If you have been hurt, or a loved one has been killed in a traffic collision or malpractice case, Baltimore is an excellent place to bring your claim if you want full settlement compensation for the harm that has been done. Our law firm is in downtown Baltimore. This page is about settlement amounts and jury payouts in Baltimore City. Baltimore is one of the two best jurisdictions in Maryland to maximize settlement compensation amounts for a personal injury claim.
A high percentage of the cases our lawyers handle are in Baltimore City. Our attorneys regularly settle scores of accident and medical malpractice cases in this jurisdiction every year. Our personal injury lawyers know this jurisdiction well and how to calculate settlement amounts and expect jury awards in Baltimore.
Handling Accident and Malpractice Cases in Baltimore City
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.
- 2023: $1,500,000 Verdict: A dishwasher was seriously injured when a set of stairs at the Thames Street Oyster House in Fells Point detached, leading him to fall 12 feet onto a concrete patio. The lawsuit claimed that the stairs, built during a 2010-2011 renovation, were negligently constructed and didn’t meet building codes. Expert testimony from a structural engineer corroborated these claims, highlighting that the stairs were improperly connected. As a result of the accident, the victim sustained brain damage and multiple physical injuries. After a three-day trial, a jury awarded him $1.5 million in pain and suffering damages.
- 2023: $5,000,000 Verdict: During a schoolyard football game at Furley Elementary School in Baltimore, a 9-year-old boy severely broke his leg. Instead of offering immediate medical attention, the school personnel provided him with mustard and a washcloth to bite on and did not call 911. Instead, they left a voicemail for his mother. The boy, in shock by the time his mother received him, was urgently driven to Good Samaritan Hospital and later transferred to the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland for emergency surgery. He had to go through four additional surgeries and about a year of recuperation. Plaintiff’s lawsuit alleged that what happened to this boy might have been prevented if the school had enforced its prohibition on tackle football, supervised the children adequately, or called 911 promptly after the incident. To make matters worse, a Furley Elementary School employee had given the students the ball for the game, despite the school’s general rule against tackle football. From the time of the injury until his hospital admission, approximately 75 minutes elapsed. Following his surgeries, the boy’s recovery journey involved transitioning from a wheelchair to a walker, then to crutches, accompanied by physical therapy sessions to regain his mobility. A Baltimore jury ruled in favor of the boy’s family, awarding them $5 million in non-economic damages. But Maryland’s unreasonable damages cap reduced the award to $785,000.
- 2023: $7,000,000 Settlement: Maryland agreed to a $7 million settlement with a man who was brutally assaulted while detained at the Baltimore Detention Center in 2014, resulting in severe injuries that prevent him from walking or speaking. Initially, a jury awarded him $25 million, but this sum was reduced to $200,000 under the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA). The settlement was reached before the state Supreme Court could evaluate claims that the MTCA’s damage cap was unconstitutional. At trial, a jury determined that the state failed to protect the victim from violence, with guards tragically observing yet ignoring the attack by gang members.
- 2023: $6,000,000 Settlement: A man died when his car was hit by another vehicle whose occupants were fleeing plainclothes officers. The officers later planted heroin in the vehicle to justify their pursuit. The deceased’s daughter initiated the lawsuit in 2018 over her father’s death. The incident is one of many scandals linked to the Gun Trace Task Force, a unit of the Baltimore Police Department found to have been involved in numerous illegal activities.
- 2023: $350,451 Verdict: A woman’s SUV was rear-ended by a county police officer while she was waiting to merge onto Charles Street. The officer was on a nonemergency trip into Baltimore City to issue a warrant and had been working all night prior to the accident, with the crash. As a result of the collision, the woman experienced severe injuries, pain, and accumulated medical bills. A Baltimore City jury awarded a $350,451 payout.
- 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.
Malpractice Claims Against Baltimore Hospitals
- Harbor Hospital
- Mercy Hospital
- Union Memorial
- Johns Hopkins
- University Hospital (UMMS)
- Franklin Square
- Maryland General Hospital
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