Ron Miller is an attorney who focuses on serious injury and wrongful death cases involving motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, and products and premises liability. If you are looking for a Maryland personal injury attorney for your case, call him today at 800-553-8082.

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.

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.

Average-Ankle-Injury-Settlements

 

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:

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.

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A Jury Verdict Research study found that the average verdict in an improper medication case is $3,539,541.

That is a big number. The median, which many consider a more accurate number, is $1.2 million. Verdicts ranged from $2,074 to $35,500,000. But only 28% of medication error plaintiffs recover at trial. I think the problem in many medication error cases where plaintiffs do not prevail is causation because sometimes the medication error compounds a larger pre-existing health condition and it is difficult for the jury and the doctors to sort it out.

medication error settlement amountsIncredibly, 1.5 million people are victims of medication errors every year, according to an Institute of Medicine study from a few years ago. Most of these errors are relatively harmless.

The Maryland Appellate Court recently decided a Maryland dram shop case after the tragic death of a man in a single-car crash that had allegedly been overserved at a Charles County bar.  The plaintiffs had the good fortune of drawing as the author of the opinion the  Maryland Supreme Court judge the wrote the dissenting opinion in Maryland’s last big dram shop case.

Plaintiffs still lost.

Facts of Willett v. Ape Hangers

Uber accident injury
Uber and Lyft are the new on-demand transportation (or “rideshare”) companies that have revolutionized the for-hire and taxi transportation business in the last few years. Users download the Uber or Lyft app to their mobile phone and set up an account with a credit card for payment.  Once set up, users can request a ride pickup from their phone to which nearby Uber or Lyft drivers in the area respond. The apps allow riders to track the driver and process payment electronically.

Lyft and Uber are relatively new companies, but they have exploded in popularity over the last 5 years. My sister is in Kenya right now, and she is traveling around by Uber. Lyft, Uber’s kid brother, is about to go public and make their founders and estimated $9.4 bazillion.  Car accidents involving Lyft or Uber drivers are becoming more and more common, and these cars flood our roads.

Claims Against Lyft or Uber

In a new unreported Maryland Appellate Court opinion, the court reversed the trial court’s reduction of damages in a liposuction medical malpractice lawsuit.

Facts of Blackston v. Doctor’s Weight Loss Centers

This is a somewhat rare case where malpractice occurs in one state and the doctor is sued in another The claim involves a patient who underwent a liposuction procedure in Alexandria, Virginia, and subsequently suffered permanent physical and emotional injuries.

leg injury verdictsJury Verdict Research published data on verdicts in severe leg injury cases over the 10 years prior to October 2010. By severe, I mean severe: crush injuries and amputations. For injuries to one or both legs, and leg injuries resulting in varying degrees of leg amputations, the statistics are:

INJURY AVERAGE MEDIAN
One or Both Legs $4,000,000 $2,400,000

The average verdict in these cases is approximately $4,000,000 and the median verdict is $2,400,000 for injuries to one or both legs, and leg injuries resulting in varying degrees of leg amputations.

The leg amputation categories include both traumatic and surgical amputations. The relatively insignificant difference surprised me between above the knee and below the knee amputations:

INJURY AVERAGE MEDIAN
Above the knee $3,958,003 $2,588,649
Below the knee $4,930,186 $3,727,500
Bilateral Amputation $13,392,589 $5,012,500

As you can see, the median for bilateral amputations is a statistically insignificant difference from a single above the knee amputation.

This is interesting data and useful to use in negotiating your case. But asking the numbers to make sense is asking too much.

Settlements & Verdicts – Serious Leg Injuries

Below are summaries of cases resulting in verdicts or settlements where the primary injury was a serious leg injury,

Smith v. Elseroad (Baltimore City 2023) $425,000: The plaintiff was standing between two parked cars when the defendant motorist smashed his vehicle into the rear of one of the cars, pushing it forward into the plaintiff and crushing the plaintiff between the parked cars. The plaintiff suffered a bilateral leg crush injury resulting in permanent injuries, a right fibular head fracture, a permanent concave deformity on his calf, and permanent scarring on his lower body.

Hupp v. United States (D. Md. 2021) $729,000: Plaintiff suffered multiple fractures to his left ankle, requiring fusion and resulting in loss of motion and pain, as well as aggravation of preexisting condition, when the motorcycle he was operating was struck by a USPS mail truck that backed up from a parked position without warning, causing his left leg to be pinned under the motorcycle.

Johnson v. Bautista (Baltimore County 2021) $2,458,000: plaintiff suffered crush injuries to his right leg, including fractures to his right femur and tibia and nerve damage requiring surgery followed by physical therapy, and resulting in the permanent loss of feeling in his right foot and a combined right leg/lower extremity impairment rating of 46 percent. Jury awarded $208,000 in economic damages and $2.2 million for pain and suffering.

Thomas v. MTA (Baltimore City 2019) $1,200,000: plaintiff, a water taxi deckhand, suffered multiple fractures to her left leg and an open fracture of her left ankle, both of which required extensive surgeries, including placement of rods and screws and skin grafting, and resulted in extensive scarring on her leg. Case settled for $1.2 million.

Turner v. Brown (Baltimore City 2018) $390,394: plaintiff suffered a left leg hairline fracture, a left knee meniscus tear that required surgery when he was struck by a commercial vehicle driven by the defendant.

Patton v. Ruiz (P.G. County 2017) $1,584,296: plaintiff suffered right leg compound fractures, including a right knee fracture, resulting in persistent leg and knee pain and weakness and permanent radicular symptoms related to his leg and knee, when defendant allegedly made a left turn at an intersection on a steady red light and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle as it was proceeding through the intersection on a green light.

Koger v. Mabato (Baltimore City 2017) $1,203,013: Plaintiff was hit by a mobility bus in an intersection and suffered a fractured right distal femur, which required open reduction and internal fixation surgery and resulted in permanent impairment, as well as a fractured scapula, resulting in difficulty walking, standing, sitting and using stairs, continuing pain and permanent impairment of his right knee/leg.

Our lawyers are handling Tylenol autism lawsuits not only in Maryland but nationwide.

Recent medical studies have determined using high doses of Tylenol (or generic acetaminophen) during pregnancy may cause an increased risk of having a baby with autism or autism spectrum disorder. The new research regarding the link between Tylenol use during pregnancy and autism has prompted many parents of autistic children to bring product liability lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers of acetaminophen products.

Tylenol autism lawsuits have now been consolidated into a new class action MDL. If this happens and the scientific evidence is deemed admissible, there could eventually be a global settlement to award financial compensation to parents with acetaminophen-related autism.

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is an essential component of auto insurance that protects you when the at-fault driver who caused you injury or property either has no insurance or carries insufficient coverage to compensate for the damages sustained.

All of us with car insurance in Maryland have uninsured motorist coverage. It is mandatory. This page explains what you need to know if you are bringing an uninsured motorist claim in Maryland.

Everyone with Maryland Car Insurance Has Coverage

This page is about the 3M earplug lawsuit.  Our lawyers are handling these claims in all 50 states.

If you are a plaintiff in these lawsuits, you want to know when the 3M lawsuit will be settled, what the individual settlement amounts might be, and get the latest update in the class action.  I start with the latest 3M earplug lawsuit update and then get into the rest.

May 2023 Update

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