Verdicts Involving Arthritis

Jury Verdict Research reports this week 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 was inflamed, painful, and/or weak 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.

Insurance adjusters love to ignore Maryland law that provides a recovery for exacerbations of preexisting injuries. To the extent that they acknowledge the law, they bundle all of the injury victim’s problems and drop them on the doorstep of the original injury.

Many attorneys run from taking preexisting injury cases – particularly when the prior injury is serious – because they fear they will be unable to apportion the harm. If there are two or more causes of an injury, and indivisibility is not apparent, a Maryland plaintiff has to show either (1) the harm is not divisible, or (2) the harm was produced by both the preexisting cause and the new cause. Clearly, in some cases this is an impossible hurdle but, in most acases this task is very doable when lawyers take the time and money to get the appropriate medical opinions before accepting or rejecting the case.

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