Average Premises Liability Verdicts

The average premises liability verdict is $643,099, according to Jury Verdict Research’s review of premises lawsuits around the country.

slipandfallThe median verdict in these cases is $98,160. Claims against recreational facilities were higher. The average verdict is $1,007,704 and the median verdict is $125,000. JVR defines these cases as a lawsuit which is brought against an individual, business, landlord or organization responsible for the maintenance and safety of a property or structure.

When possible, I try to include average and median data. Average verdict data includes large often uncollectable verdicts that tend to distort the reality. While both the silly case that never should have been filed and the $58,000,000 verdict don’t really apply to the valuation of your case, the former distorts the result more than the latter. Then again, all verdict data undifferentiated by specifics of the case ultimately should be filed away under “very interesting but ultimately useless.”

It is also worth noting that this is a study of successful premise liability verdicts where the plaintiff prevails. Factoring in the losses, the average award is much lower. Most lawyers who handle premises cases regularly handle only serious injury or death cases. Clearly, the bar in terms of the severity of injury required for a good lawyer to accept the case is higher in these cases than in auto accident cases where, generally speaking, the path to proving liability is more clear and certain.

Most Common Premise Liability Lawsuits

The most common premises liability injury is knee injuries (11%).  The median award in knee injury cases was $75,000 which, coincidentally, is the same median as wrist injuries.

Why is the median so low for knee injuries?   The median is the middle 50 percentile.  The 75th percentile is $196,645.  What does this tell you?   The “average” knee injury case is not  less than half the value of an injury is in the top quarter.  I think the reason is that so many knee in jury cases involve preexisting conditions.   If you had a health knee before the accident, that puts you ahead of a lot of the injuries in the pool.  Because people who get knee injuries in accidents are often people who had compromised knees to be begin with.  That does not mean they do not have a viable claim.  What it means is that the settlement value of these preexisting injury cases tends on average to be less.

The two most valuable types of premise liability cases are spinal nerve injuries and disc and other spinal injuries with median verdicts of $162,000 and $185,000, respectively.

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  • Kelvin McCoy

    Very interesting data. But that is not the type of results I’m getting in my premises cases!

  • This is very informtative Premises Liability data.

  • Tony

    I take your point about only taking the most serious cases. As a former insurance defense lawyer, premises liability cases usually permitted a number of defenses, most often lack of notice. There were even occasions where a judge would seriously entertain a MSJ.

  • Ron Miller

    Particularly in Maryland, Tony, because of contributory negligence. But there are some very good cases out there.

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