Articles Posted in Personal Injury Verdicts

According to a recent Jury Verdict Research report, plaintiffs on motorcycles receive higher awards for collisions than bicycle plaintiffs. Makes sense. They are driving much faster and frequently roads where speed is more of an issue.

Their analysis, based on plaintiffs’ verdicts rendered from October 1999 to October 2006, examines motorcycle and bicycle categories involving collisions with other vehicles, objects, and pedestrians. The study found that the award median for motorcycle accidents was $73,700 compared to $40,912 for bicycle plaintiffs.

I assume they base the difference in the fact that motorcycles generate greater speeds that lead to more serious accidents. Interestingly, Jury Verdict Research provided average verdicts> with this data, which it rarely does. To underscore the difference between median and average, the average motorcycle accident case was $561,065 and the average bike accident case was $500,353.

Back in March, I reported data I found in Metro Verdicts Monthly research that I thought would interest personal injury lawyers in Maryland on the value of fractured shoulder injuries. Yesterday I received the recent issue of Metro Verdicts Monthly that provided the median settlement value for rotator cuff injuries in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia:rotator cuff injury

Washington D.C. $136,200
Virginia $26,250
Maryland $45,000

It is hard to comment on these numbers.  I can’t believe they are accurate.  That a rotator cuff injury in D.C. is worth three times as much money as the same case in Maryland… I don’t buy it.  I’m not sure how they get their data, but the difference in these jurisdictions is not all that pronounced.  Arguably, Maryland is a better place for plaintiffs.  Baltimore City and Prince George’s County are far superior jurisdictions.   While we have never calculated our average or median verdict and settlement statistics in these cases, I can tell you it is a lot more than $45,000.

Rotator Cuff Accident Cases

The rotator cuff is a composite of four major muscles and tendon fibers that blend with the upper half of the capsule of the shoulder joint. In the experience of our lawyers, most rotator cuff injuries in car and truck accidents occur in side collisions or “T-Bone” accidents.

Our law firm has handled scores of rotator cuff cases.  Our clients struggle with these injuries.  These painful and debilitating injuries make everyday tasks impossible.  It is amazing how often you lift your arm up throughout your life, as these victims quickly figure out.

Rotator cuff injury is a relative term with varying degrees of severity, from strains of the rotator cuff that result in minor limitation in the shoulder’s motion to severe ruptures of multiple muscles or tendons.  Millions of people are diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff injury every year.  But if you are getting a tear — often a full-thickness — from a motor vehicle accident, you are unlikely to see an injury that easily resolves.  Many of these clients require an open repair or a mini-open repair that is invasive by 2014 standards.

Interestingly, older data for rotator cuff injury cases that went to trial showed that the median final demand was $85,000 and the median final offer was $25,000. This is a wide range perhaps underscoring the difference of opinions as to the severity of the rotator cuff injury. The study also found that the median award was $50,000, which leads one to believe that both the Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s lawyers were often way off the mark on the actual settlement value of the case.

You can get more information on the value of rotator cuff injuries by looking both at statistics and sample jury verdicts and out-of-court settlements here.

Rotator Cuff Injury Settlements and Verdicts

$90,000 Verdict (2022 Oregon): the plaintiff was driving on a highway when she suddenly had to slow down and was rear-ended by the defendant. The plaintiff claimed that she suffered a torn left rotator cuff which required surgery. The verdict included $13k in medical expenses and $23k in lost wages.

$538,124 Verdict (2021 Geogria): the plaintiff, employed as a truck driver, reportedly sustained a left rotator cuff tear requiring surgery and leaving him with a permanent impairment, limiting his ability to work and forcing him to change his profession, when the tractor-trailer he operated in a rail yard was struck from the rear by a truck owned by defendant.

$8,865 Verdict (2021 Oregon): the plaintiff was rear-ended by the defendant at a stop sign and the accident allegedly resulted in a complete tear of his left rotator cuff.

$5,500 Verdict (2021 Texas): claimed to suffer a left shoulder, requiring surgery, as well as pain, numbness and tingling in her fingers and hand when, while dining at a restaurant operated by the defendant a tray of dirty dishes was dropped by an employee and struck her left shoulder and arm.

$35,275 Verdict (2019 Washington): the plaintiff, a 20-year-old female, was sideswiped by the defendant and claimed that she suffered a torn rotator cuff and back and neck sprains. She was awarded $8,375 in medical expenses and $25,000 for pain and suffering.

