Personal Injuries: By the Numbers

In the United States, about 60 percent of civil litigation trials are related to some form of personal injury, according to the most recent statistics from the United States Department of Justice.

The DOJ also estimates that only four percent of personal injury cases actually go to court, meaning that the actual number of claims in the United States comes in around 409,925.

Here are more statistics from the DOJ that paint the picture how, where and why personal injuries are prevalent in our country.


According to the DOJ:

  • 52 percent of personal injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents.
  • 15 percent are in relation to medical malpractice.
  • 5 percent are the result of product liability.
  • The remaining 28 percent are classified as “other” cases.


In terms of cases that went to trial, the DOJ finds that plaintiffs are successful in about half of the cases. Here are the splits, according to the DOJ:

  • In motor vehicle related incidents, plaintiffs are successful 61 percent of the time.
  • In intentional tort trials, plaintiffs are successful 50 percent of the time.
  • In premises liability trials, the success rate for plaintiffs stands at 39 percent.
  • In product liability trials, plaintiffs were successful in 38 percent of cases.
  • Just 19 percent of plaintiffs were successful in medical malpractice trials.


Here is a financial breakdown of how damages are paid out, estimated by the DOJ:

  • Half of all plaintiffs receive no more than $24,000.
  • The median award is $31,000 for all cases.
  • The median award in motor vehicle personal injury cases is $16,000.
  • The median award in premises liability cases is $90,000.
  • Intentional tort cases have a median payout of $100,000.
  • Medical malpractice cases pay out an average of $679,000.
  • Product liability cases have a median payout of $748,000.
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