Famously High Personal Injury Settlement Payouts

You might be wondering how much you would get if you filed a personal injury claim. While there are many factors that play into settlement amounts, one survey shows the average payout is about $53,000. Most cases settle for somewhere between $3,000 and $75,000. And while there are some people who get no payment, there are also some people who receive enormous settlements.

Burn Victim’s Cancer Death ($150 billion)

Robert Middleton was sexually assaulted, doused with gasoline, and set on fire at age eight by a teenage neighbor, Don Collins. Over 99% of his body was burned. Twelve years later, Middleton died of skin cancer. His family claimed the cancer was caused by the burns and sued Collins for wrongful death. The jury awarded Middleton’s family $150 billion in damages.

Faulty Car Parts ($4.9 billion)

The six members of the Anderson family were riding in their Chevy Malibu in 1993 when hit by a drunk driver. The fuel tank caught fire and exploded, severely burning them all. The family sued General Motors and the case ended up in court, where the family was awarded $4.9 billion. The amount was reduced to $1.2 million on appeal.

Diluted Medication ($2.2 billion)

Georgia Hayes brought the first of many suits against the Kansas City pharmacist, Robert Courtney, who was found guilty of watering down prescription drugs, including her cancer treatment medications. A sympathetic jury awarded her $2.2 billion and hugs following the verdict in 2002.

Train derailment ($60 million)

When a freight train derailed in Virginia and crashed through Donald French’s gas station, he was crushed by debris. He suffered a number of external injuries, but even worse were the injuries to his brain. His functioning was severely impaired and it was determined the derailment occurred because railroad crewmen had negligently locked a switch in an incorrect position. In 2000, a jury awarded French $60 million.

Malfunctioning Seatbelt ($32.5 million)

Mark Force was wearing his seatbelt when hit head-on in a 1996 car crash. His seatbelt malfunctioned and he was thrown from the car causing a traumatic brain injury. In addition to suing the other driver, he sued Ford and Mazda for the faulty seatbelt. He won $32.5 million in damages.

Bus accident ($27.5 million)

A New York City transit bus was turning a corner just two blocks from Gloria Aguilar’s apartment when it hit her. The resulting injuries required her to have her leg amputated. Her life totally altered, Aguilar sued New York City transit and, after a seven-week-trial, she won $27.5 million in damages.

McDonald’s (Too) Hot Coffee (almost $3 million)

Though the number $3 million might not seem as shocking after reading about some of the other payouts, many people remember the case of the McDonald’s coffee. Stella Liebeck was hospitalized for eight days and underwent numerous skin grafts after spilling a cup of coffee, that she claimed was too hot, in her lap. After trying to settle for significantly less money, she sued McDonald’s and the jury awarded her almost $3 million.

What’s your claim worth?

The truth is, if you have a reasonable claim, you are likely to get some sort of compensation for your injuries and struggles. Just how much will depend on a lot of factors. But you just never know if you might have a case that ends up being the next big settlement in the news. One thing’s for sure. You won’t have that case without a lawyer on your side.

If you have a personal injury case, contact us today. Let us use our experience and expertise to help you with your case.

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