This is the complete guide to broken leg claims and settlements in 2022.
In this in-depth guide, you’ll learn:
- How to properly handle a broken leg claim
- How to value broken leg cases
- How to get the biggest broken leg settlement
- Lots more
So if you’re ready to become an expert in broken leg claims, this guide is for you.
Let’s dive right in.
Here is a video that I made about broken leg settlement amounts and compensation.
Article Assumes Someone Else Caused Your Leg Injury
Unless I say otherwise, everything in this article assumes that:
- Someone else’s carelessness caused your injury in an accident in Florida.
- You were not at fault.
The settlement value amounts in this article don’t apply if the injured person only has a workers compensation claim.
Note: If you’re hurt while working in Florida and nobody other than your employer is at fault, most of the time you cannot get money for pain and suffering.
Table of contents
- Article Assumes Someone Else Caused Your Leg Injury
- Easier to Get Pain and Suffering Money For a Broken Leg from a Car Accident
- Will Car Insurers Pay the $10K, $20K or $25K Limits for a Leg Fracture?
- Starting Point for Pain and Suffering Component of Tibia or Fibula Fracture ($25K to $40K)
- What is the Full Value of a Tibia or Fibula Fracture Case?
- Tibia or Fibula Fracture (With Surgery)
- What’s your case worth if you fractured both your tibia and fibula?
- When Will There Be Enough Insurance To Pay the Fair Value of a Broken Leg Case?
- $445,000 Settlement for Motorcycle Rider’s Leg (Tibial Plateau) Fracture After Truck Hits Him
- $350,000 Settlement for a Broken Leg (Car Hit a Bike Rider)
- $325,000 Settlement for Broken Leg (Car Hit Pedestrian in Miami, Florida)
- $300,000 Settlement for Broken Leg (Car Accident)
- $160,000 Settlement for a Broken Leg (Trip and Fall)
- $104,000+ Broken Leg Settlement (Car Accident)
- $100,000 Settlement with Broken Leg (Trip and Fall)
- $90,000 Settlement for Broken Leg (Pedestrian Hit By Car)
- $70K Settlement for Broken Leg (Car Hit Pedestrian in West Palm Beach)
- She Fractured Her Lower Leg (Tibial Plateau) and Suffered Other Injuries
- Pedestrian Didn’t Need a Permanent Injury to Get Compensation for Pain and Suffering
- GEICO Finally Settles for $65K (Almost 4.5 Times Its First Offer)
- $33,000 Settlement for Broken Leg After Car Hits Bicyclist
- $25,000 Settlement for Leg Fracture (Miami Car Accident)
- We currently represent 5 clients with broken leg personal injury cases
- Woman Gets $667K for Surgery to Broken Leg (Car Accident)
- Bad Resultant Disability Increases Settlement Value
- Boy Gets $800K in Pain and Suffering for Growth Plate Damage to Tibia
- Pedestrian Gets $950,000 For 3 Tibia/Fibula Surgeries ($677,000 was for Pain and Suffering)
- Child Gets $292,000 in Pain and Suffering for Tibia Fracture After Electrical Meter Fell on Her
- Uber Passenger Gets Settlement for Fractured Leg from Car Accident
- A Leg Fracture Could Lead to a Big Lost Wage Claim
- Which Rental Car Companies Have Enough Insurance To Pay For the Fair Settlement Value of a Broken Leg?
- Rental Car Occupants Should Not Quickly Settle With the At Fault Driver
- Which Rental Car Companies Offer $100K in UM Coverage in Florida?
- Does Avis or Budget Rent a Car Offer Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
- Some Other Rental Car Companies Don’t Offer UM Coverage (in Florida)
- $6.5 Jury Award for Pain and Suffering for Leg Amputation
Easier to Get Pain and Suffering Money For a Broken Leg from a Car Accident
In most Florida car accidents, you have to show that your injury is permanent in order to get money for pain and suffering.
In tibia fracture cases, it is easier to show that your injury is permanent than if you had a soft tissue injury.
This is because juries are more likely to believe that a fracture (broken bone) is a permanent injury.
All things equal, you have an increased chance that the liable party’s bodily injury (“BI”) liability insurer pays you the insurance limits if you have a tibia fracture.
Will Car Insurers Pay the $10K, $20K or $25K Limits for a Leg Fracture?
In most car accident cases, yes. This is true even if you don’t have surgery.
This assumes that the responsible party’s BI limits are in the above amounts. It also assumes that a driver’s negligence caused your tibia fracture.
The responsible party may not have BI liability insurance. If this is the case, their insurer won’t offer you any money.
Starting Point for Pain and Suffering Component of Tibia or Fibula Fracture ($25K to $40K)
The starting point that I use for the full value of the pain and suffering component for a tibia or fibula fracture (without surgery) is $25,000 to $40,000.
What is the Full Value of a Tibia or Fibula Fracture Case?
As with any full value, you add your economic damages (e.g. out of pocket medical bills, lost wages, etc.) to the value of your pain and suffering. This gets to you to the full value of the case.
Tibia or Fibula Fracture (With Surgery)
A fibula or tibia fracture with surgery (ORIF) may have a full value for pain and suffering component of $100,000 or more.
