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Articles Posted in Personal Injury Verdicts

The original post was about an interesting verdict in New York in a “calling fore” golf course injury case.  The case is still interesting. But it is 11 years-old.  So I’m updating the post in 2020 by including sample settlements and verdicts in golf course injury lawsuits.

Golf Course Injury Verdicts and Settlements

  • 2020, Texas: $125,000 Settlement. A minor girl suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling from a golf cart that was operated by a minor.  Look at the infographic we have on this page.  These injuries are unbelievably common.  The injury left her with permanent impairments. Her family sued the driver for recklessly operating the vehicle and failing to properly brake. They also sued the cart’s owner for negligently entrusting it to an incompetent operator. The case settled for $125,000. Obviously, there was a real problem for the victim’s lawyer in establishing fault because a case like this should be worth millions at trial if successful.

wrist injury cases

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Over the last 18 years, our car accident lawyers have handled a large number of wrist fracture cases.  We have seen wrist fracture cases with very high values, very low values, and everything in between. Our firm has a history of maximizing the value of wrist injury cases. 

What Is the Settlement Value of the Average Wrist Fracture Claim?

The settlement value of a wrist fracture claim will vary wildly with the severity of the fracture. Some time ago, Metro Verdicts Monthly provided the median verdict and settlement value of wrist fracture cases over the last 22 years. The average settlement/verdict in Washington D.C. is $105,000. Maryland is less than half that: $50,000. The average settlement/verdict in a wrist fracture case in Virginia is $52,583.

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

I’m fortunate in that I don’t get many headaches, a blessing I attribute to good hydration and genetic good fortune. On the rare occasion that I do get headaches, they are debilitating. It is hard to enjoy much of anything in life when you have anything north of a mild headache. Juries struggle with figuring out how to value personal injury cases when the primary injury is a head injury that caused —  and may continue to cause — headaches. Why? Because headaches are mostly subjective. So the credibility of the plaintiff – which is usually 90% of the game at trial – becomes the entire game because you can’t know the pain level inside someone’s head. Instead, decide if you believe that their report of pain is what they say it is.  Certainly, objective injuries surrounding the claim — like a diagnosis of post-concussion syndrome — bolster the settlement value of injury claims.  But, ultimately, it boils down to the credibility of the victim.

What Is the Settlement Value of Headaches?

The average verdict for headache injuries is $72,168. The median verdict is $13,359.

The awards ranged from $1 to $14,810,734.  One percent of the awards in headache cases were over $1 million.  This data is a bit older but I feel pretty confident th2 2020 average and median would be similar.

vertebrae fracture cases
Our law firm has handled a lot of vertebrae fracture car, motorcycle, and truck accident cases over the last 18 years.

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.

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. But they may also be including hairline fractures which are hardly the same thing.

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. Then again, all verdict data undifferentiated by specifics of the case ultimately should be filed away under “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. 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 the path to proving liability is more clear and certain.

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

How much are arthritis cases worth?

Jury Verdict Research reports that the median jury award over the past 10 years, in personal injury cases involving arthritis injuries, is $38,867.00. This study involved personal injury verdicts where the victim’s primary injury involved inflammation, pain, and/or weakness to their joints or muscles. The study underscored what personal injury lawyers around the country have long known about fibromyalgia cases: juries struggle with them. This is borne out by the numbers – the median jury award of what we would call “pure” arthritis cases is $121,538.00; the median fibromyalgia jury award is approximately $23,000.00.

median arthritis verdicts
Insurance adjusters love to ignore Maryland law that provides recovery for exacerbations of preexisting injuries.  When they are not ignoring that law, they are bundling all the injury victim’s problems and drop them on the doorstep of the original injury.

Obviously, there are a lot of vexing injuries that occur in car and truck accidents. Foot and ankle injuries rank high on this list of hard to solve accident injuries. There are so many bones in the foot — one-fourth of all of your bones — and the bones are so small. Just too many things can go wrong.foot injury lawsuits

What Is the Average Settlement Value of a Foot Injury Accident Claim?

According to a Jury Verdict Research study, the overall median jury award for foot injuries is approximately $100,000 (maybe slightly less in Maryland).  More serious foot injuries see a corresponding rise in value. Multiple fractures to a foot increase the median verdict to $144,000. In foot injury cases where both feet are fractured, the median rises to $296,940. For plaintiffs’ lawyers repeating the “scope property damage does not matter” credo, it is hard to ignore the conclusion that if you have suffered fractures to both of your feet, you were most likely in a serious accident. Another Jury Verdict Research study found that 39% of the foot injury cases that went to verdict were suffered in motor vehicle collisions. A remarkable 11% of serious foot injury cases were in motorcycle accident cases. This stat underscores how dangerous motorcycles are compared to cars or trucks.

Continue reading

What is the settlement value of a personal injury claim where you have lost your vision in either one eye or both?

Metro Verdicts Monthly has a graph that reflects the median verdicts and settlements when the injury victim loses vision in one eye in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

What Is the Average Settlement in a Vision Loss Case?

The median for losing vision in one eye in Maryland is $231,000. You could drive a truck through the gap between Washington, D.C., and Virginia’s median settlements in verdicts with loss of vision in one eye cases: Washington, D.C.’s median is $162,500; Virginia’s is $320,000.

hawaii medical malpractice
There are not many malpractice settlements and verdicts in Hawaii.  Here are three that I found and the awards or settlements are significant:

  • 2019, Hawaii: $18,760,000 Settlement. A woman suffered an end-stage renal disease after experiencing a sepsis-related infection while giving birth at Tripler Medical Center. She experienced repeated and increased hypotension and tachycardia episodes after being transferred to the postpartum unit. Her lab results showed that she developed sepsis and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. She eventually suffered permanent kidney damage. An infectious disease expert confirmed the group A streptococcus that resulted in toxic shock syndrome, sepsis, and bacteremia. Upon being discharged, she underwent hemodialysis three times a week. Within two years, she was hospitalized for gallstones and increased fluid in her abdomen. She and her husband sued Tripler for failing to timely diagnose or treat her kidney failure. They allege that she now needed a kidney transplant and other organ transplants throughout her life.  The magistrate judge initially awarded $24,743,668. However, the federal government appealed the case. It eventually settled for $18,760,000.
  • 2013, Hawaii: $4,250,000 Award. A 15-year-old became paralyzed from the neck down after receiving steroid treatment for lupus. She developed a facial rash and slurred speech while visiting Hawaii with her family. She saw a pediatric rheumatologist, who diagnosed her with lupus. An MRI revealed some white matter density in her brain. Upon hospital admission, the rheumatologist prescribed weekly methylprednisone and prednisone doses to be taken for four weeks. The teenager responded well to the medication; her speech resolved, and her blood tests showed no increases in lupus antibodies. The rheumatologist had her continue this regimen. Right before the fourth week, the teen complained of muscle weakness. Her mother had her stop taking the medications. She eventually showed myopathy signs and was subsequently admitted to the hospital. She eventually could not move her body from the neck down. The teen and her mother sued the treating medical center for prescribing a high steroid dose. She now needed lifetime medical care because of her injuries. The first trial, held in 2009, awarded $6,150,000. However, the Hawaiian Supreme Court ordered a new trial based on erroneous evidence. The second trial’s jury awarded $4,250,000, which the court reduced to $1,800,000.
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