Even if you can walk away from a car accident, you might discover injuries that could cost you valuable money and resources to cure. However, sometimes, you can’t walk away due to your injuries. Many, many people break bones in their legs, arms, or other parts of their bodies in car accidents. Of course, after seeking medical attention, you might be searching for legal advice on how best to settle your damages. From your point of view, the most important factor is how much you could ultimately recover through litigation. We have assembled some statistics and anecdotes about plaintiffs with stories like yours that might answer some questions. For direct answers pertaining to your unique case, call us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
Average Settlement for a Broken Arm or Other Bone Injury in Car Accident Lawsuits
The average settlement received by people who filed a lawsuit for a broken bone resulting from a car crash is between $50,000 and $99,999. The charts below contain more information on the national settlement averages as well as settlement averages by state.
Plaintiffs' recovery in Car Accidents Involving Broken Bones Nationally (1994-2014)
State Frequency of Car Accidents Cases Involving Broken Bones as Percentage of the National Total (1994-2014) (Rounded to hundredths
Here are some major takeaways from national accident case statistics:
- Broken bones were one of the most common forms of injury in a car accident, happening nearly twice as frequently as situations such as brain injuries and wrongful deaths.
- Despite their ubiquity, broken bone injuries had an extraordinary rate of settlement, as many defendants took their opponents to court over the question of liability.
- As the figures demonstrate, the most frequent locations for car accident litigation involving broken bones were California, Connecticut, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, and Texas.
- For those obtaining awards or settlements, the median amount of compensation was between $50,000 and $60,000, and the average was between $400,000 and $600,000.
Broken Bone Case Summaries and Highlights Looking at similar cases can shed light on why some plaintiffs were more successful than others in obtaining recovery.
Case name: A.L.N. v. B.A., et al.
Recovery: $165,000 settlement
Summary: This case involved a three-car accident. The plaintiff was a female in her mid-30s who worked as an underwriter. She was a passenger in one of the cars but sustained a broken clavicle as well as a sternum fracture. She claimed significant damages because on top of the medical bills for her injuries, she said she could not return to work because of post-traumatic stress disorder. The defendants pointed to the relatively mild nature of her injuries and her white-collar job in support of the idea that she was exaggerating the consequences of the accident. Their argument likely made an impact, as the settlement reached before trial ($165,000) was roughly half of her last demand and not much more than the amount of her medical bills and lost wages.
Case name: Keller v. Ray
Recovery: $560,000 jury award
Summary: The defendant in this case was driving down the middle lane of a street when he perceived that a transit bus was immediately and wrongly turning into his lane. To avoid colliding with the bus, he swerved sharply to the left. Unfortunately, this caused his vehicle to roll over into oncoming traffic. His car actually rolled onto the plaintiff’s vehicle, and the plaintiff broke her pelvis, ankle, and wrists because of the incident. Additionally, she incurred more than $100,000 in medical bills and lost more than $50,000 in wages as she recuperated. She sued the driver of the car, the driver of the bus, and the employer of the bus driver. The bus company claimed that its driver was acting appropriately, against the allegations of the car’s driver, and that it and its employee had no role in the crash. The jury found that all three were liable and awarded the plaintiff $510,000 for non-economic damages and $50,000 for past wages.
Case name: Eberhardt v. Newton
Recovery: $50,000 settlement
Summary: The plaintiff in this case was a 41-year-old man who worked in construction. The incident occurred when he was riding his bike through an intersection when the defendant turned left and hit the plaintiff with his vehicle. The plaintiff crashed into the windshield and then fell to the ground. He fractured his femur and underwent surgery that required a medical device implant for rehabilitation. While this device could have been removed in the future, it was still in his body at the time of settlement. His injuries and pain kept him away from work for approximately half of a year, and he racked up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills caring for his wounds. Since the fault of the accident was clearly the driver’s, both sides settled before trial and the defendant gave the plaintiff $50,000.
Case name: In re K.R.
Recovery: $100,000 settlement
Summary: The plaintiff in this case was a 17-year-old minor. The teen was driving through an intersection when the defendant ran a red light and triggered a serious car accident. The plaintiff suffered a broken femur that required surgery as well as the insertion of a rod to stabilize the leg. The issue in this case did not involve determining liability, as the defendant clearly was in the wrong by running the red light, but the amount and nature of damages. The $100,000 settlement involved one-quarter going to the plaintiff’s attorney fees, one-third going to medical bills, and the rest going to the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s parents.