Our law firm has handled a lot of vertebrae fracture workers compensation, car, motorcycle, and truck accident cases over the last 16 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.
In fact, I assumed these vertebral fracture numbers were low because they excluded cases where there was a spinal cord or head injury. But apparently, 7.5% of the verdicts were in excess of $2,500,000. This likely means they included vertebrae fractures where the spinal cord was implicated, or there was an accompanying head injury.
Almost two-thirds of the cases in the study were motor vehicle accidents, which is the leading cause of spinal injuries in this country. In our law practice, I would say that 90% of our vertebral injuries were from motor vehicle crashes.
Vertebrae Injury Settlements and Verdicts
Here are some sample verdicts in vertebrae injuries over the last four years from around the country.
Remember, sample settlements and verdicts alone tells you little the value of your case. But used with other resources, it helps you to appreciate the most likely range of outcomes for your claim.
- 2020: California: $21,513,000 Verdict—A farmworker suffered a cervical spine fracture after a vehicle rear-ended the van that he was a passenger in. He went to the hospital, where doctors performed cervical fusion surgery on him. Despite the surgery, he was now partially quadriplegic and used a wheelchair. His neurosurgeon testified that he was wheelchair-bound for life. The jury awarded the man $21,513,000. Unlike many states including Maryland, California does not have a cap on non-economic damages, a fact that we become clear in the next two cases. That said, I'm sure the medical bills were extremely high and his future medical care needs certainly run in the millions.
- 2020: California: $4,875,000 Settlement—A retiree suffered vertebrae fractures at T7, L2, L3, L4, and L5 after a vehicle struck his head-on at an intersection. He also suffered sternum, left ulna, right ilium, and rib fractures. The man underwent multiple surgeries to repair these injuries. He was hospitalized for over 170 days. His counsel contended that he could no longer walk on his own and needed round-the-clock care for life. The case settled for $4,875,000.
- 2020: California: $5,500,000 Verdict – A nursing home resident suffered multiple injuries after a fall. Nursing home Staff was escorting her to an activity right before she fell. She suffered a C1 vertebrae fracture, head trauma, a mild traumatic brain injury. The elderly woman was not a candidate for neck surgery because of her age. She wore a collar for three months instead. She also underwent physical and occupational therapy. Her daughter sued the facility for negligence, seeking recovery for past and future pain and suffering. The jury awarded a $5,500,000 verdict.
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