Jury Verdict Research did a study on personal injury verdicts in California. The study shows the compensatory median award for personal injury trials in California is $150,000. This is a lot higher than the national average of less than $40,000. But plaintiffs receive money damages in only 45 percent of cases that go to trial, which is 5% less than the national average.
This page looks at the settlement and trial value of personal injury cases in California. This page was last updated on September 2, 2021.
What Is a California Personal Injury Case Worth?
One study found that the average money damage award for personal injury trials in California is $1,814,094. The median verdict, perhaps a better statistic, is $114,305.
What is the median verdict in a California wrongful death case?
Earlier this year in Winter v. Gardens Regional Hospital, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals revived a False Claims Act case filed by the Director of Care Management in a California hospital that claimed nearly $1.3 in Medicare claims that sought reimbursement for inpatient hospitalizations that were not medically necessary.
The U.S. District Court of Utah dismissed the case, without leave to amend, for failing to state a claim under the FCA. Specifically, the court believed that the qui tam plaintiff’s complaint failed to state a cause of action under the FCA because the allegations as a matter of law were “subjective medical opinions” that demonstrated a mere “difference of opinion” as to the medical necessity of inpatient hospital admissions.
Facts of Winter v. Gardens Regional Hospital
As the Baltimore Ravens prepare to battle it out next week with the San Francisco 49ers, a very different type of football-related battle begins. The family of Junior Seau, a former linebacker for the NFL, filed suit today against the NFL. The family claims that Seau’s suicide last May was the result of a brain disease, brought on by repeated blows to the head during his twenty-year career.
Seau, 43 at the time of his death, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest. Earlier this month, it was determined that he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative brain disease that can follow multiple hits to the head according to the National Institutes of Health.
NFL Players Lawsuit
This is not the first of its kind. Last June, more than eighty lawsuits involving thousands of former players who suffered concussions and brain injuries were consolidated into one master complaint. The lawsuit accused the NFL of hiding information that linked football-related head trauma to permanent brain injuries. Among the illnesses cited were dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Nursing homes have made a furious effort in recent years to end-run the tort system with arbitration clauses. The large nursing home chains have been at the forefront of this movement, incorporating Draconian provisions that require the resident to waive their constitutional right to a jury trial in exchange for admission, often with provisions that limit damages and discovery about what really happened in the first place. In states that allow for punitive damages in nursing homes, these arbitration agreements seek to deprive victims of the right to claim those damages.
California has stood up to the nursing homes – at least on some level – by enacting legislation, passing legislation to void nursing home agreements that require arbitration brought “against the licensee of a facility who violates any rights of the resident or patient as set forth in the Patients Bill of Rights in Section 72527 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, or any other right provided for by federal or state law or regulation.”
California’s law makes sense. But it just does not go far enough. All nursing home arbitration claims should be voided on their face. Let’s be honest: arbitration agreements in nursing home cases are oppressive. There is an unbelievable amount of inequality in terms of bargaining power. The day you walk into a nursing home is not usually one of the better days of your life. Usually it happens after your inability to care for yourself has reached a critical mass. Now you are expected to have the lucidity to fully appreciate the ramifications of an arbitration agreement? My gosh, that scene should be in a legal dictionary next to the term “unequal bargaining power.”
It amazes me the extent to which every state has a very different law on survival action and wrongful death cases. I remember the first time I had a case in West Virginia back when I was defending pharmaceutical companies. The basis for damages in a survival action and a wrongful death claim were pretty much the exact opposite of how it works in Maryland. Today, we turn to a California lawyer who handles a lot of these claims, to give some thoughts on the nuances of wrongful death in his jurisdiction. It is Mike’s ball from here.
When a person is fatally injured due to the careless, reckless, negligent, or intentional actions of another person, entity, employer, or manufacturer, this is called, in California as in most other states, a wrongful death. This is a statutory claim alleging that a fatality occurred due to a wrongful act or negligence, it is important to consult a law firm that focuses on this area of the law and has the resources to prepare a wrongful death claim.
Time can be crucial in any legal action, to preserve evidence and interview witnesses, which are important factors in a negligent fatal accident. Investigating and preserving evidence will involve investigators, accident reconstruction experts, and medical experts, who can evaluate the evidence collected, as well as the cause of the death. So if you think you might have a claim, you should retain counsel as soon as practicable.
Another day another Medicaid fraud settlement. In this one, Shield Healthcare, a California medical supplier, paid $5 million to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit that alleged that Shield submitting inflated bills to California’s Medicaid program. The suit claimed that the company submitted false claims and evaded the regulation’s upper billing limit. (I’d be curious how they did that. You have to admire the scope of the evil).
In a related story, California is going bankrupt.
A Jury Verdict Research study found that the average personal injury verdict in California is 1,635,327. The median, which takes out huge verdicts like one in the study for over $100 million, is California.
California juries are tougher on liability: plaintiffs receive damages in 45 percent of cases that go to trial.
In this tough legal economy, 4,364 applicants took the February California bar examination. Approximately 42% of the applicants passed the exam.
California has a tough bar. The pass rate has floated between 33 and 40 percent for the last 10 years.
The key to passing the California bar? Not having failed it before. The pass rate for the California bar was 53% for those taking the bar for the first time. Another leading indicator? Go to an accredited law school. Only 27% of those at non-ABA accredited law schools pass the exam which makes you question the wisdom of having law schools in California that are not ABA accredited.
I wrote on Sunday about the awful motorcycle accident in California that killed six people this weekend.
I predicted the hit-and-run driver who fled the scene would be found. But 72 hours later, no one has been taken into custody. How could that be? Apparently, there is one problem that we would not have in Maryland: the proximity to a safe haven in Mexico. It is now being reported that authorities plan to meet today with Mexican officials to look over border surveillance video to see if a 4-door Gold Honda Civic with California plates crossed over.
Hopefully, that haven will not be so safe, but it certainly complicates the efforts of law enforcement officers. If we find him, the driver will likely face felony hit and run and gross vehicular manslaughter charges in California.