$24,887 Verdict (2018 Florida): the plaintiff was rear-ended by the defendant and claimed injuries including a torn rotator cuff and damage to his acromioclavicular joint which he alleged were permanent. Case went to trial on damages and the jury found that the injuries were not permanent.

Contact Us About Your Shoulder Injury Case

If have suffered a torn rotator cuff or another type of shoulder injury in a accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Miller & Zois today at 800-553-8082 to find out how much your case could be worth.


Metro Verdicts Monthly’s cover graph is failure to diagnose breast cancer settlements and verdicts in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. breast cancer misdiagnosis casesBy some estimates, between 8% and 12% of cancer cases are initially misdiagnosed.

It is hard to call one type of cancer misdiagnosis case more tragic than another. Every misdiagnosis is going to decrease the chance of treating and defeating the cancer.

But many cancer misdiagnosis cases are not medical malpractice cases because the cancer is so aggressive, but breast cancer misdiagnosis cases are fueled by tragedy because breast cancer is often extremely manageable when caught early, and often fatal when missed. Continue reading

Arthritis is such a severe injury because it is permanent.  Our clients who suffer from arthritis do not get better over time.  They get worse.

This page looks at the settlement compensation you can generally expect in personal injury claims where arthritis is a significant component of the victim’s injuries.

Personal Injury Claims Alleging Arthritis

This page is about head injuries and their settlement compensation in personal injury lawsuits.

Our lawyers see a lot of head injuries in our practice.  Head injuries to automobile occupants have been shown to be a major cause of death and permanent brain injury. We see head injuries that range from headaches that resolve quickly to brain damage that destroys a life.

When it comes to determining appropriate settlement payout, head injuries might be the hardest personal injury claim to evaluate. Head injuries are a common occurrence in personal injury cases and they are often difficult to assess.  The head is a complex part of the body with delicate and vital structures. The effects of an injury to these structures may be subtle, slow to appear, and difficult to diagnose. Head injuries can also affect a person’s posture, appearance, and sensory organs, which can have a significant emotional impact on the person suffering the injury.

The average premises liability verdict is $643,099, according to Jury Verdict Research’s review of premises lawsuits around the country. premise liability casesThe 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 that is brought against an individual, business, landlord, or organization responsible for the maintenance and safety of a property or structure.

Average v. Median Verdicts

When possible, I try to include the average and median data. Average verdict data includes large, often uncollectable verdicts that 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.

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 $66,000
Virginia $21,700
Maryland $88,000
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.

Value of ankle injuries

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. ankle fracture valueThe 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:

Award Median $91,925
Probability Range $40,000 – $248,223
Award Range $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.

Continue reading

In the past, I have written on the value of fractured legs. Now, in a relentless, unyielding effort to cover the settlement and trial value of every single bone in the human anatomy, let’s thin slice broken legs a little thinner: femur fractures in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia.

This month’s Metro Verdicts Monthly graph on the front of their publication compares verdict and settlement amounts for femur fractures in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Since 1987 the median verdict or settlement amount of a femur fracture case in the District of Columbia has been $250,000.00, and in Virginia, it has been $200,000.00. However, the median verdict or settlement in a femur fracture case in Maryland has been $75,000.00. The national average is $167,000.

Continue reading

Our law firm has handled a lot of vertebrae fractures in car, motorcycle, and truck accident cases over the last 20 years.  A vertebrae fracture can be a serious, significant, and permanent injury to the musculoskeletal system. You wouldn’t wish this fracture on anyone.

What is the Settlement Value of a Vertebrae Fracture Case?

One study found that the national median award at trial in personal injury cases for a vertebra fracture is $112,537.  The median award for multiple vertebrae fractures is almost double the single vertebra amount, $207,000.

vertebrae fracture cases
This is far lower than our law firm’s average settlement in vertebrae fracture cases. Why? There could be some jurisdictional differences. Because this is not Maryland data, but national data. The pool for these statistics may also include hairline fractures. When I’m talking vertebrae fracture claims, I’m not talking about hairline fractures.

vision loss case

What is the Average Value for Vision Loss Cases?

Metro Verdicts Monthly graph this month is the median verdict and settlement value of “vision loss” personal injury cases. Omitting defense verdicts, the average settlement/verdict in Washington D.C. is $500,000. What do you think the average is in Maryland? Somehow, I doubt you would guess anything in the neighborhood or even the zip code of $192,700. The difference between these two numbers is inexplicable. The average settlement/verdict in vision loss cases in Virginia is $450,000.

I suspect something is wrong with this analysis because I really don’t think Virginia juries value vision loss twice as much as Maryland juries. I’d pay extra if they would include in an appendix the data they used for these graphs.

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