A recent Jury Verdict Research (JVR) study found that the average verdict in a New York motor vehicle accident case is $837,020. The median verdict is $150,000. This data does not include defense verdicts which, if considered in the data, would obviously reduce the average award.
To be sure, $837,020 is a lot of money for the average car accident case. But you have to keep in mind that in New York because of the threshold level of injury requirement, juries are more likely to hear a serious injury case than a jury would in, say for example, Maryland.
Rear-end accidents accounted for 21% of the successful verdicts in the study. Pedestrian lawsuits were 17% of the verdicts and intersection accidents made up 15%.
With respect to the type of injuries involved in the study, spinal disc injuries accounted for 27% of the verdicts and had a median award of $140,000. Leg injuries made up only 7% of the verdicts but led to a median award of $500,000.
Usual disclaimer: I find average accident settlement and verdict statistics to be very interesting. But the cliché is true: every case is different because there are just so many variables involved in determining case value, not the least of which is jurisdiction. Every state has different dynamics that lead to wildly different average verdicts by state. But even within individual jurisdictions within a state where the same law is being applied, jury verdicts can vary wildly. In Maryland, where the vast majority of our law firm’s cases are, the value of the cases can double – or be cut in half – depending upon the jurisdiction.