurance carrier will respond with a much lower offer and you can continue negotiating from there to try to get an increased amount as you have done.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the cruise line's insurance carrier, you can reject the settlement offers and sue the cruise line for negligence.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  If you do have an attorney represent you, the attorney will probably receive 1/3 of the settlement.

As I mentioned, there are two separate personal injury claims (yours and your husband's).  If one of those cases is settled with the cruise line's insurance carrier, only the party who has not settled would proceed with the lawsuit for negligence against the cruise line.  If neither case is settled, both you and your husband would file a single lawsuit for negligence against the cruise line.  If the settlement figure you mentioned is to compensate both you and your husband, that sounds rather low. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption