If someone’s negligence in Florida, or on a cruise or boat, caused you to break your lower leg, you may want to know how much your case is worth. When I use the words “lower leg”, I am referring to the 2 bones in your lower leg: the tibia and the fibula. I am not referring to settlement values in Florida for pain and suffering for a broken ankle, a broken or injured knee or an achilles tendon tear or injury.
You can also learn more about settlement values in Florida for pain and suffering for different areas of the body. How much compensation can you get if someone’s carelessness caused your lower leg fracture?
Over 73 Important factors may affect the settlement value of a Florida injury case.
Over 86 factors that may affect the settlement value of a Florida lower leg fracture case. There are countless other factors as well.
Pain and Suffering Component
The factor that most people do not know is the pain and suffering component. Keep in mind that if you are injured while working in Florida and nobody other than employer is at fault, most of the time you cannot get money for pain and suffering.
The basic settlement formula in any personal injury case is:
Settlement = Out-of-pocket medical bills + Lost wages + Pain and suffering
There is a starting point for the full value of a pain and suffering component for a fibula (smaller bone in the lower leg) fracture. Different adjuster may use slightly different starting points.
The starting point that I use for the pain and suffering component of a fibula fracture without surgery is $25,000 to $40,000. I used to say that it was $35,000 to $70,000. I have adjusted this amount.
Add the amount of pain and suffering to your economic damages (out of pocket medical bills and lost wages). A fibula fracture with surgery (ORIF) may have a full value for pain and suffering component of $100,000 or more.
Tibia Plateau (top part of the tibia; below the knee) fractures are generally worth more than a simple broken tibia.
An insurance company or big company (like Publix, Walmart, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, Epcot, Walgreens, Winn Dixie, Target, Costco, etc.) may end up paying you much more than $75,000 for the pain and suffering component. This usually if you are left with a bad disability such as a limp.
A child’s fracture that results in a growth plate injury may be worth more. If your legs are not equal in height after your broken tibia, this may also increase the value of your case.
But if the party (driver, owner of car, store owner, etc.) who caused your accident has no insurance or money to pay you, you may get nothing.
If you have surgery, the value of pain and suffering generally increases significantly. Keep in mind that this is just a starting point, and it can be reduced by many things that can hurt your case.
Below are settlements, some of which are mine and some are those of other attorneys and labeled as such. My settlements below before deduction for attorney’s fees and expenses. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
My actual case: $445,000 Settlement for our client, a motorcycle rider, who suffered a tibia plateau fracture. He had a metal plate and screws (open reduction internal fixation) inserted in his lower leg above his tibia. Below is an x-ray, showing internal fixation of the tibia, which is similar to our client’s injury.
He also had a metal plate put in his finger but it was later removed. He was riding a motorcycle in Hialeah, Miami-Dade County, Florida, when he was hit by a 18 wheeler truck who failed to yield the right of way by making a left hand turn in front of the motorcyclist.
After he finished the bulk of his treatment with the orthopedic surgeon who operated on him, our client treated with Dr. Jorge Cabrera, a orthopedic doctor in Miami who treats hand and leg injuries. Dr. Cabrera is a patient advocate and is one of several orthopedic doctors in Miami who are willing to treat leg injuries (and hand injuries) for people injured in accidents.
Unfortunately, many other doctors in Florida are unwilling to treat people who are injured in accidents.
It is important to make sure that you treat with an orthopedic doctor who is a patient advocate and who does not testify as an expert for insurance companies – and not for injured people – in 100% of their cases in which they are hired.
My actual case: $325,000 Settlement for surgery on a fractured tibia when a car hit a pedestrian, our client, in Coconut Grove (Miami-Dade County), Florida. My client was a foreigner who was visiting Miami, Florida for pleasure. A car hit him while he was placing a parking ticket inside his rental car.
In the picture below, the white “x” on the door is where the car struck my client.
Below is the damage to the outside of the car door.
A car driven by a Department of Homeland Security (US Border & Customs) employee hit him.
Below is an x-ray which was taken at the hospital and shows the fracture.
At the hospital, an external fixator was drilled into his leg, which you can see below.
Below is a x-ray which shows how the fixator looked in the inside of our client’s leg.
The fixator was removed within the year. The rod and screws were left in place. Below is an x-ray which was taken after the external fixator was removed from his leg.
My client was still able to ski after he recovered from this crash so his injury was limited.
My actual case: $30,000 Settlement for a tibial plateau fracture that my client, a middle-aged man, suffered when a car hit him while he was riding his bicycle. His treating orthopedic doctor said that he healed perfectly and did not need any more treatment. The driver of the car was insured with State Farm Auto Insurance. We invite you to learn more about State Farm Insurance settlements.
My actual case: $25,000 Settlement for an elderly Cuban-American businessman who suffered a broken (fractured) tibia (lower leg bone) when he was hit by a driver insured by State Farm Insurance Company. The accident occurred in Hialeah, Florida. My client did not purchase uninsured motorist coverage which may have resulted in a larger settlement. This is one of my many settlements with State Farm Insurance Company.
Actual case (not mine): $800,000 in pain and suffering for a 6 year-old-boy who had permanent growth plate damage on a tibia, arthritis in his knee and would need future surgery. As a result of the growth plate damage, there was a 4-6 inch difference in the length of his legs. The boy’s parent(s) sued a doctor for failing to property diagnose and treat his condition, failing to speak with an infectious disease doctor, failing to perform surgery to clean out the fracture, and failing to prescribe antifungal medication.
Because the gross (total) settlement was greater than $50,000, court approval of the settlement was needed. I am almost certain that the minor’s net settlement (after all attorney’s fees, costs and bills) was greater than $15,000, so a minor guardianship of the property was also needed.
Actual case (not mine): $677,000 verdict for pain & suffering against State Farm for a pedestrian who was hit by a car in Plantation, Florida had 3 lower leg (tibia/fibula) leg surgeries.
Actual case (not mine): $600,000 in Pain and Suffering in 2001 for a 55-year-old female realtor who suffered a comminuted tibial plateau fracture with ORIF, resulting in cellulitis. Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and deep underlying tissues. She said that she was cut off by a scooter (phantom vehicle) and she sued State Farm under her uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
My thoughts: I am unsure as to what extent the cellulitis complicated her recovery. Therefore, it’s tough to know how much of the pain and suffering award was for the tibia fracture and how much of the award is for the cellulitis. The jury awarded $200,000 for future medical bills so there is future treatment that the Plaintiff may need or needs. I have no idea what type of treatment that is and what her limitations, if any, are.
Actual case (not mine): $580,000 in pain and suffering in 2005 for a 48-year-old man who broke his lower leg (tibia and fibula) and required surgery (ORIF). He also had arthritis and had a mild to moderate limp and his leg remains swollen. He tripped and fell over a skateboard that was on the floor at the Sports Authority in Broward County, Florida.
He was approximately $119,000 in past pain and suffering and $459,800 in future pain and suffering.
Actual case (not mine): $550,000 in Pain and Suffering in 2001 for a man who had a comminuted fracture to tibial plateau, and had a fibula fracture which required 2 surgeries. He had a small limp that may require a future surgery. He tried to grab an item on a shelve at Costco (in North Miami Beach, Florida) and many other items fell on him causing him to strike the floor.
Actual case (not mine): $455,000 in Pain and Suffering in 2003 for a 77-year-old man who suffered a tibial plateau fracture and arthritis when he was hit by a forklift at food market. His wife received $20,000 for loss of consortium.
Actual case (not mine): $382,000 for Pain and Suffering in 1999 for a 31-year-old man who suffered a tibial plateau fracture of his leg requiring ORIF. He then had a second surgery to remove the hardware that was put in his leg. His doctor said that he had an excellent result but that he had damage to top of the lower leg (tibial head).
His doctor said that he would probably require a total or semi-arthroplasty by the time he was 50 years old. The doctor hired by the hotel said that he would not need a total knee replacement, and that the worst case scenario is that he would need an arthroscopy to remove loose cartilage in his knee.
He broke his leg when he was knocked over by a man who broke into his hotel room in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The hotel admitted that it was at fault on the morning of trial.
Actual case (not mine): $292,000 in Pain and Suffering when a child and her family were living in an apartment building in Hialeah, Florida. The child was injured when a structure that was above the electric meter fell on the child. The child’s parents sued the apartment complex for failing to use reasonable steps to maintain the property.
The apartment complex claimed that it was not liable and said that the girl’s brother leaped and grabbed the overhang and that was the cause of her injury. The apartment complex also said that it had no notice of the dangerous condition. The jury verdict found the apartment complex 100% responsible.
Actual case (not mine): $225,000 for a 56-year-old woman in 1989 who had a tibial plateau fracture and 3 broken ribs. She was a passenger in a car in Tampa when the car was hit by a concrete truck owned by the Defendant. She was awarded $100,000 for past pain and suffering, and $125,000 for future pain and suffering.
The future pain and suffering was intended to give compensation for the remainder of her life expectancy which is 25 years (at $5,000 per year.)
My thoughts: The pain and suffering for the ribs make up a small portion of this award as compared to the tibial fracture. I found it interesting that the jury verdict did not mention whether the Plaintiff recovered any money for medical bills.
Who are some potential defendants whose negligence may cause someone’s lower leg injury in Florida?
Find out if you have a case if Publix’s negligence caused your tibia or fibula fracture.
Who pays your medical bills if a driver’s negligence caused your lower leg fracture in a Florida car or truck crash?
Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in an accident in Florida, or on a cruise or boat?
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated.