Hand, Wrist and Finger Injury
Settlements and verdicts
How much should you expect for your hand or finger injury traffic accident claim? Clearly, it depends on the type of injury.
Statistics on Hand Injury Claims
The average jury verdict in finger and hand injuries is approximately $630,000. This is national data over the last 10 years. The median [what is a median?] is approximately $70,000. What does this tell us? It means that there are a lot of very large hand injury cases that are life altering that have extremely high values and a lot of smaller cases that are serious yet not catastrophic.
Sample Verdicts and Settlements in Hand and Finger Injury Cases
The problem with looking at settlement and verdict statistics is that you have no idea where you fit into the statistics. You can't possibly know where your injury fits in the big picture.
Below is a list of verdicts and settlements in hand injury cases to give you a better idea of the values of these cases. This should give you a little better idea of the value of your case because you can compare your claim to others and make a reasonable comparison.
That said, you should go down this path with caution. First, we are cherry picking good verdicts so the verdict might not be reflective of the average value of your case. Second, there are so many variables that go into the value of a case, it is hard to put those pieces together in a short little summary. It could very well be that the biggest factor in the verdict or settlement is a fact that is not listed in this summary.
With those caveats, here are some example verdicts:
2013, $19,898 and $34,031 Verdicts. Plaintiffs are riding in a car when defendant crosses two lanes and runs into them, head on. The driver suffers a right hand laceration as well as soft tissue lumbar and knee injuries. The passenger receives a fractured sternum. A Baltimore County jury awards the plaintiffs $19,898 and $34,031.
- 2102, $390,000 Settlement. After an afternoon motorcycle ride with friends, Plaintiff is on his way home and traveling in the far left lane on the inner loop of the Baltimore Beltway. The northbound and southbound lanes of the beltway are divided by a jersey wall. Defendant, driving a company truck with safety lights on the top of the cab, cuts through an emergency cut-through which allows emergency or authorized vehicles to make a u-turn from one side of the beltway to the other. Defendant pulls directly into the path of Plaintiff's motorcycle. In addition to multiple rib fractures, abrasions, and contusions, as well as a right anterior tibial wound. But, arguably, his worst injury is a comminuted fracture of the left elbow and comminuted left thumb metacarpal fracture requiring hardware and pins. Our law firm handled this case.
2012, $80,000 Settlement. Young college girl is driving down East-West Highway in Prince George's County and is hit head on by a car, insured by Allstate, traveling in the opposite direction. She breaks her wrist, requiring a cast on her right arm. Our law firm handled this case.
2012, $1,045,898 Verdict. Plaintiffs are longtime friends who are hanging out at a bar. Over the course of the night the two men get into a fight, which moves into the parking lot. During the scuffle, defendant bites off the tip of plaintiff’s index finger. Plaintiff undergoes many surgeries to protect the protruding bone. Plaintiff sues the man who bit him as well as the restaurant owners, alleging that they were negligent in not providing proper security. The restaurant argues that they provided proper security and that incident was the result of third-party factors that they could not control. The biter never shows up for court and a Montgomery County jury awards $1,045,898 in damages. The restaurant receives a defense verdicts.
2011, $22,500 Verdict. Plaintiff’s vehicle is rear-ended at a red light. She is taken to the emergency room, where it is later discovered she suffered severe strains in her right hand. She develops severe hand pain and wears a hand cast for three weeks. Plaintiff also pursues UM/UIM benefits from her carrier, State Farm. Plaintiff claims that defendant - insured by Agency - failed to keep, and look out and was following too closely. Defendant shows pictures of the minimal car damage and alleges that the injuries were from a pre-existing condition. Nevertheless an Upper Marlboro jury awards a $22,500 verdict.
- 2011, $1,598,500 Verdict. Plaintiffs are shopping at Nordstrom when they, incredibly, came under attack by a disturbed homeless woman. The woman had taped four butcher knives together and spontaneously began attacking the sales representatives and customers. Plaintiffs are attacked and receive numerous stab wounds leaving scars, PTSD, and limited use of their hands and arms. The woman’s rampage is ended when an off-duty FBI agent pulls out his revolver and orders her to stop. Plaintiffs sue Nordstrom arguing that defendant was negligent for failing to adequately warn and evacuate the store when they became aware of the dangerous situation. Additionally, they note that though provided with a training manual for such incidents, the staff was never trained to handle it. Defendant claims the attack was a random act of violence that they had no control over, and that they had provided all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of its patrons. A Montgomery County jury awards $1,598,500 to the two plaintiffs.
