Many of the studies here address the topic of case valuation. This one does too but with an important watchword: specificity. That’s the key to obtaining meaningful results. For example, calculating an injury’s value without considering the accompanying treatment is usually a recipe for disaster. Indeed, the treatment is a better definer of the injury than the injury itself. The accompanying chart, based on cases reported to VerdictSearch, depicts the median jury award for cases involving hip fractures, indicated by the left bar, and knee fractures, indicated by the right bar. The top edge of each bar indicates the median jury award in cases in which the fracture led to replacement of the hip or knee. The top of the gold section indicates the median award in cases in which joint replacement did not occur. The takeaway: Replacement adds 18.4 percent to the value of a hip fracture and a staggering 246 percent to the value of a knee fracture!
HOW TO: This one requires an advanced understanding of the search platform’s features. Let’s run through the procedure for hip fractures. In the Type of Injury field, unfold the hip injuries and select ‘hip replacement’ and its more sophisticated pseudonym, ‘hemiarthroplasty, hip’. Now we’ve got all cases in which a hip was replaced. But we want to make sure a hip fracture was also involved. So go to the Search Terms field and enter ‘fracture, hip’. Be sure to include the quotes for this. Next, go to the Award Type field and select Verdict-Plaintiff. Now we’ve got all cases in which a jury awarded damages for a hip fracture with replacement. Click the Search button to view the cases. Once on the results page, go to the Sort By field and select Amount. Presto! The results are sorted by amount of the verdict, from the largest to the lowest. The median verdict is the one exactly in the middle of the results, with an equal number above and below.
Now we’ve got to compare those results to the cases in which a hip was fractured but not replaced. Go back to the search tool and clear everything you previously entered. In the Type of Injury field, unfold the hip injuries and select ‘fracture, hip’. Now go to the Search Terms field and enter <NOT ‘hip replacement’ NOT ‘hemiarthroplasty, hip’>. (Don’t use the < and >.) Now we’ve got our universe of cases. Select Verdict-Plaintiff and click Search for the results. Lost? Telephone our Research on Call team and let one of our skilled searchers do it for you with a smile.
DEEPER DRILL: Run the search using settlements and an insurer. You won’t get many results, but you can see how a particular insurer has settled cases involving this particular injury.