I think I have a good handle on the settlement value of ankle fracture cases. My law firm has handled many foot and ankle injury cases over the years. My first foot and ankle case was 17 years ago when I sued the New England Patriots and their team doctors that ultimately settled. I probably met with a half dozen of the best foot and ankle surgeons in the country in connection with that case.
Since then, Miller & Zois has handled scores of foot and ankle injury cases and procured millions of dollars for our clients in these cases. My last ankle injury verdict was in Prince George’s County was the 6th biggest verdict that year, according to Washingtonian Magazine. (Here is a video providing the story of that case.)
I’m not trying to brag. My point is we know the science of these cases. We know how to maximize the settlement and trial value of these claims.
What Is the Average Compensation for an Average Ankle Injury Settlement?
What kind of success are other lawyers having in fracture ankle cases? Apparently, they are having very little success. The median settlement values for ankle fracture injuries are:
|District of Columbia
|Our law firm has successfully handled scores of foot and ankle serious injury accident cases. If you want someone to fight for you, lawyers that know these cases, call 800-553-8082 or get a free Internet consultation.
It is amazing how low these are. These are from a few years ago. But I think the number has not changed in 2021. Sure, some ankle fractures can be treated with conservative care if the fracture displacement is two millimeters or fewer or if there is no talar shift. But I can’t imagine getting less than six figures in the vast majority of these cases. I don’t know how much insurance policy limits came into play in these cases.
Either way, these compensation payout numbers are just way too low. The loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress from these injuries are often extreme even before we talk about how painful they are. One problem is not distinguishing between a good result and a good outcome for the patient.
A good result for an orthopedic surgeon is a good-looking x-ray. The fracture is healed, mobility is good and the ankle joint is where it’s supposed to be. But you can have a good x-ray and still have a permanent injury, particularly when there is hardware is keeping the broken ankle together.
How Much Should I Settle for a Broken Ankle with Surgery?
I know I wrote the question. But I hate the question. There are so many variables – that I lay out below – that drive settlement compensation payouts. There is no way to put a settlement amount on a case with such a vague description.
Two Take-Homes from These Ankle Settlement Statistics
Two more points of interest in this data. First, don’t get a broken ankle fracture in Virginia. It is amazing to me how low these Virginia verdicts are. I have to think this data is screwed up in some way.
Second, it is interesting that Maryland ankle fracture verdicts are 33% higher than Washington, D.C. verdicts, given that the Maryland median was much less than Washington, D.C. for both fractured shoulder and rotator cuff verdicts. The Federal Tort Claims Act News wrote an article about how Jury Verdict Research Case Evaluation Software was predicting the value of claims in a particular slip and fall case with an ankle fracture. In this case, the jury predicted a probable verdict of $117,600 with only a 33% chance of success on liability (maybe a tough slip and fall case on liability).
I just struggle to see how a case with a good fracture could be valued so low. As a point of comparison, it provided the following JVR nationwide analysis of ankle injuries:
||$40,000 – $248,223
||$1 – $5,250,804
One more point: median settlement values are the midpoint of the data, not the average. So included in the math are many awful cases that probably never should have been filed in the first place. So why not just quote the average? Well, the high range of these ankle verdicts is $5,250,804. That also distorts the statistics. The take-home message: settlement and verdict statistics are invariably misleading.