Possible Case Values for Clients Who May Require Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
When our firm first meets with new clients, our lawyers always explain that it can be very difficult to provide early estimates regarding a case’s settlement value since so much depends on each case’s unique facts. Furthermore, the main factors that can help us determine the possible range of recovery include whether your injuries are permanent, extensive and require surgery.
We must also find out the total cost of your medical treatments – and then use that figure to help us calculate our request for your pain and suffering. It’s also important to discover if we have clear evidence of the defendant’s liability. If we cannot easily prove liability and your injuries are not extensive, the likely settlement value may not be very high.
Here are some useful definitions of medical terms often referenced in these types of cases, along with a list of situation that can increase (or decrease) the settlement value of a knee injury lawsuit. Information is also shared about the range of recovery in these types of cases.
Common terms often involved with knee injuries & arthroscopic knee surgery cases
- A chrondroplasty. During this type of knee surgery, a surgeon trims and smooths away arthritic cartilage within the damaged knee. This often occurs with a damaged patula;
- A TKA. This acronym refers to a total knee arthroplasty – or total knee replacement surgery;
- Tears in the knee’s meniscus. When someone suffers torn cartilage in a knee, it’s often due to this type of damage;
- A MACI procedure. This refers to a matrix-induced chondrocyte implantation treatment
performed to correct the damages or imperfections in a knee’s bone. It involves implanting chondrocyte cells grown in a lab and then placed into defective knee bones. Before performing this procedure, the surgeon must first remove a sample of such cells from the patient’s own knee;
- Kneecap (Prepatellar) bursitis. During an auto accident or other harmful event, the lubricating sac of fluid in front of the kneecap can be seriously injured. After this happens, the affected knee can swell and require multiple treatments. In some cases, surgery may be required. Carpet layers and others who regularly work on their knees can also develop this ailment. Medications, surgery and periodic elevation of the knee may be necessary to help fully heal this type of injury.
This is just a partial list of the many types of knee damage that people often suffer due to serious slips and falls, auto accidents, sports injuries and falls from great heights.
Factors or events that may affect the value of a plaintiff’s knee injury settlement
- There was no early mention of knee pain while first seeking treatment. Sometimes, certain types of pain don’t develop very early. However, it’s always best for a client’s case if every source of pain – including knee pain – is documented and discussed in an emergency room (or during early appointments) with treating physicians after an accident. Our firm carefully reviews each client’s medical records to see if they note every chief form of pain reported to us since that can affect the full settlement value of a case. However, a client may still be able to recover for this type of pain if s/he waits to request this help after all other more compromising sources of pain have been addressed;
- Failing to promptly follow through with all doctor-ordered treatments. An insurance adjustor can argue that this tardiness should minimize any settlement awarded to a client since it may indicate that the reported pain was either minimal or exaggerated;
- The client’s own medical care providers paid many of the treatment bills for a reduced amount, thereby lowering the overall treatment costs. This is one reason why it’s often best to obtain all your medical treatment from doctors who regularly treat patients who’ve just been in accidents like yours. We often base at least part of our settlement request for pain and suffering on the final cost of all your medical treatments and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Of course, you’re always free to obtain doctor-recommended treatment wherever you choose;
- There have been recent injuries to the knee due to other well-documented accidents or injuries. You may still be able to recover damages – but they’re not likely to be as high;
- Comparative negligence issues. The evidence may indicate that the defendant was not solely responsible for the accident. In some cases, a client may have played a significant role in causing the event. While New York law doesn’t prevent recovery if a plaintiff is partially responsible for causing an accident, it can lower the settlement value of a case. (If you’re responsible for too high a percentage of the injuries you sustained, there may be no recovery);
- It’s clear that the knee injury sustained is not permanent – or unlikely to require surgery;
- The degree of medical complications you suffer due to any recommended medical treatment, including surgery. If you can no longer walk unassisted or need a walker or cane, these added mobility issues can also increase the value of any settlement or jury verdict you receive.
Possible recovery amounts clients can receive in knee injury lawsuits
By researching jury verdicts in these cases online and through other sources, you can find recovery amounts ranging from zero (often related to problems with proving the defendant’s liability) to other lawsuits settling for $75,000 after arthroscopic knee surgery. Amounts between $120,000 to $250,000 can also occur when a child is hit by a vehicle or when an adult suffers a terrible slip-and-fall injury that leads to a total knee replacement.
Another case settled for over $2,500,000 where the plaintiff suffered a meniscus tear following a bad fall (due to a slippery substance on the floor). One plaintiff found to be 40 percent at fault for the injury still received over $100,000. However, another person who suffered an extremely serious knee injury in a car accident that might require one or more surgeries – received an amount well under $30,000. Difficult insurance adjustors and unpredictable jurors can also affect a case’s outcome.
As you can see, settlement amounts and jury verdict damages can vary widely – all due to the facts involved with your unique case, the clarity of the medical records and other factors.
Rest assured, we always work very hard to thoroughly prepare each case so we can justify as high and fair a financial recovery as possible.
If you’ve suffered a serious knee injury due to another person’s negligence, perhaps due to an auto accident, please contact our New York City knee accident law firm. We can help you decide if a personal injury lawsuit should be filed on your behalf. We always fight hard to win the maximum compensation available for every client. Our firm wants you to recover for all lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses.