This page focuses on the settlement value of broken leg personal injury claims. Our lawyers look at average compensation settlement payouts in broken femur, tibia, and fibula lawsuits. We also provide examples of broken bone settlement amounts and jury payouts.
The Human Leg
Let’s understand the leg first because this impacts how much your case is worth.
The leg is comprised of three bones. The femur, the most prominent bone in the human body, runs from the hip to the knee through the thigh. The lower leg is supported by two bones, the tibia and the smaller fibula. Additionally, the kneecap comprises a flat, triangular bone called the patella.
Broken leg injuries are a frequent cause of emergency room visits. Femur fractures are particularly dangerous and can be fatal due to high blood loss. Broken legs can have lasting physical and psychological impacts, such as PTSD and osteoarthritis. Severe injuries can result in disability, affecting a victim’s long-term ability to work and quality of life.
Worldwide, the most common injuries from motor vehicle accidents and falls are fractures of the patella, tibia, fibula, and ankle. This injury category is a leading cause of disability from car accidents and falls.
Our personal injury lawyers have handled many broken leg injury claims over the years. So this page is also a job interview. If you have a personal injury claim involving a broken leg in the Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. areas, our attorneys want you to call us.
Our firm handles serious injury leg fracture lawsuits nationwide, too. When necessary, we work with lawyers in your jurisdiction. We pay the fees for that lawyer. So there is no additional cost – you are getting two law firms for the price of one. Call us today at 800-5553-8082 or get a free online case evaluation.
Damages to Compute a Broken Leg Settlement Amount
Calculating a settlement amount or jury payout for a broken leg from a car accident involves several steps, taking into account various factors. Assuming responsibility is not in serious dispute, there are thee key elements of damages: medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Let’s take them one-by-one.
- Medical Expenses: Begin by adding up all medical expenses related to the injury. The medical expenses really do drive settlement amounts not only for the compensation for the expenses but because juries use medical bills as a benchmark for pain and suffering damages. Sometimes, our lawyers will no submit medical bills in a broken leg case if they are low because juries use that number to pay less in pain and suffer. Medical expenses, both past and future, include:
- Immediate treatment costs
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation and/or surgery
- Future medical needs (e.g., additional surgeries, ongoing therapy)
- Lost Wages: Calculate any income lost due to the injury.
- Days off work even if you were paid by your employer in most jurisdictions
- Reduced earning capacity if you’re unable to return to the same job or if your working capability is compromised
- Potential future lost earnings if the injury leads to long-term disability or affects career advancement
- Pain and Suffering: This is a non-economic damage and is more subjective. Factors include:
- Severity of the injury: Not all leg fractures are the same. Our lawyers walk you through the relative severity of injuries below.
- Duration of recovery
- Long-term impact: This is what really drives settlement – can our lawyers prove that the plaintiff will suffer consequences from this injury for the rest of her life?
Average Settlement Compensation for Broken Leg Injury Claims
A common question that accident victims ask is, what settlement amount can I expect for a broken bone injury? The compensation amounts awarded for broken leg bone injury claims vary on the type of break.
For example, for a fibula or tibia fracture, the median recovery is approximately $85,000. The number more than doubles to $167,000 for a broken femur. You would expect the average settlement for a broken femur to be higher because it is typically the most severe bone in the leg to break.
For multiple fracture or comminuted cases, when there is more than one fracture or the bone splinters into multiple fragments, the median verdict rises to $193,000. While these statistics do not distinguish between the two, our car accident lawyers can tell you from experience that the average fractured fibula is usually worth more than a fractured tibia.
Still, the compensation amount for femur or comminuted fractures is not always higher than for other fractures. A significant factor in determining the settlement amount is how the broken bone affected the broken leg injury victim. Did the victim lose time at work? Do they suffer from chronic pain? Is there scarring?
“The value of broken leg injury claims depends on the type of fracture and the effect of the fracture on the patient’s health and ability.”
Where the bone breaks is also essential to compensation payouts. For example, a broken shin in the lower third of the bone are particularly troubling for adults. After the body has finished growing, the blood supply to the tibia slows, making it challenging to keep the bone straight during the healing process. Additionally, certain fractures, such as tibial plateau fractures, put victims at a high risk of muscle and nerve damage.
Another critical factor is the cost of the medical treatment that the victim has received and will need in the future. For example, did the patient require extensive surgery? How big was their emergency room bill? Do they go to physical therapy?
Medical malpractice also is a cause of more significant injuries in these cases. Often, the failure to realize the need for immediate surgery causes the injury to become more severe and leads to a permanent injury that should not have been permanent. Yes, this can be a medical malpractice case. But, in Maryland, a doctor’s committing medical malpractice can also be claimed in the accident case itself.
Finally, how the accident happened informs how much your case might be worth. Using car accidents as an example, the median value for pedestrians is $125,000. That number falls to $97,300 for passengers. The median compensation payout in a truck accident is more significant at $160,500.
If you sustained a broken leg injury in a fall accident, car accident, or workplace accident, our personal injury lawyers may be able to help you. To discuss your case with our legal team at no charge, call (800) 553-8082 or fill out our online form.
Sample Broken Leg Settlements and Verdicts
Another tool to calculate expected settlement amounts and jury awards is to look at compensation for broken fibula, tibia, and femur fractures is to look at stories of other broken leg lawsuits. You look at how those injuries resolved, whether by settlement or at trial, and what was the settlement compensation payout or jury award.
This is a wildly imperfect tool – no two cases are identical. But it is still helpful, along with other tools, in projecting a range for a settlement compensation payout or jury verdict for your lawsuit.
Below, our lawyers summarize the lawsuit and how much compensation was given for the broken leg.
- 2023, Maryland: $5,000,000 Verdict. During a schoolyard football game at a Baltimore public school, a 9-year-old boy severely broke his leg. Instead of immediate medical attention, school personnel gave him mustard and a washcloth to bite on, neglecting to call 911. They also left a voicemail for his mother. The boy went into shock before his mother reached him and drove him to Good Samaritan Hospital. He was subsequently transferred to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland for emergency surgery. The boy underwent four more surgeries and about a year of recuperation, which the jury was told could have been avoided if the school had prohibited tackle football, supervised the children properly, or called 911 promptly. The lawsuit highlighted that a school employee had provided the ball for the game, despite the school’s general prohibition against tackle football. It took approximately 75 minutes from the time of the injury until he was admitted to the hospital. After his surgeries, the boy transitioned from using a wheelchair to a walker and then crutches. He also underwent physical therapy to regain proper mobility. The jury awarded the family $5 million in non-economic damages, but due to Maryland’s statutory caps on such damages, this could be reduced to $785,000.
- 2023, New Jersey: $100,000 Settlement. The plaintiff was riding an off road dirt bike at an intersection when the defendant struck him with his car. The plaintiff suffered a fractured femur and a wrist fracture and the case settled for $100,000, which was presumably the policy limit.
- 2023, Alabama: $45,000 Settlement. The plaintiff, a minor, was a passenger in his father’s car when the defendant lost control of his vehicle while driving over 100 mph and collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff suffered a broken leg and some head trauma.
- 2022, Washington: $250,000 Verdict. The 22-year-old female plaintiff was loading a scooter into a car when the defendant struck the car, and the plaintiff was thrown into the air. She suffered a compound leg fracture requiring surgery and leaving her with residual pain.
- 2022, Idaho: $57,000 Settlement. The minor plaintiff was at his mother’s company work party, where there was an inflatable ride. While on the ride, the plaintiff was struck by one of the rotating parts and fractured his leg.
- 2021, New York $37,500 Settlement. The plaintiff, a minor, claimed that while he was in a wheelchair, he was improperly placed on the bus lift causing the wheelchair to flip forward. He suffered a fracture of his left leg.
- 2021, Florida $1,863,905 Verdict. The plaintiff was on the premises of the defendant to repair a forklift. While he was repairing it, the forklift suddenly switched on and started moving. It rolled over the plaintiff’s leg, causing fractures in his right lower leg and foot. The verdict included $153,905.97 – past medical expenses; $60,000 – past lost earnings; $550,000 – future lost earnings; $100,000 – past pain and suffering; $1,000,000 – future pain and suffering.
- 2020, Virginia: $1,250,000 Verdict – A woman was struck head-on. This is not a surprise. Most of the broken leg cases our law firm has handled in Maryland are head-on collisions. In this case, the victim suffers a leg fracture along with rib, arm, and hand fractures. She alleged that the other driver’s negligence caused her injuries. The woman claimed he fell asleep before striking her vehicle. This case settled for $1,250,000.
- 2020, Alabama: $250,000 Verdict – The plaintiff, a pedestrian, is jogging alongside a roadway and is struck by a car. He suffers a fractured fibula, dislocated knee, and torn ligaments and undergoes multiple surgeries to repair his injuries. The plaintiff sues his insurance carrier, State Farm, claiming that the defendant’s insurance policy limits were not enough to cover his damages. State Farm argues that since the man was jogging at twilight, he was contributorily negligent. A jury awards the plaintiff $250,000 for his pain and suffering. The jury verdict is reduced to $75,000 due to setoffs from his previous settlement with the defendant.
- 2020, Texas: $775,000 Settlement – A 60-something man fell in a convenience store. He suffered a displaced right femur fracture. The man underwent a total knee replacement revision procedure. Within two years, the man suffered three additional falls. He underwent revision surgery and physical therapy after each one. Because of his injuries, the man now used a walker. He was also designated as a fall risk. The man alleged that the convenience store’s failure to maintain safe premises caused his permanent injuries. This same case is unlikely to settle for $775,000 in Maryland. Why? Maryland has contributory negligence, a much harder bar to climb than the comparative negligence standard in Texas. In Maryland, if you are 1% responsible for your own injuries, you cannot recover. So this case is worth $0 in Maryland.
- 2020, New York: $9,000,000 Settlement – An intoxicated driver struck a woman. She suffered left foot, fibula, tibia, right sacrum, pelvis, and bilateral wrist fractures. The woman also suffered a lumbar disc bulge. She underwent multiple surgeries and painkilling injections. The woman claimed permanent residual pain throughout her body. The woman alleged that the other driver’s negligence caused her severe injuries. She claimed he drank 16 alcoholic beverages before driving. This case settled for $9,000,000. Clearly, if you are looking for the average broken fibula compensation amount, this case is an outlier because there are so many other injuries. This underscores some of the challenges in using other settlements and verdicts to calculate settlement payouts because rarely does someone break a bone and not suffer other injuries.
- 2020, Missouri: $850,000 Settlement – A man collided with a tractor-trailer on Route 65. He suffered right femur, cervical, and lumbar fractures. The man underwent leg surgery, which involved replacing damaged hardware. When these lawsuits involve hardware, especially a titanium rod, it typically positively impacts the insurance settlement. The victim’s medical expert testified that he also required a future total knee replacement. This case settled for $850,000.
- 2019, Maryland: $2,458,000 Verdict – A truck driver turns into a parking lot, cutting off an oncoming motorcyclist traveling in the opposite direction. The motorcycle crashes into the side of the truck. The adult male plaintiff fractures his right femur and shin, resulting in nerve damage. Even after surgery and physical therapy, he is left with a permanent loss of feeling in his foot and an impairment rating of 46%. The jury awards almost $2.5 million to compensate the plaintiff for his pain and suffering and past wages. This case underscores the risk insurance companies take when not offering a fair broken leg compensation payout.
- 2019, Maryland: $80,000 Verdict – A woman walking on a Baltimore City sidewalk fractures her right fibula when she gets her foot caught in a hole in the sidewalk. The plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit alleged that the hole had been there for seven years and was concealed by grass. The defendant, Mayor & City Council of Baltimore City, disputed negligence and the case facts. The jury finds with the plaintiff, awarding her an $80,000 payout.
- 2019, New York: $25,000 Settlement – A mother is driving with her infant as a passenger when she gets into a car accident. The infant suffers a right tibia-fibula compound fracture. The plaintiff files a claim on her child’s behalf, and settles with the insurance company, State Farm, for $25K. The money will be held in an account for the infant’s benefit.
- 2019, New York: $300,000 Settlement – A young boy is crossing the street in New York City when struck by a vehicle. He suffers an oblique spiral compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula. The boy’s parents make a settlement with the GEICO, who insures both the injured party and the at-fault driver. The at-fault driver’s insurance covers $100,000 and the remaining $200,000 is covered by their underinsured motorist insurance.
- 2019, Alabama: $30,000 Settlement – In this premises liability case, a mother sues a trampoline park for her son’s injury while using the trampolines. The boy fractured his left tibia and fibula. The defendant denies liability but settles with the plaintiff for $30,000.
- 2018, Nevada: $306,000 Verdict – A minor suffers an open right femur fracture, requiring surgery and causing permanent scarring, in an accident when he and a family member attempt to hitch a trailer to a pickup truck. The minor’s mother files a claim against the family member. The minor alleges that the family member was negligent, and the family member’s insurance company offers to settle for $306K.
- 2016, Maryland: $375,000 Verdict – A 37-year-old woman is hit in an “unmarked” crosswalk on Georgia Avenue in Montgomery County. She suffers left displaced tibia and fibula fractures and a left ankle injury. The bones are repaired with hardware. She has a noticeable 5-inch surgical scar down the center of her knee. The defendant vigorously contests liability, claiming that the plaintiff walked out into the middle of the road without looking. The defendant had a $500,000 policy with their insurance company, Amica.
- 2016, Washington: $ 1,000,000 Settlement – This is a fractured tibia injury case. A 60-year-old man driving a Smart Car hit an overturned dump truck in the middle of the roadway. He claims that the overturned truck did not provide flares or other warnings to motorists. However, a neighbor who witnessed the accident claimed that he was speeding and that the truck’s taillights were illuminated. The man broke his shin and contracted MRSA in the car accident, resulting in more than $425,000 in medical bills.
How Much Is a Broken Leg Worth in a Lawsuit?
The average settlement value for a fibula or tibia fracture in a personal injury lawsuit is around $70,000 to $90,000. Femur fractures get twice as much compensation, with an average settlement value of $150,000 to $175,000. The most severe broken leg cases (those involving multiple fractures or bone splinters) can have a settlement value of $300,000 or more.
What Impacts the Value of a Broken Leg Case?
Three primary factors drive the settlement amount of broken legs in personal injury cases: (1) the type and location of the fracture, (2) how the broken leg impacts the victim’s life, and (3) which bone (femur, tibia, or fibula) is fractured.
Are Broken Leg Injuries Hard to Prove in a Lawsuit?
No. Broken leg injuries can be identified on a simple x-ray, making them easy to prove in a lawsuit. The settlement value of a fractured leg is on far more solid ground than many other injuries because there is such a clean and objective way to demonstrate injury.
What Are the Different Types of Leg Fractures?
There are several types of broken legs, each with varying levels of severity and relative settlement values:
- Stable fractures: These fractures occur when the broken ends of the bone are still in place and aligned correctly. Stable fractures usually heal well with immobilization and non-surgical treatment and how the lowest average settlement compensation on this list.
- Oblique fractures: These fractures occur when the bone is broken diagonally. Depending on the severity, oblique fractures may require surgery to realign the bone and promote proper healing. The settlement payouts with oblique fractures depend on how well they heal. Most heal very well and have lower settlement amounts. But if an oblique fracture requires surgery, that is a different story, and the payouts are higher.
- Transverse fractures: These fractures occur when the bone is broken in a straight line. They can be more challenging to treat than oblique fractures and may require surgery to realign the bone. These cases receive higher compensation.
- Comminuted fractures: These fractures occur when the bone is broken into three or more pieces. Comminuted fractures can be challenging to treat and may require surgery to realign and stabilize the bone. Comminuted fracture personal injury claims have very high average compensation values.
- Open fractures: These fractures occur when the bone breaks through the skin, exposing the bone to the outside environment. Open fractures are the most severe type of broken leg and require immediate medical attention. Treatment usually involves surgery to clean and repair the wound, followed by stabilization of the bone. These are awful cases and the pictures of these injuries make them even more potent for settlement or in front of a jury.
In general, the severity of a broken leg and the corresponding claim’s settlement value depends on the fracture’s type and location, as well as the age and overall health of the patient. Simple stable fractures may heal relatively quickly with non-surgical treatment and have a lower average payout. In contrast, more complex fractures may require surgery, a more extended recovery, and higher payouts. Open fractures are considered the most severe type of broken leg due to the increased risk of infection and other complications.
Recent Medical Studies for Broken Legs
- Gait Analysis to Monitor Fracture Healing of the Lower Leg Sensors by Elke Warmerdam, et all, Bioengineering, February 2023. This article discusses using gait analysis to monitor the healing process of lower leg fractures. Traditional methods of monitoring fracture healing, such as radiographs, have drawbacks such as radiation exposure and time lags. The study analyzed gait parameters, including spatiotemporal gait parameters, in patients with lower leg fractures treated surgically or conservatively. The results showed improvements in the gait pattern throughout the healing process, with gait speed and asymmetry measures having the potential to monitor fracture healing. The study found differences in gait between patients with and without union, which, again, is reflected in settlement amounts in personal injury claims.
- Age-based differences in the disability of extremity injuries in pediatric and adult occupants by Michaela Gaffney et al., Traffic Injury Prevention, September 2019. The study aimed to compare motor vehicle accident injuries of the arms and legs in children and adults. Specifically, researchers wanted to know if age affected the likelihood of these injuries resulting in a disability. Using the National Trauma Data Bank–Research Data System, they found that older adults were significantly more likely to be disabled from these injuries. Children’s bodies, the researchers explain, have a greater capacity to heal bones. Also, researchers found that disability was more common than death with these injuries and that impaired ability to move the extremities was the most common disability.
- Predictors of Peripheral Vascular Injury in Patients with Blunt Lower Extremity Fractures by Lobsang Marcia and Dennis King, Annals of Vascular Surgery, May 2019. To prevent interrupted blood flow and amputation after trauma to the legs, doctors must quickly identify damage to the veins. In this study, researchers identify risk factors for vascular injury to help emergency room doctors and orthopedic surgeons treating broken legs know when to double-check for interrupted blood flow. By looking at leg injury victims over two years at a hospital, the authors found vascular injuries are more likely to be present with open tibia-fibula fractures, especially those in the mid-shaft.
- Incidence of Lower‐Extremity Fractures in U.S. Nursing Homes by Kathryn Sine et al., Journal of the American Geriatric Society, February 2019.
Researchers were interested in the rate of lower-extremity fractures in nursing homes. These injuries can prove fatal in an elderly population. Looking at Medicare-enrolled nursing home residents over a year, the authors compared leg fractures to hip fractures, a more commonly discussed problem for elderly people. They discovered that those who broke their legs were more likely to be immobile, dependent, overweight, and diabetic. Simply put, severely functionally impaired individuals are at a higher risk, suggesting the need for better strategies to prevent these injuries in these patients.
- The biomechanics of lower limb injuries in frontal-impact road traffic collisions by M. Ammori, et al, African Health Science, June 2018 18(2), Knowing how leg injuries happen in head-on car crashes helps treating doctors. Two common ways people hurt their legs in these crashes are: (1) When the knee hits the dashboard hard, causing hip problems or breaks, and (2) When something pierces through near the pedals or when braking hard, causing foot and ankle injuries. Tall guys are more likely to hurt their hips, especially if they weren’t sitting properly when the crash happened. On the other hand, shorter women might hurt their feet and ankles more in certain types of head-on crashes. This information helps doctors guess what kind of leg injury might have happened in such crashes.
- Effects of passenger car front profile and human factors on pedestrian lower extremity injury risk using German in-depth accident data by Bingyu Wang et al., International Journal of Crashworthiness, January 2018.
The authors of this study used accident data to understand better how the engineering of a vehicle, impact speed, and the age and weight of the victim affects the likelihood of a lower-extremity injury in a pedestrian crash. The author’s main takeaway was that higher-speed collisions and bigger cars increased the likelihood of pedestrians suffering a lower-extremity injury.
Hire a Lawyer Who Fights for You
If you or a loved one was injured due to someone’s negligence, you have a legal right to compensation. The Maryland personal injury attorneys at Miller & Zois handle serious car accidents, workers’ compensation, and premises liability personal injury cases. To get a free consultation about your personal injury or wrongful death claim, call (800) 553-8082 or fill out our online form.