If you have surgery, the full value of pain and suffering component generally increases significantly. This general rule doesn’t just apply to broken lower leg cases. It applies to all personal injury cases where you have surgery.
Here is an interesting fact:
In my past personal injury cases that I settled for $100,000 or more, 75% of the time my client had surgery.
What is my average settlement amount for a tibia fracture with surgery where there was enough insurance to pay the actual claim value?
However, one of those claims also involved finger surgery (which added value). Also, not every one of my clients has come even remotely close to getting that $356,667 average settlement. I wish they did.
One client only got a $10,000 settlement even though he had surgery to fix his tibia fracture. A driver of car made a left hand turn and hit my client while he was on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, the driver of the car only had a $10,000 in bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage with Allstate.
The careless driver had no collectible assets. My client didn’t have uninsured motorist insurance.
In another claim, I withdrew from representing my client because the careless driver only had $10,000 in BIL coverage with GEICO. And my client, who was also on a motorcycle, had multiple surgeries to his tibia fracture.
GEICO paid the $10,000 limits. My client’s medical bills way over $10,000. Thus, I withdrew and let him settle the case on his own. The driver that caused the accident didn’t have collectible assets.
What’s your case worth if you fractured both your tibia and fibula?
It will depend on whether you had surgery. As I’ve already said, surgery greatly increases the full value of a broken leg case.
The value will also depend upon whether the surgery was to both the tibia and fibula, or just one of these bones. It will also depend where the fracture is in your tibia.
Let’s assume that you were rear ended in a car accident. As a result, you broke the shaft of both your tibia and fibula in an accident. The shaft is the middle of those bones.
The doctor put a nail and screws in your tibia. However, your fibula did not require surgery.
In this instance, jury verdicts put the full value of pain and suffering at around $200,000. I’m referring to verdicts in the South Florida (Miami, Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County) where juries are often more generous than smaller counties.
I imagine that jury verdicts would be similar if you had a rod and screws put in your fibula, but no surgery to your tibia.
That $200,000 amount for pain and suffering is the full value. You then need to add your out of pocket medical bills (or liens) and lost wages to that amount.
Next, you reduce that total by your fault (if any) in the case. Hopefully, the car or truck that hit you has plenty of bodily injury insurance. If they don’t, your best scenario is likely if you have uninsured motorist insurance.
When Will There Be Enough Insurance To Pay the Fair Value of a Broken Leg Case?
There are a few situations where it is virtually certain that there will be enough BIL insurance to pay for the fair settlement value of the case where the injury is a broken leg (even with surgery). Some examples include when a person’s leg was broken due to the negligence of:
- An Uber or Lyft driver if that driver was engaged in a ride
- Another driver if the victim was a passenger in a Lyft or Uber
- Someone making a delivery for Ubereats, Postmates, Amazon Flex, Grubhub, Doordash
- A driver who rented a car and purchased BIL insurance
- Someone who is driving a truck or bus for a big company like Walmart, Target, Disney or Publix
- You’re injured at Disney World or Universal Studios
- Someone who rented a car from a car sharing service like Turo and selected the premium plan
- A Driver who rented a car from a Hyrecar (rideshare service).
There will likely be at least $1 million of BIL insurance in the above situations. If the person’s worst injury is his or her broken leg (even with surgery), the case is likely worth way under $1 million. This is true unless the injured person has several surgeries or develops are horrible infection.
However, there is likely an insurance exclusion if the injured person was a passenger in the Ubereats or Postmates car. In other words, Ubereats or Postmates’ insurance won’t cover the injured person if the he or she was a passenger of the same car as the delivery driver.
However, even if there is $1 million in available coverage, the injured person still has to show that someone else’s negligence caused his or her broken leg.
If a large truck (10,000 pounds or more) is used in interstate commerce, it is required to have minimum limits of $750,000.
Will you get a bigger settlement if the driver who caused your broken leg (with surgery) was driving for Uber, Lyft or a delivery service (like those above) as opposed to someone driving their own car for pleasure who is insured with GEICO or USAA?
All things equal, the settlement will be much bigger. This assumes that the driver was engaged in a ride, or making an active delivery.
Insurance companies like GEICO, USAA and State Farm tend to sell smaller BIL insurance policies.
$445,000 Settlement for Motorcycle Rider’s Leg (Tibial Plateau) Fracture After Truck Hits Him
A motorcycle rider was cruising down the street in Hialeah, Miami-Dade County. A driver of an 18 wheeler (tractor trailer) was heading straight in the opposite direction.
The truck driver made a left turn, and crashed into the motorcyclist. The motorcycle rider fractured his lower leg (tibial plateau) and finger. He had surgery on each fracture. Here is an x-ray of the plate and screws in his tibial plateau after the surgery.
While he was at Hialeah hospital, he got a Free consultation from me. I met him in the hospital. He hired me on the spot.
The truck driver’s insurance company (now AIG) made a first offer of $100,000. Through aggressive negotiation, I settled his case for $445,000. Here is a comparison between the first offer and final settlement:
93% of the total settlement was for pain and suffering damages.
After my lawyer fees, costs and paying his out of pocket medical bills, my client got $263,522. This does not include the interest on his loan.
Broken leg cases are typically worth more if the lawsuit will be filed in Miami-Dade County than in many other parts of Florida.
This is because Miami-Dade County juries have a reputation for awarding larger amounts for pain and suffering for a broken leg.
$350,000 Settlement for a Broken Leg (Car Hit a Bike Rider)
In 2020, Sam (not real name) was riding his bike in South Florida.
At the same time, Joe (not real name) was in his car heading north. Joe was turning to go Eastbound.
While Sam rode his bike westbound in the crosswalk crossing, Joe accidentally hit him with his car.
You can see a crash diagram below:
As a result of the car hitting him, Sam broke 3 bones in his leg. Two of these were the tibia and fibula.
You can see his broken fibula here:
At the hospital, a doctor drilled screws into a plate in Sam’s leg.
You can see a photo that the doctor took during the surgery:
After he left the hospital, Sam searched for a South Florida lawyer who had experience in getting compensation for people who had broken a leg in an accident. He found me. Sam called my office and I gave him a free consultation. Shortly after we spoke, Sam hired me.
I told Sam to take a photo of his incision after the first surgery.
This image shows the raised incision site after surgery:
Below you can see the size of the incision needed for the surgery.
GEICO insured the Joe (the driver of the car). We found out that Joe had a $300,000 in insurance (bodily injury liability coverage). Joe also had an umbrella policy.
We requested the 911 audio call from the county. In the 911 call audio, you can hear Sam at the scene screaming in pain after being hit by GEICO’s insured. Additionally, in the 911 call the driver (Joe) states that he hit someone on a bike. At some point, I may add the audio from the 911 call here.
GEICO Paid for the Driver’s Lawyer
The GEICO adjuster (Myrna Rivera) paid for a defense lawyer to represent Joe and the owner of the car. Myrna said that she hired a lawyer because I asked the driver and owner of the car to preserve his car.
I also asked the driver to preserve the “black box” that may have shown the speed of the impact. I spoke with an event data recorder download specialist who said that the impact likely was not captured if there was little damage to the car.
Sam went to several physical therapy visits.
Sam went to a few visits with his orthopedic doctor. Due to his complaints of pain and swelling in his ankle, his surgeon decided to remove the plate and screws from his ankle. The doctor operated at the hospital, where Sam spent two days.
You can see the cast that his doctor put on his leg:
The following photo was taken after Sam’ second surgery.
It again shows the size of the incision and scar.
Sam went to a few more visits to his orthopedic surgeon.
A few months after the 2nd surgery, he went to the hospital complaining of leg swelling.
Sam still complained of pain in his ankle. His doctor did not know what was causing this pain. He said that the only thing he thought it could be was chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS). However, the doctor said that he did not have the usual symptoms of CRPS.
Sam’s surgeon stated was not an expert in CRPS. Thus, he referred him to a pain management doctor.
The pain management doctor reviewed a bone scan and said that the results did not show CRPS and his exam was not completely consistent with CRPS. However, Sam showed the doctor photos of his leg and the doctor said that it was consistent with complex regional pain syndrome. The pain management doctor referred Sam to doctors who specialized in his CRPS.
Sam did not own a car at the time of the accident. He lived with a relative whose PIP insurance paid $10,000.00 to his medical providers.
The total medical billed charges were about $186,000. Most of these billed charges were from the hospital visits. However, this is not that amount that Sam’s Medicaid paid the providers.
Sam had Medicaid, a Medicaid HMO and another temporary assistance program. They paid under $6,400 to the hospital and his doctors. And the hospitals and doctors adjusted (reduced) the bills to zero. In other words, Sam will did not owe the hospital or doctors any money.
GEICO Offered Much Less than a Broken Leg with Surgery is Worth
GEICO offered $100,000 to settle Sam’s car accident injury claim. The defense lawyer said that the offer was fair. I know that just the full value of pain and suffering of a broken leg with two surgeries is worth much more than $100,000. And that’s not even adding in the fact we had to pay back Medicaid.
Thus, we told Sam to reject it and he did so.
In 2021, GEICO paid us $350,000 to settle Sam’s personal injury claim.
This chart shows a comparison between the first offer and the settlement.
About $343,642 of the $350,000 settlement was for pain and suffering. The rest of the settlement is for the Medicaid and other liens that we had to pay back.
This chart that shows the settlement breakdown between medical bills/liens that we had to pay back, and pain and suffering:
The $350,000 settlement was about 55 times the Medicaid lien and other liens that we had to pay back.
Check out the pain and suffering multiplier below:
After my attorney fees and costs, and paying back the Medicaid liens, Sam got $226,818 of the settlement in his pocket.
Take a look:
You can see the $300,000 check (redacted) for compensation for Sam’s broken leg.
They also sent us a $50,000 settlement check from the driver’s personal umbrella insurance policy.
Below, you can see the (redacted) $50,000 check for compensation for Sam’s broken leg:
$325,000 Settlement for Broken Leg (Car Hit Pedestrian in Miami, Florida)
Watch this interesting video on this settlement:
A Switzerland resident was visiting Miami, Florida. He was standing by his car in Coconut Grove. A driver of a car struck him.
Below is an x-ray which was taken at the hospital. It shows the fracture.
At the hospital, an external fixator was drilled into his leg, which you can see below.
