California Personal Injury Settlements

Jury Verdict Research recent look a verdicts in personal injury cases in California shows the compensatory median award for personal injury trials in California is $150,000. This is a lot higher than the national average of less than $40,000. But plaintiffs receive money damages in only 45 percent of cases that go to trial, which is 5% less than the national average.

Settlement value of California personal injury cases

Settlement value of California personal injury cases

But what is the average verdict in a tort case?  The average verdict is approximately $1.6 million.   There is a big difference between median and average — 10 times more.  When you are using this to try to get some lens into your own case, it is tricky.  It is all how you turn the kaleidoscope.

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2014 Sample Verdicts and Settlements

  • June 2014, California: $1,3537,746 Verdict: A woman was driving through an intersection when her vehicle was struck by a 16 year-old with a provisional driver’s license who ran a red light. Following the collision, she was treated with multiple surgeries and years of physical therapy. She sued the driver and his parents (the owners of the vehicle) for negligence. Plaintiff claimed that at the time of the accident she was attending court reporting classes and is now unable to work the job because she can no longer sit for extended periods of time. Plaintiff also claimed that she was expected to require at least three hip replacements during her lifetime. Defendants argued that the 16 year-old had come to a complete stop at the light, but took his foot off the brake, which caused the vehicle to roll into the intersection. However, two witnesses contested that Defendant driver was traveling at least 45 mph upon impact. A Kern County jury found in favor of the Plaintiff for $1,357,746.
  • April, 2014, California: $560,000 Settlement: A 33 year-old state employee was driving her SUV on eastbound Rancho Penasquitos Boulevard in San Diego with her 2 year-old daughter and 61 year-old aunt riding as passengers. Without warning, a westbound truck veered into their lane and collided almost head-on. Both drivers and the passengers were taken by ambulance to separate hospitals. The state employee sustained a left ankle sprain, bruises to her chest, abdomen and both legs as well as lacerations to her forehead and lower leg. She was also diagnosed with bulging lumbar disc and required epidural injections and physical therapy. Her aunt sustained eight fractured ribs, multiple lacerations throughout her body, and internal injuries that required her to be placed in a medically-induced coma for three weeks after an emergency resection of 14-inches of her intestines. The two year-old sustained a laceration to her upper lip, a bloody nose and some abdominal bruising. They sued the driver of the truck and his employer for negligence. Defendant Employer claimed that Defendant Driver was driving his own personal pickup truck at the time of the accident and not in the scope of his employment. Defendant Driver claimed he had no recollection of the accident as he suffered a retroperintoneal hematoma prior to the collision, which rendered him unconscious, causing him to swerve into the Plaintiffs’ lanes. Plaintiffs’ counsel argued Defendant Driver suffered the retroperitoneal hematoma as a result of the collision, not prior. The parties agree to a total settlement of $560,000.
  • April 2014, California: $1,250,000 Settlement: An 80 year-old Korean War veteran became a resident of a veterans nursing facility after suffering from multiple strokes. He was later transferred to a sister nursing facility where he was dropped on two occasions while being transported by the facility’s caregivers. After the second fall he suffered a fracture of his vertebrae that ultimately left him paralyzed below the waist. The immobility caused him to suffer from multiple, painful pressure sores, including a Stage 4 pressure sore on his left ankle. He sued the facility, claiming negligent hiring and supervision. The parties agreed to settle for $1,250,000.
  • February 2014, California: $370,000 Verdict: A 46 year-old was painting a property in Hemet when he leaned over the railing to clean a piece of his equipment. The railing collapsed underneath him and he fell, injuring his left shoulder. He visited a local emergency room where he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff of the left, dominant shoulder. The tear required two repair surgeries and physical therapy. He also sustained a herniated cervical disc from the fall. He sued the property owners claiming the Defendants failed to warn of a dangerous condition. Plaintiff claimed he is unable to use his left arm, making him unable to run his painting company.  Defendants argued the extent of Plaintiffs injuries, noting inconsistent exam results. A Riverside jury found in favor of the Plaintiff for $370,000.
  • February 2014, California: $4,000,000 Settlement:  A 16 year-old woman presented at a San Francisco hospital for labor. At the time, it became apparent that the infant was in distress, but by the time the child was ultimately delivered through Cesarean section, he suffered catastrophic brain injury. At the age of seven, the child suffers from spastic cerebral palsy and epilepsy, is unable to walk or crawl, cannot communicate, and requires 24 hour care. The child’s great grandmother sued the hospital on his behalf for medical malpractice, claiming the staff failed to timely deliver the infant when he began to demonstrate signs of distress. Defendant denied all liability. The parties agree to settle for the sum of $4,000,000.

Getting Information on Your Case

The problem with these statistics and example outcomes is that they just cannot predict the value of your claim.   There are too many variable to consider and these variable have very different relative weights.

If you want to get more information about your claim, we may be able to call.  Get a free on-line case evaluation today.