Metro Verdicts Monthly came out today with a new statistic on the trial and settlement value (they are lumped together) of fractured hip cases. The median settlement values for fractured hip cases are:
District of Columbia: $200,000
Virginia: $115,000As a point of comparison, Jury Verdict Research last year provided the following data on hip fractures:
Award Median: $175,000
Award Mean: $435,581
Probability Range: $80,978-$382,500
Award Range: $1,690-$7,888,900
In this data, the gap between the median and the mean is striking. Nine percent of hip fracture awards are over $1 million, which inflates the average. They estimate the mortality case on fractured hips between 20%-58% (most likely lower range is correct). So ultimately there are a lot of fractured hip wrongful death cases that increase the average value of these claims.
I think many personal injury lawyers, who have not handled fractured hip cases, might be surprised by how high these verdicts and settlements are in Maryland and around the country. This is probably because fractured hips often occur in our elderly population with significant trauma. But if you are injured in a car or truck accident, there is rarely a legitimate pre-existing condition argument that can be made.
A hip fracture from auto and truck accidents can be a permanent, life-altering event for some patients, oft leading to impaired balance and gait and loss of functional independence. The value of a hip fracture case may also depend upon the hip fracture, which directs the intervention required. Only one-third of fractured hip cases require surgery, but that number is much higher for hip fractures suffered in car and truck accidents. At Miller & Zois, we see more hip fractures in nursing home lawsuits than any other claim.
- Get sample hip fracture verdicts and settlements
When a personal injury lawyer settles a hip fracture case, the lawyer should advise the client of the risks associated with settling a hip fracture case. Insurance companies will often seek to settle a hip fracture case quickly, knowing a refracture or a secondary hip fracture is a good possibility in these cases. The client has to make the call, but the lawyer should remind the client that a settlement is final and while the expectation of potential future injury may be factored into the settlement, the value of a hip fracture case will increase if there is a refracture or secondary fracture.
Hip Fracture Settlements and Verdicts
Below are reported settlements and verdicts from recent tort cases in which the plaintiff’s primary injury was a hip fracture.
$350,000 Settlement (Washington 2022): plaintiff, 50-year-old female, was in a head-0n collision and suffered left ankle fracture, hip fracture, and femur fracture. Policy limit settlement from both the at-fault driver and from her UIM coverage. Included $203,975 in medical expenses.
$722,617 Verdict (Washington 2021): plaintiff was struck by an ambulance after it failed to yield at an intersection. The plaintiff suffered a fractured hip and pelvis, a fibula fracture, and torn rotator cuff injury which allegedly resulted in permanent disability.
$300,000 Settlement (Idaho 2021): plaintiff, 70-year-old male, was walking on a sidewalk when the defendant pulled into a parking lot and struck him. The plaintiff suffered a hip fracture, femur fracture, and skull fracture requiring multiple surgeries.
$25,000 Settlement (New York 2020): 11-year-old boy, reportedly suffered a left hip fracture, requiring open reduction and internal fixation, when he was struck as a pedestrian by a vehicle driven by the defendant.
$100,000 Settlement (Alabama 2020): 10-year old boy was riding his bicycle on a sidewalk when he was struck by a USPS delivery truck and suffered a fractured hip and other related injuries.
Frequently Asked Fractured Hip Questions
Below are questions we often get from victims in fractured hip cases
How much is the average fractured hip worth in a settlement?
As you can see in the statistics above, the average fractured hip case is worth close to $450,000.
Can a patient’s death be blamed on a hip fracture?
Hip fractures are fraught with dangers. Some are obvious, such as the fracture itself or surgery. Some are less obvious like complications, mental changes, and dependence on others.
In one study in 2020 found that mortality from hip fracture approaches 24 percent at one year. The type of hip fracture also matters. In another study, hip arthroplasty for acute fracture is associated with a nearly tenfold higher rate of perioperative mortality compared with elective hip arthroplasty.
Ultimately, immobility can cause death. Fracture related immobility forced upon the patient by bed rest and pain interferes with all aspects of the body’s function. The medical literature recognizes a statistically significant link between hip fracture and a premature death because of the immobility that results from hip surgery.
How do most hip fractures occur?
Approximately 95% of hip injury cases are from falls. The majority of hip fracture cases our lawyers see are from nursing home falls.
Is there a lot of pain and suffering damages in hip fracture cases?
Of course, there is a lot of pain and suffering in hip fracture cases.
Where can I find quality studies on hip fracture and mortality?
The study I linked to in the previous question has a great list of journal articles on hip fracture and mortality.
You can also take a look at:
- Am. J. Public Health 1997; 87: 398; Bentler SE et al, The aftermath of hip fracture: discharge placement, functional status change, and mortality.
- Am J. Epidemiol 2009 170: 1290; Morrison RS et al, The medical consultant’s role in caring for patients with hip fracture
- Ann. Intern. Med. 1998; 128: 1010; Panula et al., Mortality and cause of death in hip fracture patients aged 65 or older – a population-based study
- Osteoporos Int 2007, 18:1583-1593; Abrahamsen B, van Staa T, Ariely R, Olson M, Cooper C: Excess mortality following hip fracture: a systematic epidemiological review
- Eur J Epidemiol 2008, 23:747-755; Giversen IM: Time trends of mortality after first hip fractures. Osteoporos Int 2007, 18:721-732.
- Sci Rep 2020, 10, 9607 (2020)Huette, P., et al.: Risk factors and mortality of patients undergoing hip fracture surgery: a one-year follow-up study.