Suffering from a workplace injury is troublesome, painful, or even depressing.
You have decided to pursue a legal personal injury claim. However, how do you determine the amount your injury is worth?
The average range for personal injury claim settlements is between $3,000 and $75,000.
That’s a big range! Legal terminology doesn’t necessarily say how much compensation you will receive. Let’s take a look at how to calculate the approximate compensation amount for your personal injury claim.
Factors Taken into Account when Calculating Personal Injury Compensation
- Medical Expenses
Like most things, the compensation amount varies widely depending on the details of each individual claim. First and foremost, when calculating the settlement amount, the costs of all medical expenses are vital for consideration.
The costs of medical expenses include medical bills, expenses not paid out of pocket, and even pain suffered while not receiving treatment.
- Property Damage
The second factor to consider is if there was property damage and what the value of that damage is. Property damage is any damage to real or personal property that is caused directly in relation to negligence, willful destruction, or an act of nature. This damage can include things such as automobile damage, office damage, tools damage, and more.
- Lost Earnings
After property damage, the number of lost earnings will be considered. Lost earnings are the amount of pay you did not receive due to being out of work because of the personal injury. For example, if you get paid $15/hour while working 40 hours a week and your injury caused you to miss two weeks of work, you would have accrued $1,200 in lost earnings.
- Future Lost Income
Now that you know how much you’ve lost in wages due to the initial injury, you are going to want to find an estimated amount of future lost income. Future lost income is any payment that you will miss due to future legal hearings for your claim, doctor’s appointments, or other medical treatment.
- Future Medical Expenses
Now you will want to determine a reasonable estimate for future medical expenses.
This will entail any future appointments, treatments, medical supplies, etc. A good way to determine the estimate is to review medical statements received for prior treatment in relation to your injury. Typically, the medical professional overseeing your injury will have a general idea of how long you will be out of work or receiving treatment.
Last, once all of the prior factors are determined, the total value of general damages due to the personal injury is multiplied by a multiplier for general damages. The multiplier ranges from 1.5 to 5.
General damages are any damages related to pain and suffering, anxiety or depression, stress, or other negative effects related to the personal injury.
How do you determine the multiplier and general damages? An insurance adjuster will take the total amount of “special” damages, the amount of the previous categories added, and multiply it by the multiplier to receive the total amount of general damages. For instance, if your total special damages from the above categories are $30,000 and the multiplier is 3, your total general damages are $90,000.
The multiplier is affected by many factors. The following are examples of what is taken into consideration when the insurance adjuster decides the multiplier:
- Severity of injuries
- Amount of current medical treatment received
- Amount of future treatment required
- Is a full recovery expected?
- Is the injury permanent or temporary damage?
- Impact of daily life due to the personal injury
The total value of medical expenses, property damage, lost earnings, future lost income, and future medical expenses is called the “economic damages.” In simple terms, the economic damage value your personal injury holds is the sum of all special damages. Your economic damage value is a major component in determining your general damages.
The multiplier can be a major area of tension during the personal injury claim. At times, you may believe you are owed a multiplier of 4 or 5, whereas the insurance adjuster believes you are owed one of 2 or 3. Negotiations may be made, and it is always recommended to consult with an attorney to ensure you are asking for an appropriate multiplier.
These calculations are complicated and intimidating for someone without previous experience to do them on their own. We recommend that you utilize a personal injury claim calculator to assist in the mathematical portion of your claim.
The personal injury claim calculator will ask for the number determined from all of the above-listed categories, and it will perform the appropriate calculations for you.
Calculation in hand, one more factor needs to be considered. Personal guilt is also a factor to consider in the total final value. If the personal injury occurred and part of the fault is due to your own negligence, you will want to reduce your final value, respectively. Once more, a personal injury attorney will easily be able to help reasonably adjust the value and normally offer free consultations.