Your loved one hurt her knee after slipping on a pool of liquid at a grocery store. Her personal injury attorney sent the store’s insurance company a demand letter.
Is there an average settlement amount that she can expect?
The facts of every knee injury case will differ. As such, knee injury settlement amounts will differ as well.
In some instances, you may expect a settlement in the range of $30,000. But other cases may demand a settlement value 10 times that amount.1
Payouts in knee injury settlements often vary depending on the following factors:
- the severity of the injury,
- whether you will suffer permanent damage,
- your lifestyle and occupation prior to the injury,
- your level of fault in causing the knee injury, and
- the extent of culpability and financial capacity of the defendant.
1. Does the severity of your injury impact a knee injury settlement?
Most often, yes. As a general rule, your settlement amount will increase as the severity of your injury increases.
This means the most severe knee injuries will produce the largest settlements.
Serious knee injury cases often involve:
- medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries,
- anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries,
- meniscus tears,
- broken kneecaps,
- serious sprains, strains, and dislocations, and
- issues with your knee joints.
Note that as knee injuries grow more serious, your medical expenses and medical bills will generally rise. This increase in cost is one reason for larger settlements with serious injuries.
Note that medical treatment, medical care, and medical procedures often associated with serious knee cases may include:
- knee surgery (including arthroscopic surgery),
- physical therapy,
- CAT scans, and
- even amputations or knee replacements.
2. Does permanent damage lead to increased settlements?
It can, yes. You will generally receive a higher settlement for your knee injury if there is a chance that your knee will be permanently damaged.
A settlement usually has to compensate you for all your losses. A permanent injury causing long-term effects will equate to more losses when compared to a short-term injury.
Permanent damage also means that you will likely incur medical expenses over a long period of time.
Settlement amounts will increase to cover these expenses.
3. What about your lifestyle and occupation?
Both of these can affect the final settlement amount in a knee injury claim.
As to lifestyle, you can generally recover damages in these cases for such things as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Payouts for both of these will be more for a person with an active lifestyle when compared to a person with a more sedentary lifestyle.
As to the job, you will likely recover more if your employment requires you to be on your feet every day as opposed to working behind a desk.
For example, a construction worker will probably receive a higher knee injury settlement than someone employed as an administrator.
4. Will your settlement decrease if you helped cause your leg injury?
Most often, yes. Under the contributory negligence laws of most states, you can still receive a favorable settlement if your actions helped contribute to the accident that caused your knee injury.
However, your final settlement amount will get reduced by the percentage of your fault in causing the injury.2
Consider, for example, a personal injury case where an insurance adjuster believes you were 10% to blame for causing your knee injury. If the adjuster initially wanted to settle your case for $10,000, the adjuster would likely reduce that amount by $1,000 in any final payout.
5. Does evidence matter?
Most often, yes. Higher compensation cases are usually those with a lot of concrete evidence.
These cases tend to settle for more because there is more proof to show that another party caused your injury.
Further, extensive medical records will help justify the full extent and pain related to your:
- injury, and
- recovery time.
Some common types of evidence in knee injury cases include:
- photos of the accident scene,
- photos of your injury,
- medical records,
- witness statements,
- police reports, and
- expert testimony.
Note that a personal injury lawyer or law firm can help you gather crucial evidence in these cases.
- Note that according to the National Safety Council (NSC), the average knee settlement in a workers’ compensation case (for the time period between 2019 and 2020) was approximately $35,000. See NSC website, “Workers’ Compensation Costs.” But keep in mind that this figure is limited to a work-related knee injuries. It may differ in other types of personal injury cases, like a slip and fall case or a car accident case.
- See Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition – “Negligence.”