Visitor Question

Is a cruise ship liable for a slip on water inside its main restaurant?

Submitted By: Deanne (Fort Myers, FL)

I was on a cruise out of Miami, FL.

The main restaurant (inside the ship) had a puddle of water close to the food area. I slipped and fell, tore my meniscus, and needed surgery. I reported it to the crew member who was quite puzzled as to how the water got there.

I have almost $16,000 in medical fees, was a golfer and a walker (12 miles a week) and I’m 76 years old. What can I reasonably expect as a settlement? Thanks for any info you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Deanne,

Presuming the cruise ship company is offering a settlement it wouldn’t be unreasonable to demand $60,000 dollars. While that amount is quite high, it is certainly a legitimate starting point in your settlement negotiations.

In many cases, victims of negligent actions can represent themselves. They can negotiate a settlement and if necessary, file a small claims lawsuit. But those are only in cases of “soft tissue” injuries such as bruises, sprains, minor lacerations and abrasions.

Because of the seriousness of your injury you might be better served by at least speaking with several personal injury attorneys. Most won’t charge a fee for an initial office consultation.

Personal injury attorneys have much more leverage. They can subpoena records, take depositions, and if necessary, file a lawsuit. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by consulting with one or more personal injury attorneys.

In the interim, it would be a good idea not to make any further statements to the ship’s insurance representatives, or sign any documents they may provide related to your injury.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 3, 2013

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