Foot and ankle injuries are complex. We put severe demands on our feet and ankles, and the structure of bones in this area of the body is like a Ferrari. The engine has to be hitting on all cylinders, or the car will misfire.
The key in these cases is to convince an insurance adjuster or a jury of the severity of these injuries. There is no question that you need counsel who is experienced handling these kinds of injuries.Average Verdicts in Foot and Ankle Cases
- The average verdict in foot injury cases is a little over $700,000. The median award is just less than $100,000. What does this tell us? It teaches us that the severity of injury to these 26 bones, 56 ligaments, and 38 muscles in the foot varies wildly. The verdict in 13% of these cases went beyond $1,000,000. Smaller cases pull that median way down.
- The median ankle injury in Maryland is $88,000.The average ankle injury verdict nationally is just under $30,000. Why the disparity between the average ankle and the average foot injury given the similarity of the medians. Well, first we are comparing a national median to the Maryland median. Second, and perhaps more importantly, ankle injuries are more frequently caused by slip and fall cases where liability might be a greater challenge. Sometimes, juries give a smaller award merely because they were less sure the defendant was liable. If there is no liability dispute, the average probably gets much closer to the foot verdict average. Ankle verdicts ranged from $1 to over $5 million.
Okay, so the take home message is that the money damages expected for the injuries are going to vary wildly.
To give you a better idea of your case's value, we have provided below some sample verdicts in foot and ankle lawsuits. Keep in mind that someone's else verdict that seems to have similar facts might, in fact, have very different relevant facts because there are just too many variables to list that dictate how a claim turns out.... and sometimes those variables are intangible. Still, we include these verdicts and settlements because we believe that taken with the proper grain of salt, they do shed light on the value of these claims. We certainly use other verdicts and settlements to argue the value of our cases.
The average value of an ankle injury lawsuit in Maryland is around $40,000 to $100,000, depending on the severity. However, the most serious ankle injury cases can have a settlement value of $1 million or more.
The single factor that has the greatest impact on case value is the severity of the ankle injury. Minor injuries such as ankle sprains are worth much less. Major injuries such as ankle fractures or ligament tears have a higher value, especially if the injury has some permanent life impact.
In very rare cases a broken ankle can lead to complications that may require amputation. These include bone infections and nerve damage.
Injuries to the ankle and foot are very common in auto accident lawsuits. In fact, physical trauma to the ankle or foot is the second most common class of injury in car accidents according to the NHTSA.
- 2019 Maryland $61,969 Verdict: plaintiff, female in her mid-60s, goes to Sinclair Lane Elementary in Baltimore City to chaperone a school field trip for her granddaughter. As she is walking up the exterior stairs to the front entrance of the building, the concrete step crumbles underneath her foot and she fractures her ankle and sprains her knee. She sues the City for failing to maintain and repair the crumbling steps and a jury awards $61k in damages.
- 2019 Maryland $18,408 Verdict: female plaintiff is a passenger in vehicle heading east through a green light on MD Route 100 where it intersects Magothy Bridge Road in Pasadena. Defendant is driving north on Magothy and runs a red light causing a collision. Plaintiff suffers badly sprained ankle and other injuries to her leg and chest. Damages are disputed and jury in Anne Arundel County awards $18k.
- 2018 Maryland $235,000 Settlement: female plaintiff was serving as a volunteer at the National Aquarium in Baltimore when she slips and falls on damp, wet floor. Plaintiff fractures her ankle and also suffers permanent ligament injuries to her leg and foot. She sues the Aquarium alleging that it was aware of the wet floor and did nothing to correct it or warn of the hazard. The case eventually settles for $235k after a back and forth dispute over what corporate entity was liable.
- 2017 Maryland $25,000 Verdict: plaintiff is driving his vehicle through an intersection without a traffic light when defendant fails to yield and strikes plaintiff’s vehicle on the side. Plaintiff reportedly suffers right ankle injury with damage to his anterior tibiofibular ligament causing him to miss nearly a month of work. Case goes to trial on damages and Anne Arundel County jury awards $25,000 which includes $8,000 in economic and $17,000 in pain and suffering damages.
- 2016, Maryland: $375,000 Settlement. Plaintiff, dressed in all black, crossed Georgia Avenue from west to east, at its T-intersection with Dexter Avenue in Silver Spring, MD, when she was struck by a vehicle traveling in the southbound lane of Georgia Avenue. Unfortunately, the Plaintiff did not recall the crash and a witness claimed she was in the middle of the street. She also speaks very little English. But her injuries were real, suffering a displaced tibia and fibula fractures which were repaired with hardware and a left ankle fracture which was also repaired with hardware. In spite of these liability problems, Miller & Zois was able to settle this case at mediation.
- 2014, Maryland: $315,000 Settlement. Plaintiff is a fifty-five-year-old who and frequently travels as part of his job. He is riding to BWI Airport in a limousine. The driver of his car swerved to avoid contact with debris and lost control of the vehicle. The limousine skidded across all lanes of traffic and slammed into the barrier on the right shoulder impacting the right-side and right-front of the vehicle. Plaintiff's elbow, hip, and knee were affected, and his right foot and ankle became lodged under the front seat. An MRI revealed stress fractures in the right ankle and multiple torn ligaments. This Miller & Zois case settled after a failed pre-suit mediation and protracted litigation.
- 2012, Maryland: $88,657 Verdict. A plaintiff is riding an electric scooter when he is struck from behind by a police officer in an unmarked rental car. After plaintiff attempts to flee, the officer again swerves into him, running over his left foot. The foot is severely injured and requires surgery to repair. Plaintiff claims false arrest and battery. The officer attests that plaintiff was operating an illegal mini scooter without a driver’s license and that his injuries occurred when he initially ran into the back of the unmarked car and another vehicle when he attempted to flee. The Baltimore City jury awarded $88,657.
- 2013, Maryland $928,000. A mother with four kids is hit when a woman pulls into traffic while looking in her purse for her parking pass. Her ankle was fractured. Allstate offered a typically pathetic $70,000 before we filed suit and $140,000 before we went to trial. The jury awarded $928,000.Miller & Zois handled this woman's case.
- 2012, Maryland: $60,000 Verdict. A plaintiff is walking one winter day when she slips and falls on defendant’s porch stairs. Plaintiff suffers a severe ankle fracture that requires open reduction and internal fixation surgery. The injured argues that the defendants were reckless and allowed their steps and railing to be covered in snow and failed to shovel and salt the area. The defendants deny liability and claim the plaintiff assumed the risk and was comparatively negligent. An Annapolis jury awarded $60,000. The defendants were insured by Allstate.
- 2012, Maryland: $1,350,000 Verdict. Plaintiff injures his ankle when he fell from a ski lift. He began seeing defendant doctor who performed negligent treatment on the ankle. Eventually, plaintiff suffered a fatigued fractural screw and slight obliquity of a tibial shaft fracture that permanently impaired his walking. After only thirty minutes of deliberation, a Baltimore County jury awards the victim $1,350,000.
- 2011, Maryland: $537,365 Verdict. A middle school janitor is working the night shift when the electricity goes out. She calls her supervisor, who instructs her to go to the power room to restore the lights. Unfortunately, defendant’s construction team had been working on a trench in the floor. Anticipating returning to it tomorrow, they left it uncovered. Unable to see, the plaintiff trips and falls into the ditch and suffers a severe ankle fracture. Plaintiff argues that the company was negligent in not covering the trench. Defendant counters that plaintiff was at fault for knowingly entering a dark room that she had never been in before and that it was a known construction site. Although the plaintiff made a great recovery and was able to return to work, she suffered from a complex open right ankle fracture, and dislocation that required surgery with hardware. The Baltimore jury awards $537,365 to the injured plaintiff. Miller & Zois handled this case.
- 2011, Maryland: $3,064,000 Verdict. Plaintiff goes to her primary care physician claiming foot pain. She is referred to the Defendant podiatrist who examines her injury and recommends surgery without discussing the risks or alternative options. Only a month after the operation, the plaintiff is brought back to the hospital where her foot is amputated due to a gangrenous infection. Plaintiff sues the defendant alleging that his failure to adequately perform pre and post-op examinations, his failure to diagnose patient’s peripheral artery disease, and his failure to properly use tourniquet techniques during the surgery led to her injuries. A Towson jury returns a verdict for $3,064,000, but it is later reduced to $714,000.
- 2011, Maryland: $1,682,752 Verdict. A 67-year-old man decides to get a knee replacement surgery. After the first few days of the knee replacement operation, the patient shows signs of problems with blood flow to the affected leg. Due to the defendant doctor’s misdiagnosis, the post-operative complications resulted in an above-knee amputation of the leg. Plaintiff claims that if the doctor had performed the standard of care treatment, the inconsistency would have been noticed and a vascular surgeon could have removed the clot. Defendants contend that any symptoms of the clot were actually due to a nerve injury caused by the surgery and that the clot did not manifest until day 5. A Cecil County jury awarded the victim patient $1,682,752. (Yes, this is a knee case but we thought it was worth including.)
- 2011, Maryland: $25,000. A female plaintiff broke her foot when she slipped and fell in the aisle of defendant’s bus. The plaintiff claims that the defendant failed to train the bus operator properly and that the non-party employees did not assist plaintiff after she fell. The Maryland Transit Association denies liability and the extent of the victim’s injuries but is ordered by a Baltimore City jury to pay $25,000.
- 2010, Maryland: Settlement of $400,000. On the morning of January 31, 2005, Plaintiff is traveling southbound on Route 170 in P.G. County. Defendant, traveling on Grimm Road at its intersection with Telegraph Road, fails to obey the stop sign and pulled into the intersection to make a left turn, causing the Plaintiff to strike his vehicle. Plaintiff’s right ankle is broken and requires surgical intervention with hardware. Plaintiff’s doctors opine that the condition of her right ankle will deteriorate with time and that she may require a fusion of her ankle in the future. The case settled just before trial, and our client was very pleased with the outcome and the work Miller & Zois did for her.
If you have broken your leg in a motor vehicle accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for this painful and challenging injury. Call us at 800-553-8082 or get a free claim evaluation.