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What is a realistic claim for my injury?

Toms River, NJ |

I had an ACL surgery done 2 months ago. During the operation the doctors put a brace on my leg that was too tight and caused damage to my peroneal nerve and foot drop. I have since gone to a neurologist, had multiple nerve tests and an MRI which suggest that the injury is not permanent, however it would take at least an additional year to recover. The doctor who performed the surgery has already admitted that he was fully responsible for the injury. What would be a reasonable claim for me if I were to open a medical malpractice case against him?

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Attorney answers 10


They only way to know is to consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney with all of your records and get a case evaluation.


You are asking a question that can't be answered on the facts that you present. You could write for pages and not provide enough information for an answer. The value of a case depends on too many factors to list here. Some of them: How you got the original injury, your age, your activity level, your weight, what you do for a living, your family situation, whether the injury will cause you financial hardship, how you come across as a witness, how the doctor comes across, the county you file suit in and these are just for starters. You should find an experienced medical malpractice attorney, preferably a certified civil trial attorney, and explore all the factors. Good luck.

A response to a question posted on Avvo is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. It is informational only. Allan E. Richardson, Esq. Richardson, Galella & Austermuhl 142 Emerson ST., Woodbury, NJ 08096 856-579-7045.


More information is needed to do a thorough analysis of the merits of your case. You should contact a local medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your case, advise you on the statute of limitations, and to represent you. Good luck.


Much more information and investigation is needed to answer this question. Consult an attorney ASAP.

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How did he admit it? Orally or in writing? I'm sure he will change his mind once he is sued. Remember you have two years to file suit. As an experienced attorney in Ocean County to evaluate your claim. Good luck.

Please note that these answers are provided as a community service and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


You asked this question last week. Have one of the above lawyers in your state order the medical records and send to an expert. The lawyer will research past settlements and verdicts to see if it is possible for the recovery to exceed the costs. I'm sorry, but my firm only handles catastrophic injuries. Good luck.


New Jersey Medical Malpractice - ACL Reconstruction Surgery - Intraoperative and Post-operative bracing - Peroneal nerve damage - Foot Drop - By Patrick Amoresano: We exchanged correspondence on this last week my friend. I certainly hope your neurologist is right, but many in that field are optimists to a fault. Regardless, you should not permit the promise of recovery, nor an informal admission of liability by the doctor, to delay the formal investigation and preparation of your claim for a full year. Nor should you be entertaining any notions about settling a medical malpractice claim for its fair market value without the aid of an experienced New Jersey Medical Malpractice attorney, particularly on in which the outcome is still uncertain. That is just not going to happen. The doctor will have nothing to do with determing the value of your claim. That is the role of his insurance company, and they could care less about you. They are in business to make profits, period. Do yourself a favor and get a good attorney right now.


If only things were that easy – that we could determine a value for cases in a paragraph or two. Nothing about medical negligence cases are easy – even those in which the defendant doctor allegedly admits to negligence.

My former partner once defended a medical negligence case in Camden County in which the defendant doctor admitted negligence on the witness stand, under oath, in the actual trial – and the defendant doctor still won the case.

I had another case in which we defended a defendant doctor who operated on the wrong part of the body – he took out the wrong kidney – we ended up litigating that case for over 5 years, and it included trips to the appellate division. A case you have would have thought crystal clear was anything but.

And when you talk about difficulties in medical negligence cases, putting a value and assessing a value is one of the most challenging aspects of the case.

This doctor made a mistake in his treatment of you, don’t make your own mistake by trying to do this on your own.

Good luck.

Each case is fact senstive, so all answers should be viewed as general advice only, and should never replace a thorough and in depth consultation with an experienced attorney. Further, an answer should not be seen as establishing an attorney-client relationship.


It is hard to tell you what the value of your case is at this point. First, you have been told that it will take a year for your injury to heal, but it is very premature for anyone to reach that conclusion. Frankly, if you already have a foot drop, I think people are being overly-optimistic. So, until you have a better idea of your prognosis, you won't know what fair compensation is.

There are two values to a claim. The settlement value, and what a jury will award. The settlement value of a claim is based on what factually similar claims have settled for. An attorney can do a nationwide search of verdicts and settlements involving damage to the peroneal nerve, and give you a rough range of what the value of the case is. Then, you come up with a demand, and negotiate from there. Anything can happen when a case goes to a jury. Sometimes, you do much better with a verdict than you your highest settlement offer. You can do worse, however, and you can also lose a case if you go to verdict.

It helps to have experienced counsel when deciding issues like this. It is encouraging that your surgeon is owning up to the mistake. That is rare, and commendable, but his carrier has to agree with his position and then they decide what to offer to resolve the claim.

I would not even begin discussing a resolution of the case until you pass the one year anniversary of the injury and can gauge whether your prognosis is as bright as they are suggesting. I would hire an attorney to discuss settlement. If you put the carrier on notice of the claim, and they represent to you that (a) their insured has consented to resolve the case and (b) they are prepared to offer money to do this, it might be possible for you to negotiate a hybrid fee arrangement that provides you with a discount if the case can be resolved without litigation. Another alternative is to pay an attorney an hourly rate to work the file up to try and settle it rather than agreeing to pay the attorney his customary contingency fee (usually a third of the recovery).

Please note that by attempting to answer your question, I am not acting as your attorney. I will do nothing further to protect or preserve your interests in the absence of any additional discussion with you about this matter. John Ratkowitz, Esq. Starr, Gern, Davison & Rubin, P.C. 105 Eisenhower Parkway Roseland, NJ 07068 Office: (973) 830-8441 Cell: (732) 616-6278 Fax: (973) 226-0031 Skype: john_ratkowitz Web:


It depends upon the standard of care for the procedure and whether there was any deviation. When choosing an attorney, you should look for a medical malpractice attorney who is a certified civil trial attorney. Feel free to contact our office if you wish to be put into contact with a certified attorney.

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