If you have an external fixator put in your leg, this raises the value of the case. The fixator was removed within the year.
Hen then had a rod (and screws) drilled into the bone. The rod and screws were left in place.
His case was worth more because the rod and screws were left inside his body. This image has appeal to a jury.
The pedestrian wanted compensation for being hit by the car. Can you blame him?
Shortly after the accident, he got a free consultation from me. Immediately after we spoke, he hired me.
The driver who caused the crash was working for US Customs when the accident happened. He was driving a rental car. Philadelphia Insurance Company insured the rental car. They paid the $100,000 bodily injury liability (BIL) limits.
I sued the the United States of Miami in federal court in Miami. They paid $125,000 to settle.
It gets better.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance Company Paid $100,000 to Settle
I also made a underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance claim with my client’s UIM insurer, Ace American Insurance Company. Ace paid only after I filed a civil remedy notice of insurance violation.
If they failed to offer the $100,000 UIM insurance limits, I may have been able to sue them for bad faith. Ace American Insurance Company paid the $100,000 limits without a lawsuit. (Ace has since acquired Chubb Insurance.)
Thus, if an insurance company has low bodily injury limits they get more nervous about getting hit with a big verdict.
The total settlement was for $325,000. Most of the settlement was for pain and suffering:
After my attorney’s fees, costs and paying back my client’s health insurance company, I sent my client a check for $151,522.
My client’s travel and health insurance paid most of his medical bills. His health insurance company had a right to get paid from the settlement. This was based on his health insurance contract.
The $325,000 settlement was about 4.5 times his final travel and health insurance lien.
This is one of the many settlements that I’ve had for tourists (from other countries) who were injured while on vacation in Florida. There are some differences in injury cases involving people visiting Florida from another country.
$300,000 Settlement for Broken Leg (Car Accident)
Ryan lives in Georgia. However, was in Florida for a business trip. Ryan was driving an Avis rental car in Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida.
Another car made a left hand turn and crashed into Ryan’s car. The other driver got a ticket for failure to yield the right of way.
The diagram from the crash report is below. Ryan was driving vehicle #2 in the diagram.
Claimant was in car #2. Car #1 got the ticket.A photo of car #2 is below.
A lateral tibial plateau fracture is the part of the tibia that is farther from the middle of the body. A medial tibial plateau fracture is the closer to the center of the body.
All things equal, a lateral tibial plateau fracture is worth less than a medial tibial plateau fracture. This is because many doctors will say that you are less likely to need a knee replacement if you have a lateral tibial plateau fracture.
Many doctors will say you are more likely to need a knee replacement if you fracture your medial tibial plateau. This is because more weight is placed on the medial tibial plateau than the lateral tibial plateau.
Doctors Did Emergency Surgery to Repair the Fracture
At the hospital, Dr. William Lowry performed emergency surgery to repair the fracture. He inserted a plate and screws at the fracture site.
An x-ray of his tibial plateau after the surgery is below.
After the surgery, he couldn’t put weight on his injured leg. Thus, he was put in a wheelchair.
Allstate insured the driver who received a ticket for causing the crash. They paid $100,000 to settle my client’s injury claim. Allstate’s check is below.
Sadly, the other driver died after the crash.
Fortunately, Ryan had uninsured motorist insurance. Travelers insured him.
If you’re injured in a Florida car accident while visiting from another state, your rights are different. More specifically, Georgia residents who are injured in Florida car accidents have their own set of rights.
Why does this matter?
Because he had a much shorter time to make an uninsured motorist (UM) insurance claim. Georgia uninsured motorist insurance law may apply in a Florida accident.
One Florida court said that a Georgia resident who was hurt in a Florida car accident only had 2 years to sue! This is much shorter than Florida’s five year uninsured motorist insurance time limit.
It gets worse…
Some Georgia UM policies require the insured to notify the UM insurer within 60 days of the accident.
If you fail to notify them, you can lose your valuable UM insurance!
The good news?
Travelers paid $200,000 to settle the UM insurance claim. Travelers’ settlement check is below:
Most of this settlement was for pain and suffering.
After my lawyer’s fees, costs and paying Ryan’s medical bills and workers’ compensation lien, I sent him a check for $187,371.
This $300,000 settlement was about 39 times Ryan’s final out of pocket medical bills and workers’ compensation lien (after PIP paid the lien).
Learn more about this $300,000 settlement for a broken leg (tibial plateau fracture).
This is one of the many settlements that I’ve had for people from another state who were injured in a Florida car accident. There are some differences that affect a case when someone is injured in Florida while visiting from another state.
$160,000 Settlement for a Broken Leg (Trip and Fall)
While on vacation in Miami Beach, Florida, Lisa was staying at a hotel. At night, she exited the doors of the hotel lobby so that she could walk through the breezeway toward the beach.
While walking a few steps outdoors in the breezeway, her heel got caught in a hole that was in the tile. She fell to the floor and had bad leg pain.
Her husband reported the accident to hotel security. Within hours, Lisa took a rideshare car to an urgent care center in South Beach.
They took an x-ray that showed that she had a fibula fracture. (The fibula is the thinner bone is your lower leg.)
You can see her fracture here:
The next day Lisa’s husband took a photo that showed the hole and its depth.
