I have been writing a bit lately about Metro Verdicts Monthly Verdicts. There really is a wealth of information in this publication.
Every month, on the cover of Metro Verdicts is a graph of some kind comparing settlement amounts in different regions or different types of injuries. This month, they had a fascinating graph comparing fractured shoulder injury verdicts and settlements in Maryland and Virginia since 1987, omitting defense verdicts. The average fractured shoulder verdict or settlement in Maryland was $154,800 whereas, in Virginia, it was only $52,500.
This is a remarkable disparity. If you have choice over venue – not common but it does happen – it would seem that a smart lawyer with a client with a shoulder injury would chose Maryland. In reality, it is probably more complicated than that and would depend on the injury, the client, and what county in Maryland would have appropriate venue for the lawsuit. While I love verdict data, all of it is suspect and should be just a weapon in the arsenal of a lawyer trying to figure out the value of a tort case.