2011, $40,000 Verdict. Plaintiff and his cousin are approached by plainclothes police officers who believes that the plaintiff is engaging in a drug deal. A physical altercation occurs and the plaintiff is knocked to the ground and shot four times, once in the hand and three times in the back. The plaintiff sues for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and for his injuries. The defendants claim that the shooting was in self-defense, and that it occurred after the plaintiff grabbed one of the officers’ guns during the altercation. Additionally they claim that the hand injury was caused when the plaintiff accidentally shot himself. A Baltimore City jury finds that there was no assault and battery, and the shooting was justified self-defense, but awards $40,000 for the malicious prosecution claim.
- 2010, $3,000 Verdict. Plaintiff is on his way to a job interview when he is approached by three officers who believe he is in possession of a controlled dangerous substance. The officers threw him to the ground, arrested him, and took him to the police station where he is held overnight. During the arrest plaintiff receives a fractured right hand and numerous abrasions to the hand and face. The CDS charges are dropped and plaintiff sues for past medical bills. The defendants claim that they observed plaintiff throwing away a glove filled with CDS and that the only physical contact they performed was a pat-down. A Baltimore City jury awards the plaintiff just $3,000.
2010, $50,813 Verdict. A teenager is leaving his home and traveling down a slight hill on Summit Avenue in Rosedale when he encounters one of defendant’s storage containers. Because oncoming traffic prevents any chance of avoidance, the plaintiff collides with the container, fracturing his hand. Plaintiff alleges that defendant was displaying a reckless disregard for public safety by failing to adequatly mark the containers in the middle of the road, even after several resident complaints. Defendants claim that the container on the roadway was an open and obvious condition. A Towson jury awards $50,813 to the plaintiff.
- 2005, $377,000 Verdict. Plaintiff, a nurse, broke her wrist in a fall in snow and ice during a blizzard. She incurred over $6,000 in medical bills. State Farm offered $18,750 to settle the case. An Anne Arundel County jury awarded nearly 20 times State Farm's offer. Our law firm handled this case.
Verdicts Outside of Maryland
2013, Virginia: $1,350,000 Settlement. Plaintiff, a 19-year-old groundsman is changing the auger on a LoDrill, used to dig up to 60 feet, when the 5,000 lb Kelly bars dropped onto this hand. While trying to free his hand, the bar falls a second time. His hand is crushed and he undergoes emergency surgery where he receives partial amputation of his hand and fingers. He requires multiple subsequent surgeries and loses two fingers, a portion of his thumb, and a portion of his palm. He claims $85,000 in past medical expenses. Plaintiff sues the manufacturer of the drill and rental company. It is discovered that the drill was sold “as is” and no inspections were performed. It is determined that the bars failed due to their deteriorated condition. The manufacturer tenders its limits of $250,000 during the first mediation. After a three day trial against the rental company, the jury is deadlocked. Two years and a second failed mediation later, the case settles two days prior to trial for an additional $1,100,000.
- 2013, Pennsylvania: $2,450,000 Verdict. A young man is working as a temp in a paper shredding company. He is tasked with using an Allegheny Model Z-1000 commercial paper shredder. The shredder often jams, which requires the plaintiff to stick his hand into the machine and clear out any obstructions. When clearing a particularly difficult jam, a fellow employee sets the paper shredder into reverse and plaintiff’s left arm and hand are eviscerated by the machine. The man’s arm and hand are completely crushed and require amputation at the mid-forearm. The plaintiff brings suit, alleging that the company was negligent by failing to warn of the dangers of the machine, failing to install a protective guard on the shredder, and failing to modernize the shredder. Plaintiff seeks damages for pain and suffering, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, humiliation, and disfigurement. Defendants argue that plaintiff was negligent for substantially altering the shredder by removing the original guard. Additionally, they claim that they had told the injured man three times not to stick his hand into the machine (including five minutes before the accident), and that the plaintiff admitted to being high at the time of the accident. The parties reach a $2,450,000 settlement in Berks County.
- 2013, Florida: $199,740 Verdict. A woman is attempting to direct a dog out of her yard when suddenly and without provocation the dog bites her hand. The bite causes permanent injuries and the woman files suit against the owners for medical bills. The owners of the Chow dog, who were aware of its propensity to bite, fled the scene after the attack and later deny liability. A Palm Beach County awards the victim $199,740.
- 2013, California: $20,000 Settlement. A four-year-old is playing in her back yard when she loses her toy over a fence. When she uses a chair to reach over the dividing wall defendant’s dog jumps up and bites the girl on the hand. Defendants deny liability, but eventually reach a $20,000 settlement in San Bernardino County.
- 2013, New York: $875,000 Verdict. Plaintiff is working at a construction site when he is instructed by the defendants to stand on a forklift and shovel dirt into a truck. The forklift starts to backup and descend, causing the plaintiff to lose his balance. He grips a part of the forklift to keep from falling, but gets his hand crushed in the mechanism. He suffers several finger factures and lacerations to his left hand. Plaintiff claims that the forklift was in an unsafe condition and that the defendants failed to provide proper safety features. A Queen’s County jury decides that the construction company was 75% at fault and awards the injured plaintiff $875,000 for medical bills and future pain and suffering.
2012, Minnesota: $47,009 Verdict. Plaintiff is visiting defendant’s auto shop when he asks her to help him move his car. Unfortunately, the car lurches forward and pins the plaintiff’s hand between the vehicle and a work bench. Her left hand and wrist are crushed, causing a distal radius fracture and fractured fingers. Plaintiff claims that defendant was negligent for putting her, with very little experience with cars, in harm’s way and for failing to manage a safe a garage. Defendant admits liability but disputes the lost earnings claim because she had been unemployed for over a year prior to the accident. A Roseau County jury awards $47,009, but the plaintiff has filed a motion for new trial based on claims of jury misconduct and insufficient award.
- 2012, Pennsylvania: $109,000,000 Verdict. A woman and her mother-in-law observe a fire on a power line behind her house. She retrieves her cellphone to call 9-1-1. She moves to the side of the yard in an attempt to get better service when a 7200 volt power line installed by the defendants falls and comes into contact with her. Plaintiff is continually shocked for twenty minutes and catches fire. Her mother-in-law receives burns on her fingertips and is thrown several feet when she attempts to assist plaintiff. Plaintiff’s children observe her mother being electrocuted and on fire. Plaintiff sustains burns on 90% of her body and several of her fingers on her left hand are severed. Her left arm is amputated in an attempt to save her life, but she dies less than three days after the accident. Her husband brings suits on her behalf, arguing wrongful death, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress. The plaintiff argues that the defendants were negligent in the installation and care of the wires, as well as in the training of its employees. There had been a similar occurrence of the wire falling down in the same place within the last five years. Defendants claim that the woman knowingly and voluntarily assumed the risk when she approached the obviously dangerous wire. They also contend that the entry wound on her hand reveals that she might have tried to touch the wire. An Allegheny County jury found that the plaintiff was not negligent and awarded $48,000,000 in medical/emotional distress expenses and an incredible $61,000,000 in punitive damages (an award that would not be available in a Maryland case).
2011, North Carolina: $4,000,000 Verdict. Plaintiff, 53, suffers a horrific degloving and crushing injury to her left hand requiring 10 surgeries. Defendant, traveling approximately 90 mph in a rental car, attempted to pass between Plaintiff and another vehicle. In doing so, she struck both vehicles, causing the Plaintiff’s vehicle to overturn, and crush her hand between her vehicle and the pavement. Plaintiff sues the driver of the vehicle and the man who rented the car. Plaintiff also has an underinsured claim. GEICO, Utica, and GMAC were all involved. Plaintiff was awarded $ 269,382 for medicals; $5,915 for lost wages; and $3,724,700 in non-economic damages.
We fight - hard - to get our clients who have suffered serious hand injuries the money they deserve, either by settlement or at trial. Our lawyers handle serious injury claims. Call us to discuss your case at 800-553-8082 or get a free consultation online.
More Information on Settlement Value of Back Injury Cases
- What can you tell me about the value of my case?
- Is There a Settlement Formula for My Case? (short answer: no)
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