As a victim of personal injury seeking compensation in Florida, it is natural to want to understand the potential range of settlement payouts for your case. So this page analyzes Florida settlement statistics and how similar cases have been resolved in the state, offering settlement statistics and examples of settlements and jury awards to help you gauge the potential value of your claim.
But.. approach settlement statistics and sample settlements with caution. No cases are identical, even when they feel identical. The factors driving the settlement payout of a case may not always be apparent in a case summary. Comparing cases and statistics can absolutely provide valuable information about the potential value of your claim – that is why we are providing example Florida settlement amounts and jury payouts for you. Still, you need to consult a Florida personal injury attorney who can fit your case to all the variables to determine the range of your expected settlement payout range.
We also provide a detailed summary of the Florida personal injury law you need to know to better understand the rules governing your injury or wrongful death claim.
Settlement Value of Florida Personal Injury Cases
Obtaining accurate data on the average settlement value for personal injury cases in Florida (or any other state) is difficult simply because so many cases in the settlements are confidential and never get reported. We can, however, provide a summary of reported settlements and jury verdicts in Florida that are available in the Westlaw settlements & verdicts database. The bar graph below shows the amounts awarded in reported settlements or verdicts in Florida personal injury cases for 2022.
Florida Settlements and Verdicts
Below are summaries of recent settlements and verdicts from actual Florida personal injury cases.
- $1,613,000 Verdict (Miami-Dade County 2023): In a warehouse in Medley, Florida (a town located in Miami-Dade County), a man operating a forklift was injured while trying to load a large propane tank into a box truck. The truck, which did not have its emergency brake applied, moved forward as the forklift approached, causing the man to fall and the tank to land on him. He sustained injuries to his back, knee, leg, and neck. The injured individual subsequently sued his employer alleging negligence on the part of the truck’s driver and holding the company vicariously responsible. After the accident, the man sought medical treatment, including physical therapy, and in November 2020, underwent a surgical procedure called laminectomy for a herniated disc. He claimed to have persistent back pain, mobility issues, and difficulty working since the accident. Furthermore, he anticipated potential future spinal surgeries. He sought compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. In the end, the jury awarded him a $1,613,000 payout.
- $4,500,000 Verdict (Duvall County 2023): While riding as a passenger in a family vehicle, a 17-year-old girl was sideswiped by a box truck in Jacksonville, Florida, resulting in significant injuries including a disc herniation and a shoulder injury requiring two surgeries. Her insurance company consistently denied that the surgeries were related to the accident. After a protracted legal battle and rejecting an initial $100,000 settlement offer, a Florida state court jury awarded the girl nearly $4.5 million in damages for her past and future medical expenses and ongoing complications from the crash.
- $8,300,000 Verdict (Broward County 2023): A woman suffered a fall while exiting a restaurant in Sunrise on a worn, slippery, and shallow step outside the restaurant’s exit. She suffered a trimalleolar ankle fracture. She now relies on a cane for mobility and is unable to drive or return to work.
- $2,300,000 Verdict (Alachua County 2023): A patient tragically succumbed to severe bedsores at Parklands Care Center. While she initially developed a bedsore during her stay which healed, a subsequent bedsore developed, exacerbated by a specialized pressure-relieving mattress that was deflated, which defeats the purpose. The family hired a nursing home lawyer who put together the case linking the development of this bedsore to the woman’s death and to the nursing home’s negligence. Often in nursing home lawsuits, the deceased has a complicated medical history, and this case was no exception. This woman had a history of numerous health conditions including Parkinson’s disease, hypertension, and diabetes even before her admission to the nursing home. Nursing home defendants always like to point to this as the reason the patient died. Thankfully, the Gainesville jury saw these diversions and focused on the nursing home’s negligence and awarded $2.3 million.
- $20,000,000 Verdict (West Palm Beach 2023) : A 54-year-old patient who had pancreatitis. He had a respiratory collapse and passed away after receiving numerous doses of Dilaudid, a potent opioid painkiller. The central question of the medical malpractice trial was whether the doctor’s care, which encompassed medication administration and the decision not to employ telemetry or pulse oximetry monitors, was appropriate given the circumstances. A jury in West Palm Beach, Florida, found the physician responsible for a patient’s fatal respiratory collapse and awarded the patient’s family a verdict exceeding $20 million.
- $2,800,000 Verdict (Miami-Dade County 2023): After a rear-end collision, a 19-year-old ex-college soccer player from Miami’s ASA College found herself facing ongoing neck and back issues that necessitated continuous chiropractic care and pain management. The three-day trial, focused solely on damages as the parties disputed the severity and lasting effects of the young woman’s injuries. The defense introduced surveillance footage of the young woman engaging in a soccer match following the accident. The victim’s accident lawyer argued that although she had the capability to participate in soccer, the persistent pain stemming from the accident had reduced her performance level and the enjoyment she previously experienced. The jury bought this argument, resulting in a $2.8 million verdict.
- $7,800,000 Verdict (Broward County 2023): The plaintiff slipped and fell in the bathroom at a Burger King, resulting in lower back issues requiring surgery, including a postoperative perforated colon. The defendants offered a $200,000 settlement amount.
- $309,794 Verdict (Alachua County 2023): The plaintiff was injured in a collision with the defendant at NW 8th Ave and 18th Street in Gainesville. The defendant disputed his liability for the accident and claimed that the plaintiff was at fault. The verdict included $200,000 for future medical expenses and $72,000 for past medical expenses.
- $48,993 Verdict (Brevard County 2023): The plaintiff claimed the defendant rear-ended her with his dump truck while she was stopped at a red light. The plaintiff claimed that she suffered severe and permanent injuries due to the collision, including injuries to her cervical and lumbar spine. The jury declined to award future medical expenses and also found that the plaintiff had not sustained a permanent injury.
- $50,235 Verdict (Leon County 2023): The plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell at a movie theater while exiting her seat to the bathroom. She alleged that the theater was negligent in allowing debris to remain in the aisle. Verdict included $37,502 in past medical expenses.
- 203,000 Verdict (Sarasota County 2023): The plaintiff claimed to suffer right hip bursitis, aggravation or activation of right hip abnormalities, permanent impairment, and low back pain after she was knocked over by falling boxes of cantaloupes while walking in the outdoor area of a market operated by the defendant.
- $372,141 Settlement (Broward County 2023): A minor female suffered a skull fracture when the go-cart she was operating, belonging to the defendant companies and operated on the defendants’ amusement park racetrack, overturned. The plaintiff contended that the defendants were negligent for providing unsafe recreational premises, equipment, and safety procedures.
- $23,600 Verdict (Miami-Dade County 2023): Female plaintiff claimed to suffer injuries, including facial lacerations when the elevator she was using, located in her apartment building, jolted a few times, causing the metal ceiling to collapse on top of her. The verdict only included $1,100 for medical expenses.
- $341,000 Verdict (Citrus County 2023): This wrongful death medical malpractice case involved the death of a 55-year-old man after he reported to the hospital with coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, and vomiting and was discharged. He died two days later from a heart attack. The lawsuit alleged that the doctors at the hospital negligently failed to recognize the signs of an impending heart attack.
- $3,000,000 Settlement (Pickens County 2021): In a crash in Pickens County, a U.S. Postal Service carrier sustained serious injuries, including a broken spine and a mild traumatic brain injury, when her mail truck was rear-ended and flipped over. The accident occurred as she was stopped on the side of the road for mail delivery and was hit by a speeding pickup truck. In the ensuing lawsuit, the carrier’s attorney emphasized key evidence from the crash vehicle’s black box, which was alleged to have been destroyed by the defendant construction company. This evidence, along with GPS data showing the driver’s habitual speeding, played a crucial role in the case. The lawsuit resulted in a $3 million settlement.
- $1,000,000 Settlement (Duvall County 2019): A 66-year-old retired individual drowned while playing with children at a private ranch’s pool during a party. The estate of the deceased claimed the property owners failed to adhere to the necessary permits and argued that commercial pool standards should have been applied. The defense maintained that the pool was residential and not subject to such standards. If the policy is only $1 million, this is a policy limits case for sure. So before any legal action commenced, the defense’s insurer opted to settle, providing the estate with the policy’s maximum coverage of $1 million.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Florida is four years from the date of the incident. Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3) This means that if someone is injured due to someone else’s negligence, they have four years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries. If they do not file within this time frame, their case will be time-barred, and they will not be able to pursue legal action.
It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the injury was not discovered later, the statute of limitations may be extended. Additionally, if the person injured is a minor, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they reach the age of 18.
The discovery rule applies to cases where the injury was not immediately apparent. In these cases, the statute of limitations may be extended to give the injured party more time to file a lawsuit. The discovery rule is often applied in medical malpractice cases, where the injury may not be discovered until months or even years after the medical procedure.
Statute of Repose
The statute of repose limits the amount of time that can elapse between the date of the incident and the date on which a lawsuit can be filed, regardless of whether or not the injury was discovered. In Florida, the statute of repose for medical malpractice cases is four years from the incident date. This means that even if the injury was not discovered until years later, a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot be filed more than four years after the incident.
Malpractice Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Florida is two years from the date of the incident or two years from the date that the injury was discovered or should have been discovered. Fla. Stat. § 95.11(4) There is also a four-year statute of repose, which means that no matter when the injury was discovered, a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot be filed more than four years after the incident.
Malpractice Statute of Repose
The malpractice statute of repose is another time limit that applies specifically to medical malpractice cases. In Florida, the malpractice statute of repose is two years from the date of the incident or two years from the date that the injury was discovered or should have been discovered. This means that even if the injury was not discovered until years later, a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot be filed more than two years after the date of the discovery of the injury or more than four years after the date of the incident.
Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that allows for the allocation of fault in cases where more than one party may be responsible for an injury. In Florida, the comparative negligence rule determines the amount of damages that can be recovered in a personal injury case. If the injured party is found to be partially at fault for the injury, their damages may be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributed to them.
The collateral source rule is a legal doctrine that allows a plaintiff to recover damages for their injuries even if they have already received compensation from another source, such as first-party (your own) insurance. In Florida, the collateral source rule applies to personal injury cases. This means that a plaintiff can recover damages from the defendant even if they have already received compensation from their insurance company or other sources.
For payments picked up by private insurers, plaintiffs can recover the total amount billed for past medical bills and the full amount anticipated to be required for ongoing medical care. Future medical expenses must be reasonably certain to be incurred, and there must be evidence to support their reasonableness. So privately insured plaintiffs may enter evidence of their past medical bills that the provider claims it is owed.
Florida law changed in 2015 when the Florida Supreme Court held that plaintiffs in Florida personal injury lawsuits may only submit evidence at the trial of past medical bills actually paid by Medicare (or Medicaid). So, Florida courts now find that future Medicare or Medicare benefits are inadmissible in a personal injury case for a jury’s consideration of future medical expenses. The rationale is that future Medicare benefits are uncertain and constitute a liability due to the right of reimbursement that Medicare retains. But this does not apply to evidence of past medical expenses.
Expert Required in Malpractice Lawsuit
In Florida, an expert is required in a medical malpractice lawsuit to establish the standard of care expected of the healthcare provider and to show that the healthcare provider deviated from that standard of care, which caused the injury. The expert must be licensed in the same field as the healthcare provider sued.
Malpractice Damages Cap
Florida has a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. The cap is $500,000 per claimant, but it can increase to $1 million if the malpractice results in a permanent vegetative state or death.
Informed Consent Law
In Florida, healthcare providers must obtain informed consent from their patients before performing any medical procedure. Informed consent means that the patient must be informed about the risks and benefits of the procedure and any alternatives to the procedure. The healthcare provider must also obtain the patient’s consent before proceeding with the procedure.
If a healthcare provider fails to obtain informed consent and the patient is injured due to the procedure, the healthcare provider may be liable for medical malpractice. However, it’s important to note that just because a patient was not informed about a risk does not necessarily mean the healthcare provider was negligent. The healthcare provider must have also deviated from the standard of care expected of them in their field.
Dog Bite Liability
Florida is among those states that have adopted strict liability in dog bite injury cases. Fla. Stat. § 767.04 states:
Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons bitten.—The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the dog’s owner by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident.
This means that a dog owner will automatically be liable if their dog attacks someone, regardless of whether the dog has a history of aggression.
Premises Liability Law
Florida premises liability law deals with the legal obligations of a property to ensure that its premises are reasonably safe for visitors and guests. Most premises liability claims in Florida involve slip and fall claims.
In Florida, property owners must maintain their premises in a safe condition and to warn visitors of any hazards that are not obvious or would not be discovered by reasonable inspection. The duty of care owed by the property owner depends on the status of the visitor.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Florida product liability lawsuits involve claims by consumers who were injured by products that were defective or dangerous. Florida product liability claims are generally based on strict liability or allegations of negligence, such as when a manufacturer fails to exercise reasonable care in designing or manufacturing a product or in providing warnings or instructions.
Florida residents are bringing product liability lawsuits, including several national mass tort cases that our firm is currently accepting:
- Tylenol autism lawsuit: there is a growing body of evidence showing that using Tylenol (acetaminophen) during pregnancy can increase the risk of autism or ADHD. This has prompted a growing class action lawsuit by parents of children with autism and ADHD.
- Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuit: Paraquat is a weed killer used in commercial farming. New research linking Paraquat to Parkinson’s disease has led to a large wave of product liability lawsuits.
- Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits: This drug now has a warning in 2023 for the dental injuries in can cause. But it did not before 2022.
- Camp Lejeune Lawsuit: A new law allowed individuals exposed to the toxic water at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina to file claims for compensation.
Hiring a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
Our firm handles serious injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Florida, working with trusted colleagues in the state. We compensate your Florida lawyers – and we are working with the best – out of our attorneys’ fees. You pay no additional contingency fees for having two law firms instead of one. And you only owe a fee if you get settlement compensation or a jury payout for you.
If you were hurt and believe you have a potential civil tort claim, click here for a free no-obligation consultation or call us today at 800-553-8082.