You can see the hole and its depth below:
This was great thinking on his part.
This is because you need to show that the place where you were injured did something wrong in order to get compensation for pain and suffering (and some other damages).
Within hours after speaking with me, she hired me. I immediately began working on her case.
I sent an email and letter to the hotel and found out that Markel American Insurance Company was its insurance company.
A doctor operated on Lisa’s broken fibula (leg)
After Lisa flew back to her home state, her doctor operated on her leg. Specifically, he put a plate and screws into her fibula.
This x-ray shows the hardware in her lower leg:
A few months later, she felt some irritation in her lower leg.
The doctor removed one of the screws. Lisa’s health insurance paid most of her medical bills.
As with most fall down cases, the hotel’s insurance company did not admit fault. The hotel insurance company’s first offer was only $37,500!
Take a look:
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not on your side.
Of the $37,500 offer, $10,000 was from the Medical Payments coverage in the hotel’s insurance policy.
I knew that $37,500 was way too low of an offer given how the accident happened and Lisa’s injury.
Hotel’s Insurance Company Pays 4 Times Its First Offer
I battled the hotel’s insurance company for several months. We rejected several more low offers.
I took a tough stance. The adjuster told me that there was no surveillance of the accident. I told her that this was a great liability case, meaning that it was easy to prove. She told me that she didn’t agree.
I drafted a lawsuit and sent it to the claim adjuster for Markel Insurance.
In 2022, I got the hotel to pay $160,000 in compensation. This is over four times its first offer!
Of that amount, $10,000 was for medical payments coverage, which I did not charge Lisa a fee on.
After my lawyer fees, costs and paying back Lisa’s health insurance plan, Lisa got over $94,900 in her pocket.
Overall, her leg is doing well. If she works a long shift, her leg swells some. But she can still work her usual shift without issue.
She is very happy with the settlement.
$104,000+ Broken Leg Settlement (Car Accident)
Don (not real name) was driving his car through an intersection in Miami, Florida. Another driver crashed into Don.
Immediately after the accident, Don had leg pain from the accident. Paramedics came to the scene and took him to the hospital.
At the hospital, an x-ray of Don’s leg showed that he had a broken leg. Don got a free consultation with me to see if I could represent him. Immediately after we spoke, he hired me.
I requested the crash report and saw that the other driver got a ticket for running the red light.
Fortunately, Don did not need surgery.
Don’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance from his car paid for most of his medical bills.
The other driver’s insurance company only offered $5,000 as a personal injury settlement! They battled with us for a while and increased their offer close to $16,200.
Don’s orthopedic doctor said that he may need surgery in the future if his leg becomes to unstable. However, this doctor did not say that Don will need surgery, which (if true) would’ve likely added much more value to his case .
I asked his doctor to send me a written estimate of the cost of the leg surgery. I then sent that estimate to the other driver’s insurance company.
The written estimate of the cost of a possible future surgery was the biggest factor that got the other driver’s insurance company to significantly increase their offer.
I fought hard and got Don a settlement of over $104,000. We then got his medical bills reduced.
After my lawyer fees, costs and paying his medical bills, Don received over $67,000 in his pocket.
If Don would’ve had surgery to his leg, the settlement likely would have been much higher.
This is one of my biggest settlements for a fractured bone where my client did not have surgery.
$100,000 Settlement with Broken Leg (Trip and Fall)
Maria (not real name) tripped and fell on an alleged hazard on a walkway at a beach resort in Florida.
We settled with the insurance company for the condo association for $100,000.
$90,000 Settlement for Broken Leg (Pedestrian Hit By Car)
In May 2019, Alice was walking in a parking lot in Miami, Florida.
While driving her car, Sofia struck Alice.
At the hospital, an x-ray showed that she had a distal fibula fracture.
Fortunately, she did not need surgery. Shortly after she was hit by the car, Alice searched for Miami car accident lawyers. She got a Free consultation with me. After we spoke, she hired me and I begin protecting her rights.
Progressive insured the driver of the car that struck Alice. As usual, Progressive blamed the pedestrian for walking in front of the car. I fought this argument hard. We argued that the driver had plenty of time to see Alice.
Ultimately, we settled Alice’s personal injury case for $90,000. Here is the breakdown of the payout.
As you can see, 94% of the settlement was for pain and suffering.
After my attorney’s fees and costs, paying Alice’s out of pocket medical bills and health insurance lien, she got $54,779.
That is her portion of the settlement.
This is one of my many car accident settlements with Progressive.
$70K Settlement for Broken Leg (Car Hit Pedestrian in West Palm Beach)
Watch an interesting video about this settlement:
A passenger, Daisy (not real name), was in a car driving down the street in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was daylight outside.
Daisy saw a hose in the middle of the street. She decided that she wanted to get the hose.
The driver (Barbara) of the car that she was in made a u-turn. The driver stopped the car.
Daisy got out of the car and walked to the middle of the street. She was walking on her way back to the median. Before reaching Barbara’s car, another driver (William) hit her.
The diagram from the crash report is below.
The police officer blamed the pedestrian for causing the accident. Here is a part of the crash report where the officer blamed the pedestrian for this crash:
The good news?
In Florida, the jury doesn’t get to hear about who the officer believes was at fault for the accident.
She Fractured Her Lower Leg (Tibial Plateau) and Suffered Other Injuries
An ambulance came to the scene. Daisy was immobilized. An ambulance took her to the hospital.
Daisy’s car was not involved in the accident. However, Florida is one of the few states where No-Fault insurance is required. Here is a map that shows the No-fault insurance states:
This means that Daisy was required to have PIP coverage on her car insurance policy. Thus, the ambulance and hospital sent Daisy’s medical bills to her car insurance company, USAA.
Daisy broke her the top of her lower bone, the tibial plateau. She did not need surgery.
If she would’ve had surgery on her broken leg, USAA would’ve quickly paid the $100,000 bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance limits.
The doctor gave her crutches for her broken leg. Here is a photo of her leg, which was taken during her recovery.
Daisy also suffered a sacrum fracture. The sacrum is a triangular bone in the lower back formed from fused vertebrae and situated between the two hip bones of the pelvis.
I also claimed that the accident caused or aggravated a herniated disc in her back, and two herniated discs in her neck.
USAA insured the careless driver. USAA paid $70,000 to settle the pedestrian’s injury case. Here is the settlement check.
$65,000 Settlement for Broken Leg (Fibula) After Car Hits Pedestrian
Doug, who lived in California, was on vacation in Miami Beach. While he was walking in a crosswalk, a car hit him.Getting hit while not walking in a crosswalk is one of many factors that can reduce the value of an injury case.
Here is the actual Florida crash report diagram:
Paramedics came to the scene. At the scene, the pedestrian complained of leg pain and other injuries.
At the hospital, a doctor diagnosed Doug with a broken lower leg bone (fibula fracture). Below is an image of the fibula.
Surgery Would’ve Pumped Up Case Value
If he would’ve had surgery, his case would’ve been worth over $100,000. I say this based on recent verdicts for surgery to a broken lower leg from an accident. In addition, I settled a case for $325,000 where a pedestrian suffered a broken lower leg (and had surgery) after a car hit him.
GEICO insured the careless driver.
Pursuant to Florida Statute 627.7137, I sent GEICO a letter asking for the driver’s insurance information.
GEICO responded in writing stating that the driver had a $300,000 bodily injury liability (BIL) policy.
Pedestrian Didn’t Need a Permanent Injury to Get Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Unlike most Florida car accident cases, here the pedestrian didn’t need a to meet the tort threshold to get money for pain and suffering. Thus, he didn’t need a permanent injury in order to get money for pain and suffering.
This is because he was a car hit him while he was a pedestrian visiting from another state.
When it came time to pay them from the total settlement, they had to reduce their liens by my attorney’s fees and costs. This is one reason that a Medicare beneficiary should hire an injury lawyer.
California law required Farmers Insurance to reduce its Medpay lien by my attorney’s fees and costs. Lee v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. (1976) 57 Cal.App.3d 458, 465-466, 129 Cal.Rptr. 271. This is one unique aspect of a case if someone from California is injured in a Florida accident.
In general, if you’re from another state and you get injured in a Florida car accident, you often have different rights. This is because you often have to deal with, at least, Florida law and the out of state law.
GEICO’s First Offer Was Only $14,780.15
GEICO low-balled me with their first offer for Doug’s personal injury claim. The adjuster was Tiffany Hall.
One of the 5 huge mistakes that injury victims make is to always believe what the adjuster tells you your case is worth.
GEICO Finally Settles for $65K (Almost 4.5 Times Its First Offer)
I negotiated with GEICO. We settled with GEICO for $65,000. Here is the GEICO settlement check.
Therefore, GEICO paid about $57,000 for the pain and suffering associated with his broken leg (fibula fracture). This is a typical settlement amount for pain and suffering for a broken lower leg.
Did I Use a Settlement Calculator to Determine How Much This Case Was Worth?
If the driver had a better car insurance company, they would’ve likely paid more. For example, I think I would’ve had a bigger settlement if the driver was insured with Hartford, USAA, Nationwide, Lyft (Zurich American Insurance Company) and some others. I’ve settled cases with all of those insurers. They tend to pay better than GEICO.
I don’t know how much Uber’s insurer (James River) would’ve paid.
$33,000 Settlement for Broken Leg After Car Hits Bicyclist
A bike rider who was hit by a car at an intersection in Kendall, Florida. The bicyclist had a non-displaced tibial plateau fracture. In a non–displaced fracture, the bone cracks either part or all of the way through, but does move and maintains its proper alignment.
Non-displaced fractures aren’t usually worth as much as displaced fractures. The bike rider didn’t need surgery.
If he would’ve had surgery to his tibial plateau fracture, the case would’ve been worth more than $100,000. I think State Farm would’ve quickly paid the $100,000 BIL limits.
He also had a torn meniscus. However, he didn’t need surgery.
The injured man healed perfectly. He didn’t need any more treatment. State Farm insured the driver.
State Farm paid us $33,000 to settle the bicyclist’s personal injury case. I represented the bicyclist.
$25,000 Settlement for Leg Fracture (Miami Car Accident)
An elderly man got the careless driver’s $25,000 policy limits for his broken (fractured) tibia. A driver of a vehicle crashed into him.
My client did not purchase uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage. It may have resulted in a bigger settlement.
We currently represent 5 clients with broken leg personal injury cases
Some of my personal injury settlements for a broken lower leg are further below. I say which payouts are mine. Some of the other settlements and verdicts are from other law firms.
Currently, I represent five (5) clients who broke at least one bone in their lower leg.
Three of those clients have screws and a plate or rod in their tibia (or tibial plateau). In one of those cases, my client also fractured the fibula.
In addition, I represent two clients who fractured only their fibula. Both of them had hardware (a plate and screws) drilled into their fibula.
I also represent a client who broke his tibia but did not need surgery.
Woman Gets $667K for Surgery to Broken Leg (Car Accident)
This isn’t my case. On March 26, 2015 at 1:10 p.m. at the intersection of NW 2nd Avenue and NW 36th Street, Miami-Dade County, Florida, Lauren Marlot was a pedestrian crossing a marked crosswalk.
Yanais Laury Ramos was driving a motor vehicle with the knowledge, consent and/or permission of Shiraz Fl Inc. Shiraz owned the motor vehicle.
Ramos hit Marlot. In the lawsuit, Ramos admitted that she negligently hit Marlot.
Marlot hired an attorney and sued Shiraz Fl Inc for its negligence in causing her tibial plateau fracture.
After the accident, she underwent surgery with a doctor in North Carolina. Marlot was examined by a local orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Rozencwaig.
Travelers Insurance Company insured Shiraz.
Travelers’ claimed that up until Marlot saw a South Florida orthopedic doctor, she was making a claim for leg length discrepancy. After Dr. Rozencwaig’s report, Travelers argued that her claims included a knee replacement.
Travelers used their in house Miami law firm, Law Office of Esther B. Nickas to defend the case. Lynn M. Bagley-Nader was Travelers’ attorney.
Injured Lady Offered to Settle with Travelers for $400K
On December 19, 2016, Marlot offered to settle with Shiraz (Travelers’ insured) for $400,000.00. Here is a portion of the formal offer from the proposal for settlement.
Travelers didn’t accept this offer.
They weren’t asked to itemize the award for each of those damages.
The jury also awarded $500,000 for pain and suffering, disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, aggravation of disease of physical defect and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life in the past and to be sustained in the future.
They weren’t asked to breakdown how much they awarded for pain and suffering from the date of the accident through trial, as opposed to how much was for the future.
The final judgment was for $667,990.50, plus costs.
Travelers Made a Poor Decision Not to Settle for $400K
Travelers Insurance Company made a poor decision in not settling this case for $400,000. They would’ve saved about $287,000 if they would’ve settled for $400,000.
Travelers’ reputation has gone downhill in the last few years in terms of offering fair value to settle. One of the 5 big mistakes that personal injury victims make is to believe what the insurance company tells you your case is worth.
Fortunately, Marlot’s attorney didn’t make this mistake.
On July 21, 2017, the parties agreed to dismiss this case and dismiss the appeal.
Bad Resultant Disability Increases Settlement Value
If you’re left with a bad disability such as a limp, this increases the full value of the pain and suffering component of your claim.
The worse your limp, the higher the full value of the pain and suffering component.
A child’s fracture that results in a growth plate injury may be worth more.
If your legs are not equal in length after your broken tibia, this may also increase the value of your case.
Boy Gets $800K in Pain and Suffering for Growth Plate Damage to Tibia
A 6-year-old boy got $800,000 in pain and suffering for his permanent growth plate damage on a tibia, and arthritis in his knee. His doctor said that he 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. This increased the value of his case.
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, the parent needed court approval of the minor’s settlement.
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.
Pedestrian Gets $950,000 For 3 Tibia/Fibula Surgeries ($677,000 was for Pain and Suffering)
This isn’t my case. See this $677,000 verdict for pain & suffering against State Farm for a pedestrian who was hit by a car in Florida.
He had 3 surgeries to his tibia. He also had a shoulder tear.
Child Gets $292,000 in Pain and Suffering for Tibia Fracture After Electrical Meter Fell on Her
This isn’t my case. 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. They 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. However, the jury verdict found the apartment complex 100% responsible.
She also fractured some ribs. The pain and suffering value for the ribs usually make up a small portion of this award as compared to the tibial fracture. This is because tibia fractures are usually worth more than rib fractures.
I don’t know if the injured person got money for medical bills.
Uber Passenger Gets Settlement for Fractured Leg from Car Accident
The above diagram roughly shows how it happened. (The diagram isn’t exact.)
Basically, the Uber was making a left turn and got t-boned by another car. The Uber passenger, Mr. Day, suffered a broken leg. I don’t know which leg bone he broke. I don’t know if it was the femur, tibia, fibula or another bone in the leg.
His attorney filed a lawsuit against Uber and the Uber driver. When the attorney was taking the deposition (testimony) of the Uber driver, the attorney said that Mr. Day had surgery to fix his leg.
This surgery likely led to a bigger settlement because surgery increases the full value of a case.
A Leg Fracture Could Lead to a Big Lost Wage Claim
Assuming Dr. Day made around $317,496 per year, he would be entitled to about $26,500 for every month that he couldn’t work because of the accident. (Just divide $317,496 by 12).
If he missed 6 months of work because of the crash, he would be entitled to $159,000 in lost wages. (6 x $26,500 = $159,000).
When the injured person is a big wage earner, the loss wage claim can go up quickly. This increases the value of the claimant’s case.
Currently, Ubers have a combined single limits liability policy with a $1 million limit. Here is Uber’s certificate of liability insurance.
James River Insurance Company insures Uber cars.
Thus, the most that James River will pay is up to $1 million dollars per accident for injuries caused by the Uber driver’s negligence.
This $1 million is for all the passengers’ claims (and any other people’s claims) against the Uber driver for personal injury and/or property damage.
The passenger’s wife was also in the car. She had a brain injury and had 4 surgeries.
During the lawsuit, the case settled.
I think that James River Insurance Company likely paid the $1 Million liability limits to Uber passenger and his wife. This is because both of their injuries combined were likely worth more than the $1 million liability limits.
Which Rental Car Companies Have Enough Insurance To Pay For the Fair Settlement Value of a Broken Leg?
If you purchased Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS) with Thrifty, Dollar or Hertz, it includes $1 million in uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. In most cases, this is enough insurance to cover the fair settlement value of a broken leg. This is because the average settlement value of a broken leg is way under $1 million.
UM coverage only applies if the at fault driver is uninsured.
The UM/UIM coverage applies (while occupying the car) for bodily injury and property damage.
Who insures Thrifty, Dollar and Hertz?
Ace American Insurance insures Thrifty. You should hire an attorney that can show you his past settlements with Ace. I’ve settled case with Ace. ESIS handles Thrifty’s car accident claims and settlements.
Rental Car Occupants Should Not Quickly Settle With the At Fault Driver
Assume that Mike is in a rental car. Sara is driving another car. She carelessly crashes into Mike.
Sara only $10,000 in BIL coverage. Unfortunately, this is very common in Florida.
Due to the crash, Mike has a broken leg (tibia or fibula, or both). Here, the full value of pain and suffering for Mike’s broken leg is worth more than the Sara’s $10,000 BIL coverage limit.
In this instance, Mike should not quickly settle his or her injury case for $10,000 with the at fault driver.
First, Mike does not want to give up the right to make a UM claim. This can happen if the you don’t follow a particular UM claim procedure. Mike can also lose his UM claim if the settlement release with Sara’s insurance company is poorly worded.
Second, the injured person does not want to end up in Federal court. Mike can wind up in Federal court if he releases the at fault driver.
He or she wants to keep the case in Florida state court. There are many advantages to keeping your case state court (instead of Federal court). By not immediately accepting Sara’s $10,000 BIL limit, Mike keeps his case against the UM insurer in state court.
Which Rental Car Companies Offer $100K in UM Coverage in Florida?
Alamo Rent a Car and National Car Rental. If you rented a car from Alamo Rent a Car, hopefully you purchased Extended Protection (EP). EP is optional. It is not required.
EP includes UM/UIM coverage for bodily injury and property damage in an amount equal to the minimum financial responsibility limits applicable to the Vehicle (the Primary Protection).
EP also includes additional coverage through an excess liability policy, with limits for the difference between the statutory minimum underlying limits and $100,000 per accident.
Again, Florida doesn’t have a minimum UM limit. Thus, Alamo’s UM limit is $100,000 per accident.
In most cases, this $100,000 limit should be enough to cover the full value of the pain and suffering for a broken leg (tibia or fibula).
Alamo’s EP insurance coverage is underwritten by Ace American Insurance Company.
National Car Rental also offers $100,000 in UM coverage if the renter purchased Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI).
Does Avis or Budget Rent a Car Offer Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
I’m not sure if Budget Rent a Car’s Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) includes Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist coverage.
However, Florida doesn’t require UM coverage. Thus, I assume Budget’s SLI does not have UM coverage. However, I’m not sure.
Avis’ website says that Additional Liability Insurance does not include UM/UIM coverage except in states where mandated by law up to maximum amount of $100,000 or in such amounts as mandated by law.
Thus, I assume that Avis does not offer UM coverage in Florida.
Some Other Rental Car Companies Don’t Offer UM Coverage (in Florida)
Unfortunately, some Florida rental car companies don’t offer uninsured motorist coverage. This is true even if you purchase LIS coverage when you rent a car. Examples of companies that I’ve seen who don’t offer UM coverage are small (mom and pop) rental companies, Enterprise Rent a Car, Sixt, Advantage Rent a Car.
Basically, if you want to be able to make an UM claim for a car accident in Florida, don’t rent a car through Sixt or Advantage Rent a Car.
Sixt Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) is underwritten by ACE USA.
$6.5 Jury Award for Pain and Suffering for Leg Amputation
This is not my case. A 6 year old boy’s leg was severed in a car accident. Doctors amputated his leg below the knee. On May 4, 2011, a jury awarded $6.5 million in past and future pain and suffering. GEICO insured the at fault driver. The jury also awarded $3.7 million in future medical expenses, and $480,000 in past medical expenses.
The case is Kameran Maharaj vs Julie Telfort (Palm Beach County, Florida) Case No: 50-2008-CA-003705
Did someone’s carelessness cause your lower leg injury in an accident in Florida, or on a cruise or boat? Did you hurt another body part?
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated.