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Maryland Car Accident Settlements | Miller & Zois

Our law firm handles car accident cases in Maryland and Washington, D.C. The first question our lawyers get from new clients ask is: "What is the settlement or trial value of my case?"

This is the right question. The whole purpose of bringing an injury claim is to get as much money as you can for the harm you have endured.

Answers to Your Settlement Value Questions Are Here

You have come to the right place to research the value of YOUR Maryland accident claim. Our law practice focuses on how to maximize the value of injury and wrongful death claims. We dig to determine the average bodily injury settlement.  But we are not looking to get fair value for our client. Our job is to get our clients as much money as we possibly can in a settlement or at trial.  Our lawyers fight to get more for our clients than the expected compensation.

We can help you better understand how much money you can expect to receive in your bodily injury settlement. If you dig through this article and the specific links relevant to your case, you will gain a much greater understanding of the potential value of your claim.

The biggest variable in the value of an automobile accident case in Maryland is the injuries suffered. There is no great predictive of settlement value or what a jury might award than looking at the type of injury the victim suffered.

Values of Specific InjuriesWrongful DeathTruck Accident CasesCar, Motorcycle and Pedestrian Accident CasesValues of Serious Personal Injury Cases

Many factors can affect the value of a Maryland personal injury settlement and how much money you will get to compensate you for the harm done. The settlement value of a case is a prediction of what a judge or jury will decide your claim is worth. Different juries arrive at different verdicts under the same set of circumstances.

Jurors have their personal biases. These biases can either help or hurt you. This unpredictably leads to a wide range of results. For settlement purposes, our lawyers guess - there is no other way to describe it - at what we think the jury would award. We use that guess to calculate a range for the client's bodily injury settlement. Ultimately, there is still an average and that is how Maryland personal injury settlements are calculated.

The settlement value of a claim increases over time. Our lawyers see this over and over. More than 95% of the time, the payout in Maryland car accident settlements will continue to rise AFTER a lawsuit if filed. Our firm has had many cases where the pretrial offer was more than 50 times greater than the pre-suit offer. This is a very important thing for malpractice and accident victims to understand. With a few notable exceptions, a quick settlement will not maximize the value of your claim. Our lawyers can make this process go faster. Our personal injuries lawyers will not be the reason for the delay. But to get the most money for your case, you do have to have some patience.

Who decides whether to settle the case? Our attorneys present the facts to the client and let them make the call. There are two choices: (1) settle the case, or (2) move forward with the litigation process.

If you have a personal injury or wrongful death claim, you can get a free, no-obligation case review by filling out this brief case review form today.

Studies Looking at Value of Personal Injury Cases

The nationwide median jury award in a personal injury lawsuit was approximately $40,000. Plaintiffs won 48% of jury trials. The average payout for a personal injury verdict, as opposed to the median verdict, is $985,675.

how often plaintiff wins Verdicts in Maryland Personal Injury Lawsuits

In Maryland cases, the median compensation award in personal injury trials was $12,813. The median motor vehicle accident claim payout at trial in Maryland was $11,925. That sounds awful. But, as we explain below, these numbers are very deceptive and particularly illustrative in estimating the compensation you might get in your case.

The good news for Maryland victims is that the plaintiff prevailed in 69% of the cases (as opposed to 55% nationally). Traffic collision cases had an even higher rate of victory: 83%

In contrast, plaintiffs prevailed in only 8% of medical malpractice cases in Maryland (bearing in mind that most meritorious cases often settle before trial), but the average jury award in medical malpractice cases was $808,772. The average payout in medical malpractice claims - whether a verdict or settlement - was $374,121.

Make no mistake. The big verdicts in personal injury lawsuits are usually achieved by the best lawyers and those numbers inflate the average trial value of personal injury cases. Not many average lawyers are getting $10 million verdicts like we recently did. Most lawyers would not have even taken that case or many of the case our law firm has that led to seven figure settlements or verdicts.

The study does not break down the jury verdicts by county. But the larger jury awards in Maryland are in Baltimore and Prince George's County.

Miller & Zois' Results in Personal Injury Cases moneydamagestrial

Our firm's average is over 20 times that of the Maryland average. We rarely lose. We have won over 98% of the cases we have taken to trial. We have won over 75% of our medical malpractice claims compared to the state average of 8%. Digest that for a second. Having the best possible lawyer really does make a difference.

Most of our cases end in a favorable settlement. Why? The very best cases bodily injury cases usually  settle out-of-court. Insurance companies settle the best cases and let the weaker cases go to trial. Studies show close call cases go to trial far more often than great cases. So our accident lawyers tend to settle our best cases and fight like crazy in the close calls.

Having a lawyer with a history of getting big verdicts can drive Maryland settlement values. No one can argue this. Having a top attorney with a history of success is even more critical when the case reaches a pre-trial settlement. Insurance companies need to believe there are repercussions when offering an unfair deal. You need an advocate who the insurance companies know will come after them hunting for a big verdict.

Further, you need an advocate who has a history of getting those big verdicts. Attorneys that frequently try cases and get big verdicts are the same lawyers getting the best confidential wrongful death and bodily injury settlements. Why? Because insurance companies want to resolve cases before history repeats itself.

So if you have a good case, hire experienced counsel with a real track record. You need a Maryland personal injury lawyer who is willing to fight for you. The best attorney is your best chance of pushing past the verdict and settlement averages.

Remember, included in that data are cases handled by lawyers who have no clue how to handle a severe injury or death claim. What is your best bet to rise above those averages and maximize the value of your claim? Get an aggressive attorney who specializes in personal injury cases and knows how to win.

The Factors That Matter in Personal Injury Cases

“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. My case settled for $1.31 million.”

- A.A (Baltimore City).

Again, verdict statistics and our law firm's history of significant verdicts are not predictive of the results in any individual case. It sounds cliché but.... your case is unique. Figuring out what settlement payout or verdict you can expect cannot be determined with an advanced calculus formula.

You need to discuss with your lawyer the particular facts of your case and the possible defenses to your claim Then, you can conclude what is an acceptable amount of money for the resolution of your case.

This discussion with your advocates will include:

  • the type of injuries you suffered
  • the economic damages (lost wages and medical expenses)
  • the amount of available insurance
  • how clear the causal connection is between your injuries and the accident
  • how strong your liability case is
  • the quality of all of the witnesses
  • the expected jury perceptions of you and the defendant
  • how your pain and suffering from the injuries have impacted your life

What does not matter? A lot of things that should count towards settlement value but do not:

  • You could have died
  • You have gotten behind in paying your bills
  • How you couldn't buy a new car with the money you got for your property damage
  • All of the things that could have happened during surgery but didn't
  • Future medical problems that could happen

These things are not admissible at trial. The insurance adjuster will not consider them in determining how much money they should offer. Is this fair? No. What can you do? You fight harder to get compensation for those things that are compensable at trial. These include your medical bills, lost wages, and, most importantly in every case we handle, your pain and suffering.

We already touched on the other huge variable that the insurance company considers right from the beginning: the location of the trial. In Maryland, Baltimore City and Prince George's County are the most favorable venues for plaintiffs. Conversely, in more rural areas of Maryland, jury awards are often more conservative. This is true not just in Maryland, but throughout the United States -- jury awards are typically higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

One final thought: avoid settlement mill law firms if you want to maximize the value of your case. What is a settlement mill law firm? Read this law review article and you will know it when you see it.

How Do the Insurance Companies Estimate Value in Accident Cases?

Most insurers use a computer system called Colossus or a similar program. The insurance adjuster inputs the data from your case, and it spits out a range of settlement outcomes. The adjuster has a settlement range to work with but it limits the flexibility to value the case based on its own unique facts.

Colossus then specifically looks at the causes of your pain described in your medical records. One of the most critical questions is whether the injuries are permanent. The computer gives higher values for objective injuries like broken bones and herniated discs than for soft tissue injuries. Colossus also gives higher value when the patient went to the hospital for initial treatment immediately after the collision.

While Colossus and similar programs do have some value, the problem is they cannot grasp the complexity of a human's pain and suffering. A computer cannot place a dollar value on pain and suffering or how an injury impacted a person's life. How much is it worth not be able to pick up your newborn baby without extreme pain? How does it feel to lose your only living parent?

There is no way a computer can answer these questions. Colossus does not try to bake that into its settlement payout formula. It just assumes pain and suffering have little value. A computer program does not care about you. Your agony, your pain and suffering, or the tragedy of you never being yourself again cannot be calculated by a computer. There is no sense getting mad about it. You just have to find someone willing to buckle their chin straps and fight for you to get you what you truly deserve.

This is why your counsel must fully explain to the insurance company why your injuries are different. Otherwise, a lawsuit is the only path to obtain fair value for your case. When your lawyer files a lawsuit, the insurance companies will sometimes take a second look at the real trial value of the case. This is particularly true when they know that the attorneys handling the case are willing to go to trial.

The good news is that while Colossus cannot appreciate pain and suffering and the real impact of the injury on the victim, judges and juries do. They consider factors that Colossus ignores. It is only a formula. Juries make distinctions on how much your case is worth based on whether or not they think the plaintiff is a good and honest person who has suffered.

The year is settled or goes to trial might also matter. Personal injury settlements in Maryland in a city or county that is becoming more metropolitan - think Hagerstown, Frederick, Charles County - is going to have better outcomes in 2021 than in 2011. What drives these higher settlements is larger verdicts and jurisdictions like these are seeing verdicts now that they have never seen before.

The settlement value of the same injury can vary. If your injury is a scar on your face, the amount of compensation will depend on the victim. Sex, age, and appearance are going to matter in determining how much money you are going to get for your case.

Again, this variability is also very plaintiff specific. Take ankle and leg injuries where the victim can no longer run. How awful is this injury? It depends on you. If you are a couch potato, the value is less than the client who can tell a jury she ran a marathon last year. 

These details matter to every juror and they are going to matter even more in the post-COVID-19 era where people understand what confinement feels like. But the computer? It tunes them out completely. Juries respond to human pain and agony. An algebraic equation responds to raw data.

How Much is a Personal Injury Lawsuit Worth?

The value of a personal injury case varies greatly depending on the type of injuries involved. Here are the average estimated values for general personal injury cases:

Light or Minor
(e.g., back strains, soft tissue, headaches)
= $15,000 ↔ $25,000
(e.g., broken leg, ruptured spleen)
= $50,000 ↔ $125,000
Serious or Major
(e.g., death, brain injury)
= $200,000 ↔ $500,000

Medical malpractice cases have a slightly higher value. Nationally, the average payout in a medical malpractice lawsuit is around $250,000. The average settlement value for a medical malpractice case in Maryland (particularly in Baltimore or Prince George's County) is significantly higher than the national average.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims in Maryland?

In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is 3 years. This includes both auto accident and medical malpractice cases. The 3 year period begins to run from the date that the plaintiff discovered (or should have discovered) the injury resulting from the malpractice. (Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101).

There are several exceptions to this 3-year rule. For example, if the plaintiff is a minor at the time of the injury, they will have until their 21st birthday to file a claim. But, more often then justice would suggest is appropriate, this deadline is harshly enforced.

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Calculated?

A settlement in a personal injury case is usually calculated by adding together three basic elements of the plaintiff’s losses: (1) medical expenses; (2) lost income; and (3) pain and suffering. The first two are fairly easy to compute. Pain and suffering damages are much more difficult. It is a subjective measurement of how to compensate someone for the physical and emotional harm that has been done.

How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge?

Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you do not get money for your injuries, you do not pay the lawyers anything. Instead, the attorneys get a percentage of any money they recover for you in your accident case. In Maryland, a frequent contingency fee is 33% if a case ends in settlement. The fee rises to 40% if a lawsuit is filed. In addition to their percentage fee, personal injury lawyers are also reimbursed for expenses they incurred on the case.

Picking a Lawyer: Why It Matters So Much Even for Settlement

We have already made this point. But it is worth repeating. Claims adjusters and even their computers consider whether your attorney has a history of winning at trial. They also look to see if the plaintiff's counsel settles all of their personal injury cases (or has no history at all). This is an important reason the quality of your attorney matters even if you intend to settle your case without filing a lawsuit.

Our law firm handles serious personal injury cases in Baltimore, Maryland.  Our attorneys cover all of Maryland and Washington, D.C.  If you have been hurt, or a loved one has been tragically killed by someone else's negligence, call to speak to one of our attorneys at 800-553-8082 or get a free no-obligation consultation.

Maryland Settlement ValuesRelated Articles
  • More information you can use in valuing personal injury claims
  • Handling Your Motor Vehicle Claim Without Hiring Counsel: tips on proceeding without a lawyer
  • Is There a Formula to Calculate Personal Injury Accident Settlement Value: discussion of whether there is a formula to calculate the expected payout in a personal injury case. The answer is yes and no.
  • Deep academic dive in the settlement value of personal injury cases
If You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

We handle personal injury accident and malpractice cases in Maryland. We handle catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and birth injury cases around the country. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed as the result of the negligence of someone else, call us now at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

Client Reviews
They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Bridget Stevens
The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
I am so grateful that I was lucky to pick Miller & Zois. Maggie Lauer
The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa