Another interesting graph from Metro Verdicts Monthly, this time on the median verdicts in leg amputation cases for Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The District of Columbia and Maryland have comparable verdicts, $2.1 million and $1.97 million, respectively. Virginia? $500,000. I expect some verdicts in Virginia to be lower because the rural areas of Virginia have conservative juries. But one-fourth of the amount?
Obviously, this data is not to be taken too seriously by accident lawyers in Maryland or in Virginia, as I discussed earlier this month. But in that post, I noted that Virginia’s verdicts in femur fracture cases are twice the Maryland average. So I cannot figure out the rhyme or reason to these comparative numbers.
I think it is fair to say that with respect to pain and suffering, you have to value a leg amputation case in Maryland on (1) the statutory cap on damages plus, (2) Plaintiff’s economic expenses. In terms of making the noneconomic damages case, it is important to consider the future costs of a prosthetic leg. Last time we tried a leg amputation accident case, we brought in a prosthetic’s expert from the client’s prosthetic manufacturer from Hanger Orthopedic in Minnesota who I thought was a very effective witness at trial.