How Much Is Your Accident Case Worth?
Average Settlement Values for Maryland Auto Accident Cases
Injury Level & Settlement Value
The potential settlement value of an auto tort case in Maryland depends primarily on the type and severity of the plaintiff’s physical injuries.
|LEVEL OF INJURY||AVERAGE VALUE|
(neck sprains, soft tissue)
|$15,000 – $25,000|
(broken bones, herniated disc, ruptured spleen)
|$50,000 – $125,000|
(death, brain injuries, permanent disability)
|$200,000 – $500,000|
How Much Is Your Accident Case Worth?
Settlement Results in Prior Accident Cases
The best way to estimate the potential settlement value of your own accident case is to look at results in prior cases involving similar injuries and circumstances. Use the links to access our database of settlements and verdicts from actual Maryland accident cases to see how much you can expect to get for your claim.
Damages Allowed Under Maryland Law
The claimant or plaintiff in a car accident case is entitled to compensation for damage to their vehicle. This basically includes the full cost of either repairing damage to the vehicle or (if totaled) paying the fair market replacement value for the vehicle. Fair market value is generally based on Kelley Blue Book or NADA valuations.
Accident victims can get monetary damages for lost wages or lost income that they incur as a direct result of the accident. So if you break your leg in a car accident and you can’t work for 2 months, you are entitled to get compensation for those 2 months worth on income that you lost. This category of damages can include both past and future lost income or wages.
Accident victims are allowed to recover damages for the full amount of any necessary medical treatment or expenses that they incurred in connection with injuries sustained in the accident. This includes both past medical expenses and the estimated cost of future medical expenses. Under Maryland’s “collateral source” rule, claimants are entitled to compensation for the full cost of their medical expenses even when those expenses were actually paid for by their health insurance.
Pain & Suffering
Maryland plaintiffs are entitled to recover for mental pain and suffering caused by injuries suffered in an accident. Unlike lost wages and medical expenses, pain and suffering damages are highly subjective and there is no clear formula for determining how much should be awarded for pain and suffering. These damages usually have direct correlation to the level of pain and severity of the plaintiff’s injuries and whether the injuries will have a permanent impact on the individual’s qualify of life. Lost capacity to enjoy the usual or familiar things of life such as swimming, horseback riding, or playing sports can also be compensation through pain and suffering damages.
What Impacts the Value of Accident Cases?
The extent and severity of the plaintiff’s injury is always a major driving factor in the settlement value of a case. Even with the same type of injury, you can different levels of severity in individual cases. For example, some broken leg injuries are more serious than others. More severe injuries have a higher settlement value because they involve more extensive medical treatment, more lost wages, and more pain & suffering.
Tort law damages are designed to compensate victims for the cost of physical injuries. The type of physical injuries suffered by the plaintiff are, therefore, the most significant factor when it comes to the potential value of case. Certain types of injuries are obviously more significant than others. More serious injuries that permanently impact the plaintiff’s life or ability to function require more compensation and increase case value.
Plaintiffs in accident cases are entitled to get compensation for the cost of all medical treatment for injuries related to the accident. This includes medical expenses paid by health insurance. Even for mid-level injuries, the cost of medical care and treatment can be very high. The more medical treatment a plaintiff requires, the more compensation they will be entitled to in the accident case.
The plaintiff’s prior medical history can have a major impact on the settlement value of certain types of injuries. If a plaintiff has a history of back problems or a preexisting injury, this creates questions as to whether the accident was really the cause of their problems. Prior injuries or medical history can decrease value.
With certain types of injuries (notably back and shoulder injuries) the age of the plaintiff is significant. Younger plaintiffs tend to get higher average compensation payouts in these cases. The reason is because with older plaintiffs it is often hard to tell whether an injury is the result of an accident, or a degenerative condition.
If the plaintiff’s treating doctor is willing to testify on his or her behalf it can really strengthen the case. Treating doctors are much more compelling than hired experts. It can often be difficult to get a treating doctor to participate, but if they do it will increase the potential settlement value of the case.
Injuries that leave the plaintiff with some type of permanent impairment will have a higher settlement value. A permanent impairment can include anything that leaves a lasting impact on the plaintiff’s life. This includes not only something that limits mobility, but also permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Maryland has 23 separate counties, each of which comprises its own independent judicial district or venue. Which county a case is filed in can make a huge difference on the potential settlement value. There are certain venues in Maryland that are extremely plaintiff-friendly.