Legal Memorandum: Verdict for Below-knee Amputations

Issue: Jury verdicts or settlements in New Jersey cases involving below-knee amputations.

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Jury verdicts and settlements; Below-knee amputations
Jurisdiction: New Jersey
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2000

An online search through jury verdict and settlement files for New Jersey cases involving below-knee amputations retrieved sixteen cases, four of which resulted in defense verdicts.  The verdicts awarded and settlements in the remainder of the cases ranged from $200,000 to $5,138,998.

Information in the Personal Injury Valuation Handbooks (1999/2000) based on national studies of recent similar cases indicates that the basic injury value for below-knee amputations in plaintiffs ages 50 to 54 ranged from $126,875 to $2,328,000, depending on the medical expenses incurred.  Those figures are based on the verdict median[1] in such cases.

The Handbooks also indicate that the verdict median in all cases involving injuries to pedestrians on road shoulders was $157,500; the verdict probability range[2] was from $20,000 to $551,955; the actual verdict range[3] was from $207 to $6,000,000; the verdict mean[4] was $506,284; and 16-17% of all cases involving pedestrians injured on road shoulders resulted in awards of $1,000,000 or more.  The basic recovery rate for accidents involving pedestrians on the shoulder of the road was 56%; in other words, plaintiffs prevailed in 56% of such cases.

Certain adjustments must be made to the basic injury values in order to conduct an appropriate evaluation of damages in this case.  First, an adjustment must be made for the plaintiff’s lost wages.  Anywhere from 74% to 100% of the plaintiff’s lost wages must be added, depending on the amount of total wage loss.  Also, the value must be adjusted […]

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