The best way for me to talk about how much an injured, broken, or shattered knee or torn meniscus may be worth in Florida is to give examples of past settlements.
The settlements, verdicts, and settlement values that I discuss below involve cases where someone else was responsible for the accident, which resulted in a knee injury. I focus as much as possible on the pain and suffering element of the claim.
This article does not apply to worker’s compensation cases unless someone other than the injured person’s employer caused the accident.
As a starting point, I believe that the full value of pain and suffering for settlement purposes of a broken (fractured) knee (patella) without surgery is between $50,000 and $75,000. I believe that the settlement value for a torn meniscus without surgery is between $20,000 and $30,000. The above values do not apply to cases where surgery is performed.
The full value of pain and suffering of a partial patellectomy for settlement purposes is $100,000 to $200,000. You could argue that the full value of pain and suffering for open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery on a patella fracture is also $100,000 to $200,000. Please keep in mind that the above pain and suffering amounts only apply to Florida injury and cruise ship accident cases and do not apply to workers compensation claims.
There are many factors that affect the value of a settlement for a knee injury so there is a chance that you may not get any money for your case.
First, I will discuss some broken knee settlements/verdicts and then I will talk about settlements/verdicts involving a torn meniscus.
My Knee Injury Settlements
My actual case: $75,000 Settlement for woman who had arthroscopic surgery on a plica in her knee when a car made a left hand turn in front of the car that she was driving and crashed into her. The at-fault car was cited for failing to yield the right of way. The at-fault car was insured with Progressive Insurance and the uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) auto insurance was through Allstate Insurance Company.
My Broken Knee (Fractured Patella) Settlements
Confidential settlement for a woman with a patella (knee) fracture with surgery from a slip and fall at a regional supermarket chain in Miami, Florida.
Other (not mine) Broken Knee (Patella) Settlements and Verdicts
Actual Case (not mine): $375,000 Settlement for pain and suffering only for knee (patella) fracture from a fall down in a restaurant in Palm Beach County, Florida. The settlement was in February 2009. The customer, a 61 year-old-female administrator, suffered a patella fracture that required hardware (ORIF).
She slipped and fell on grease. The total settlement was for $425,000, of which $30,000 was claimed for past medical bills, $20,000 were for past wage loss, and $375,000 for pain and suffering. The case is Rhine v. LSMS Inc. d/b/a Tramonti Ristorante Italiano.
Actual Case (not mine): $250,587 Verdict for a female shopper who suffered a patella (knee) fracture when she slipped and fell at a Publix Supermarket in Palm Beach County, Florida. She was in the checkout line and argued that Publix allowed water that spilled from a flower display near the checkout to stay on the floor for an unreasonable length of time. She also claimed that Publix did not warn of or clean the water.
My thoughts: This verdict tells me very little about the case because it does not say how much money was awarded for pain and suffering. This accident happened in 2006 and the law has become more difficult since then. If this case went to trial with the new law, the woman would have to prove that Publix knew or should have known that the water was on the floor.
Publix admitted liability (fault) in this case. It is not typical for a grocery store to admit that they caused a slip and fall case. Note: I heard that the entire verdict was for past medical bills, but I think this is an error. This case was Stanridge v. Publix Supermarkets Inc. 07-11954 AJ.
Actual Case (not mine): $5,000 for past Pain and Suffering for a 47-year-old female shopper who had a fall down in Publix supermarket in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2004. She fractured her patella, which required surgery with wires placed inside her knee. She had four months of physical therapy.
Her doctor said that she had a 6% impairment to her body, and another doctor testified that she had a 15% impairment and that she would need about $60,000 in future medical treatment. The doctor hired by Publix said that the Plaintiff had a 3% impairment.
The female shopper alleged that she fell on water while shopping at Publix. Publix argued that she was at fault, that there was no water on the floor, and that her previous health condition could have caused or contributed to her fall. She received an offer from Publix of $65,000 which she rejected. She was then offered $100,000, which she also rejected. Her attorney told her to accept the offers.
The jury heard testimony that she had a prior doubtful claim. The jury also awarded her $35,264.39 in past medical expenses and $5,000 in future medical expenses. The verdict was in 2004.
My thoughts: The amount awarded to the shopper for pain and suffering is way below the average settlement value for knee (patella fracture) with surgery. If surgery is performed on the knee, like in this case, the settlement value increases.
Torn Meniscus Settlements/Verdicts (not my cases)
Actual Case (not mine): $4,300 Awarded for Pain and Suffering only for a surgery for a torn meniscus in right knee.It was caused by overextending of her knee. Additionally, he had surgery for a torn rotator cuff (shoulder). The 55 year-old male shopper, a physician’s assistant, claimed that there was water on the floor in the floral department of Publix in Fort Pierce (St. Lucie County), Florida.
She claimed that the water was there because an employee was watering plants before he slipped and fell on the water. He was allegedly in prison for 2 1/2 years on a felony drug charge, but apparently the court did not allow Publix to mention his felony conviction at trial. His doctor recommended a total knee replacement and more shoulder surgery. The future estimated medical bills were $100,000.
My thoughts: I am unsure how much fault, if any, was placed on the shopper for not paying attention. Apparently, Publix was not allowed to mention his felony conviction at the time of trial. Normally, the judge will allow the defense attorney to ask the Plaintiff to tell the jury whether he has a felony. The amount that was awarded for pain and suffering surgery for a rotator cuff surgery and a meniscus surgery is way below the average settlement range for those injuries. The case is Brachlow v. Publix.
What settlements can you tell me about where someone broke his or her knee in an accident caused by someone else?