Baltimore City Settlement Amounts
Miller & Zois has garnered over $40 million in verdicts and settlements for clients in Baltimore
We are rarely required to go to trial in Baltimore to get our cases resolved because the majority of our cases result in an out-of-court settlement. We have already settled over $15 million in Baltimore City cases in the last few years.
But sometimes we do have to go to trial. When we do take a case to trial, we are looking to ring the bell. Loudly. Our last verdict in Baltimore City was for $10 million. Our last verdict before that blockbuster award was two years earlier for $5.2 million. In this case, the defendants made the mistake of only offering our client only $1.1 million to settle out-of-court.
Why do most of our cases settle? Certainly, our reputation as Baltimore injury attorneys who get large verdicts when the insurance companies do not make a generous settlement offer has something to do with it. When you have a history of winning cases, it makes insurance companies pay attention. But the jurisdiction is important, too. Unlike some Maryland counties, juries downtown are more likely to make awards that are commensurate with Plaintiffs’ injuries.
Baltimore's reputation as a good place to try a case for Plaintiffs is well-known enough that the American Tort Reform Association (a pro-business group that wants to limit tort lawsuits) named our city to its “Judicial Hellholes” watch list. They pointed to "high verdicts" in lead paint, asbestos, and medical malpractice cases. What they call "high" is what our attorneys believe to be "fair."Medical Malpractice Cases in Baltimore City
Because it is a favorable jurisdiction for plaintiffs and because there are so many hospitals in Baltimore, the city is a common venue in medical malpractice cases. With the big Baltimore hospitals buying up so many hospitals in the suburbs, it creates more opportunities to sue hospitals in Baltimore City.
Our firm focuses on birth injury and wrongful death medical malpractice cases.Motor Vehicle Accidents in Baltimore City
The city also has a disproportionate number of car accidents. But, in general, there are fewer severe injury and death cases per accident in Baltimore because our traffic patterns are slower and fewer big rig trucks moving at high speeds.
A perfect example is an intersection at Gwynns Falls Parkway and Reisterstown Road. At last count, there were 46 accidents in a year at that intersection. Incredible, right? That is almost an accident a week. But while some of these have been broadside accidents that can cause serious injuries, most of these accidents have not resulted in serious injuries because the vehicle speeds are quite slow.Demographics of a Baltimore Jury
Our city is an independently incorporated municipality that is surrounded by Baltimore County. It is a large, urban area with a population of 622,000 according to Census data. In terms of racial/ethnic demographics, as a percentage of the population, census data shows the following:
American Indian/Alaska native: 0.30%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.05%
Persons of two or more races: 2.32%
The average per capita income is $23,333, and the median household income is $39,386. 49.8% of Baltimore residents are homeowners, with the median value of owner-occupied homes being $160,400. 21.3% of "Charm City" residents tragically live below the poverty line.
The American Community Survey’s Five Year Estimate for the highest level of education attained shows that for Baltimoreans over 25 years old:
4.4% did not complete the 9th grade
7.8% reached 9th through 12th grade but did not receive a diploma
26.4% graduated from high school or earned a G.E.D
19.3% attended some college but did not earn a degree
6.3% hold an Associate’s Degree
19.8% hold a Bachelor’s Degree
16.0% hold a Graduate or Professional degree
Why does the city's census data matter to personal injury lawyers? You have to remember that the value of a case can double (or be cut in half) depending upon the demographics of the jury panel. We fought like crazy to get a case transferred out of Howard County to Baltimore because we know our client has a better chance of success in the city. Baltimore has the demographics that make for jurors that are receptive to giving victims a fair chance.Baltimore City Circuit Court
The Circuit Court for Baltimore City is one of the largest in the state, with 33 judges. The bench is very diverse and has a reputation for competence. Although the court has a very crowded docket, civil trials in Maryland's biggest city usually go to trial as scheduled (unlike many counties in Maryland), and the court is very active in using Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures such as mediation and court-ordered settlement conferences to try to get cases settled before trial. Although the court’s facilities are antiquated (the courthouses pre-date the telephone), the necessary technology lawyers need is available, such as Wi-Fi internet and audiovisual equipment.
“My prior lawyer was not able to get the insurance companies to offer a single penny in my case. Then my lawyer referred me to Ron and Laura. It was a long fight, and they fought for me every step of the way. My case settled for $1.31 million.” A.A.
"The lawyers at M&Z represented me in a claim against the persons responsible for the wrongful death of my husband. It was at a time in my life where the grief was overwhelming. There are no words that can adequately describe what my lawyers at M&Z meant to me and how I feel in my heart for all of their hard work. They will always be my lawyers." C.W.
(Baltimore City – Product Liability – $1,000,000 settlement)
“When my sister was killed, we turned to Miller & Zois to fight for us. They stood by us every step of the way and we ended up getting more money than we asked for.” C.B.
Jury service downtown is a unique burden. The accommodations are insufficient, the pay is remarkably low, the courthouse lacks on-site parking, and jurors typically get called too often - every 18 months. Still, the jurors view the process with admirable seriousness. They usually work hard to arrive at a result that fairly compensates the Plaintiff’s injuries.
- Answers to frequently asked questions about bringinga tort claim in Baltimore City
- Five keys to winning a personal injury case in Baltimore
- We know the Baltimore City Courthouse well. Tips on parking, jury duty, etc.
This is a sampling of recent jury verdicts and settlements in Baltimore City from analysis of various sources, including Miller & Zois cases. Due to the lack of scientific methodology (and maybe our pro-injury victim bias), these should not be viewed as a representative sampling of all jury verdicts. We also include below some of our big verdicts and settlements in Baltimore. You should not believe that these verdicts predict success in any future case. Still, this is valuable information we give because we think that is useful in helping Baltimore personal injury lawyers understand the value of their client's case. If you are a victim, statistics and examples settlements and verdicts may give you a better idea of the range of jury awards for the loss of life and pain and suffering.
- 2018: $875,000 Settlement: The plaintiff, a pregnant female, is walking through a crosswalk at a busy intersection in downtown Baltimore. The defendant is making a left turn through the intersection and hits her. Plaintiff is propelled into the air and lands on the pavement head-first causing her to suffer a broken leg and subdural hematoma. The accident also forces an emergency C-section delivery of her baby. She sues for damages from the broken leg, head injury, and mental anguish over the health of her unborn child. Liability was admitted but damages were in dispute. Case settles out of court for $875,000.
- 2018: $3,852,192 Verdict: The plaintiff is on the side of the highway attempting to change a flat-tire when defendant tractor-trailer driver hits him and drags him several hundred feet. Plaintiff suffers a traumatic brain injury resulting in cognitive impairment, head lacerations, a fractured left heel, a fractured left first toe and road rash, injuries that will require life-long medical treatment. He sues the trucking company alleging negligent supervision and the driver for general driver negligence. The case goes to trial on the issue of damages and the jury awards $3.8 million.
- 2017: $2,622,120 Verdict: The plaintiff, a 52-year-old construction worker, is driving on a city street when his vehicle is suddenly impaled by a 15-foot roadway gate arm maintained by the City of Baltimore. The gate arm strikes the plaintiff in the head causing traumatic brain injury and right temporal bone skull fracture with exposed brain requiring neurosurgery to repair. He suffers permanent impairments as a result and sues both the City and the contractor that installed the roadway gate. Jury awards $2,622,120 but that gets reduced to $2,327,020 based on the statutory cap on non-economic damages.
- 2016: $10 Million Verdict: Our client was given Kayexalate at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore. The drug destroyed his colon, causing his death. The decent, a pastor with a wonderful family, was not given a choice of just getting dialysis which he like would have had in just a few hours. UMMS made no settlement offer in the case.
- 2015: $335,000 Settlement. A 50-year-old female massage therapist was struck by an interstate tractor-trailer at a stoplight in Harford County, Maryland. The impact was a low speed rear-end collision, and Plaintiff’s small SUV had no visible property damage. Plaintiff drove her vehicle from the scene and had no immediate medical care. However, Plaintiff was later diagnosed as suffering from a right ulnar neuropathy that was ultimately relieved by an ulnar nerve release surgery. The pre-trial offer was $12,000, so we brought suit against the trucking company and the truck driver in the Maryland Federal District Court in Baltimore. Defendants contended that Plaintiff’s injury was due to her work as a massage therapist and that the “no property damage” collision could not have caused the injury. Plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon supported her contention that the injury was caused by the collision. However, the watershed event in the case was the discovery deposition of the defendant truck driver who had been fired by the defendant trucking company after the rear-end collision. The truck driver admitted that the collision happened because the brakes on the truck’s trailer had malfunctioned. Under questioning, the driver admitted that he had detected the brake problem earlier in the day, but that when the driver reported the problem by phone to the trucking company President, he was instructed to “go ahead and make your delivery, and then get the brakes fixed”. The driver testified that the company President declined to have the vehicle towed or repaired on the road and instructed the driver to drive it to a specific repair facility. He was en route to this repair facility when he rear-ended Plaintiff at a stoplight. The driver testified that he had “just about stopped” when he hit the Plaintiff’s vehicle. The case settled for a substantial sum as the deposition of the trucking company President was pending. Miller & Zois handled this case.
- 2014: $5.2 Million Verdict. Our client, a 49-year-old man, is badly injured while at work when an automatic gate thrusts into the air, trapping him and twisting his knee. He goes to the emergency room where he is seen and treated by an ER doctor and a physician’s assistant. He is diagnosed with a sprain and discharged after approximately two hours, having undergone only a series of X-rays. It is later discovered that the PA suspected a knee dislocation, but never told the supervising doctor. Our client goes home only to return two days later requiring an above the knee amputation. We filed a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging a failure to rule out an injury to the popliteal artery. Had proper testing been performed in the emergency room, the Plaintiff’s leg would have survived. Even the Defendants probably believed this by the end of the trial. Still, their lawyers argued that our client is at fault for failing to provide them with an adequate history for them to suspect a knee dislocation. Defendants further allege that the injury to Plaintiff’s popliteal artery occurred after he was discharged. A jury sees through the Defendants’ ridiculous allegations and awards $5.2 million. The award is broken down by $216,000 for past medical bills, $601,000 for a future prosthesis, $667,000 for further lost wages, $35,000 in lost household services, and $3,700,000 in pain and suffering. Miller & Zois handled this case.
- 2013: $1.38 Million Verdict. Plaintiff files suit against the surgeon and hospital after a surgery to repair a hernia leaves her with permanent medical issues. Plaintiff initially presented to Defendant Carroll Hospital for the repair of a para esophageal hernia. More than ten surgeries later, she is left with a permanent hernia. At one point, the Plaintiff was unable to eat normally and lost 60 pounds. She was put on a feeding tube as she was too weak for the next surgery. During one of the subsequent surgeries, it was discovered that the mesh used to close a hole had eroded into her esophagus. Plaintiff now wears a special girdle, as some of her intestines and organs push up on her abdominal incision, and she is unable to bend over or lift more than five pounds. Amongst other allegations, Plaintiff’s alleged that she was not properly advised of the surgical measures being taken and the associated risks. While the jury returned a verdict for the Defendant as to the informed consent claim, they found for the Plaintiff as to the claim of negligence in her medical treatment. She was awarded $1,384,339.16 which included $750,000 in non-economic damages; her husband was awarded another $750,000 on the consortium loss claim.
- 2013: $1.42 Million Verdict. Pregnant Plaintiff goes to her doctor for an ultrasound that showed an ovarian cyst. During surgery to remove a cyst, the doctor removes the Plaintiff's right ovary and fallopian tube. She sues the doctor when, after years of pain, she learns that the wrong ovary has been removed. Plaintiff's lawsuit contends the doctor knew of the mistake and chose not to tell the Plaintiff.
- 2012: $1,000,000 Settlement. A mother is a pedestrian pushing our client, her 14-month-old son, in a stroller on the sidewalk and is struck and killed by a truck that overshot its U-turn. The child is uninjured. Some witnesses said when the truck was coming at her she pushed her child to safety before her life was taken. There was no offer before we filed suit. The accident occurred in Baltimore County, but we fought for and won venue downtown. The case resolved shortly after that victory for Allstate's policy limits. Miller & Zois also handled this case.
- 2012: $390,000 Settlement. Plaintiff is traveling on a motorcycle on 795, taking the ramp on to the 695 Beltway. A construction truck utilizes the emergency cut through and pulled into our client's lane. Plaintiff fractures his elbow and his hip and has severe road rash. Miller & Zois also handled this case.
- 2012: $7,079,064 Verdict. Plaintiff, a 31-year-old roofer, is operating a truck on the Beltway when he is rear-ended by the Defendant. Plaintiff suffers a back injury in the wreck that renders him unable to work. The jury awards over $1.8 million in lost income and $175,000 in medical bills.
- 2012: $760,000 Wrongful Death Verdict. This wrongful death motor vehicle crash on Calvert Street earned national attention because Progressive fought the case as opposed to tendering their $100,000 uninsured motorist policy when many felt that the insurance company should have just paid their policy.
- 2012: $3,505,000 Wrongful Death Verdict. A 27-year-old gym teacher's family sues after he is struck and killed by police involved in a motorcycle chase. The verdict is reduced to $200,000 by the criminally unfair Maryland Tort Claims Act.
- 2012: $21,000,000 Verdict. A Glen Burnie couple alleges in their lawsuit that their son's doctors at Johns Hopkins should have performed a Caesarean section instead of a prolonged vaginal birth that lead to oxygen deprivation and cerebral palsy.
- 2012: $55,000 Settlement. A 14-year-old girl with cerebral palsy is despicably taunted and attacked at Calverton Middle School. She tragically loses an eye. Plaintiff's files suit against the school system for negligently failing to supervise. The school agreed to settle this tragic case
- 2012: Defense Verdict. Plaintiff goes to University of Maryland Medical Center for a cervical diskectomy and fusion. After the surgery, the plaintiff starts vomiting and bleeding at the surgical site. Doctors discover a hematoma was causing an airway obstruction. Plaintiff's unsuccessful lawsuit alleges that the doctor's negligence caused her hematoma.
- 2012: $ 1,779,000 Verdict. Plaintiff, a railroad employee, brings a Federal Employers Liability Act lawsuit claiming cumulative trauma to his knees as a result of the defendant's use of the wrong-sized ballast in the train yards. The jury returns a $1,779,000 verdict for the plaintiff, less 20% comparative negligence as to plaintiff for his own fault and 10% as to other causes (weight and age), resulting in a $1,245,300 recovery.
- 2011: $1.05 Million Verdict. Plaintiff and her young son were struck by an Eastern Petroleum truck. Plaintiff's son is not hurt but Plaintiff suffers a crush fracture in her right leg. Plaintiff sues after the Defendant refuses to make any settlement offer. Before trial, the Defendant's offer increased to $25,000 to settle the case. The jury thought the claim was worth over $1 million. Miller & Zois also handled this case.
- 2010: $1.1 Million Verdict. An extremely likable 75-year-old woman presents to the hospital to undergo a lap chole procedure to remove her gallbladder. The surgeon did two things he should not have done. First, he clipped and cut the woman's hepatic duct. It gets worse. He knows he cut the duct but does nothing. She had to undergo another surgery and was hospitalized for 14 days. Thankfully, she has a good recovery, a fact we made very clear to the jury. The doctor refuses to give anything beyond nuisance value and acts about as arrogant as a person can on cross-examination at trial. The jury awarded $1.1 million. Miller & Zois also handled this case.
- 2010: $677,000 Settlement. Plaintiff, a Florida resident, slipped on a defective bath mat at a Comfort Inn. In spite of prior back injuries, the Plaintiff's doctor attributed his herniated disc injuries from the fall to the accident. Miller & Zois also handled this case.
- Get more sample settlements and jury verdicts in Baltimore City Circuit Court
Our attorneys have fought and won millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts in Baltimore. If you need a lawyer to fight for you in a severe injury case, call us today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online case evaluation.
A personal injury case is absolutely about money. It is the very purpose of our civil justice system to give people money compensation for their injuries. Why money? It is the only remedy we have. The system cannot take away the harm that was done. It can only give you money to try to make up for the harm that has been caused.
Baltimore is a favorable jurisdiction for wrongful death and serious injury cases. Our law firm has never lost a case – or receive a verdict less than the settlement offer – in Baltimore City in our 13-year history. There are five keys to maximizing the value of your claim in Baltimore:#1 Get Jurisdiction in Baltimore for Serious Cases
If you have a serious injury case, Baltimore City is a substantially better jurisdiction than any other Baltimore metropolitan area jurisdictions. There are some cases where the value of the claim arguably doubles it the case if filed and kept in the City. The rules for determining the appropriate venue in Maryland are complex. Plaintiffs need some geographical nexus to Baltimore City to assert a claim in the City. There is great wisdom in turning over every possible stone to find such a nexus exists in your case. This issue requires legal and factual research and creativity.#2 Stay Out of Baltimore in Smaller Cases
If you have a personal injury case that is worth less than $30,000, throw the advice in Tip #1 out the window. In District Court cases where the damages sought are $30,000 or less and tried before a judge instead of a jury, Baltimore City might just be the worst jurisdiction in Maryland. Why?
There are a lot of theories that bandied around as to why Baltimore City District Court judges are so tight fisted with their verdicts. The best theory argues that Baltimore City District Court judges see so many – for lack of a better word – bogus claims that it becomes harder to discern between a real victim or someone who is trying to milk the system for a payday. So the judges have a harder time discerning between the meritorious and the undeserving and the answers results in lower verdicts.
The reverse logic applies to the venue in smaller cases: you want to find a way to get out of Baltimore City. In cases of this size, insurance companies are usually not fighting nuanced venue battles. So if you have some legal justification to file your claim outside of Baltimore, the insurance company lawyers who hate driving downtown anyway, are likely to let it pass.#3 Leverage Baltimore City
Tell the insurance company know that you know that your case has more value because the suit will be heard in Baltimore City. Insurance companies belabor the point when the case is in a more difficult jurisdiction. We settled a few medical malpractice cases in Carroll County a few month ago, and all we heard from the defense lawyers and insurance adjusters was that we should ignore the facts because we were not in a “pro-plaintiff” jurisdiction. Insurance companies are afraid of Baltimore City because they fear fair juries. Remind them of this. Repeatedly.#4 Watch Out for Yuppie Jurors
Yuppie jurors are appealing on their face because they seem smart and attentive. You think they will understand the nuances of your case. More often than not, they are a trap. These jurors are usually fair when it comes to determining responsibility but often have the low vote when it comes to awarding money damages. Bright line rules when it comes to picking jurors are a mistake.
Picking a jury is an incredibly complex process, particularly in Maryland, which allows for an extremely restrictive inquiry into prospective jurors. But unless there is a striking reason to keep the juror, strike the Federal Hill and Canton yuppies on the jury panel.#5 Get to the Point
Baltimore juries want authenticity and they want it quickly. Save the histrionics unless the facts truly call for them. Check you legal vocabulary at the door. Do not put an expert witness on the stand for 3 hours when the jury can surmise what they need from the witness in 30 minutes. Make your case interesting, show your client is a real human being and make it as quick as possible.Hiring a Lawyer for Your Serious Injury Claim in Baltimore
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed and you want fair compensation, we can help you stand up for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering, and agony that the insurance company does not even try to understand. Call us at 410-779-4600 or get a free online consultation.More on Baltimore Personal Injury Claims and Settlements
- How Fast Will Your Case Go: Sample Scheduling Order in B-More
- Sample City Police Report (accident case)
- Bring Claims Against Taxis (some of the unique challenges in cab cases downtown)
- Baltimore has more bicycle accident tort claims than any other jurisdiction in Maryland
- Harbor Hospital
- Mercy Hospital
- Union Memorial
- Johns Hopkins
- University Hospital (UMMS)
- Franklin Square
- Maryland General Hospital
You can find us at:
One South Street, 24th Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21202