For personal injury lawyers, the most common question that they receive from potential clients usually involves the settlement. What is a particular personal injury claim worth? Is there some kind of damages and personal injury calculator? How can we know what a fair settlement value is?
For those individuals who have been involved in an auto accident, or have been otherwise injured due to the negligence of someone else, it is a common notion to want to know exactly what can be recovered for the injuries and damages sustained. Calculating damages is a tricky business, and the truth is that there really isn’t any particular “rule of thumb” or personal injury calculator out there than can accurately predict any recovery. However, there are certain factors that commonly play a part in the calculation of damages and these are the items that we can consider when attempting to determine a fair settlement value.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Certainly, the severity of your injuries and the extent of damages will play a great part in your personal injury settlement. For example, if you’ve sustained multiple injuries including broken bones and bulging discs, in addition to a head injury, your settlement is going to be higher than someone who simply sustained minor lacerations and bruises in an accident.
The Amount of Your Medical Expenses
The costs of the medical treatment that you’ve incurred, or will incur, due to your injuries will also play a major role in your settlement. The more bills that you have, the more your settlement will be. However, it is important to remember that in certain instances where costs are covered by a personal injury protection (PIP) plan, your case may not be valued as highly. This is because your plan will likely cover your medical expenses entirely, thereby reducing your own out-of-pocket expenses.
A personal injury claim is typically about determining liability. If you have no liability in the accident, then there’s a good chance that your claim may be valued higher than it would be if you were partially at fault. When you are considered to be partially at fault for an accident, your settlement amount is typically reduced by the percentage the court determines you are at fault. This is known as comparative fault.
Pre-Existing Injuries & Pre-Existing Claims
If you have pre-existing injuries, this could affect the value of your claim. In many cases, an aggravation of pre-existing injuries can significantly affect the value of your personal injury claim. Pre-existing personal injury claims may also have an effect. Any time you are involved in a personal injury suit, this information is available to the public. If you are considered to be a chronic plaintiff, your credibility may be brought into question.
In the end, there is no perfect formula or personal injury calculator that will determine exactly what your settlement amount may be. The best thing for you to do is to contact a personal injury attorney who has experience working with cases like yours and knows what to expect when attempting to obtain a fair settlement value.