When you’re in an accident that results in financial losses, it’s likely you want to find a way to get your life back in order as quickly as possible. If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, you could come across a personal injury settlement calculator. It’s important to know that when you plug your estimations in, it’s unlikely that the total is what you would receive in a settlement. This is because those calculators are incredibly inaccurate. In order to understand why, you first need to know how they work.
The Personal Injury Settlement Formula
If you’ve been in an accident and you’re researching personal injury settlements online, it’s likely you’ll come across a settlement calculator and formula. Both economic and noneconomic damages are considered. Economic damages are those that can be calculated directly. Noneconomic damages are based on pain and suffering. When broken down, the formula will take the following into consideration:
- Medical Expenses. This includes the medical expenses that transpired as a result of your accident like procedures, surgeries, therapies, medications, and medical equipment or devices.
- Property Damage. This typically applies in the event of a car accident, when a vehicle is damaged.
- Lost Earnings. If you missed work because of your injuries, you can seek compensation for the payment you would have received.
- Future Lost Income. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work or if your job needs to change, what you would have made in the future can be calculated.
- Estimated Future Medical Expenses. This includes compensation for ongoing medical treatment.
- Multiplier for General Damages. The multiplier is used to estimate your noneconomic damages. The more serious the injuries, the higher the multiplier – which typically ranges from one to five. The average person isn’t going to be able to estimate their multiplier accurately.
While those are the factors that go in to determining how much compensation a personal injury victim should receive, it’s important to understand that estimating a settlement without the guidance of an attorney is nearly impossible.
Why Online Settlement Calculators Don’t Work
There’s a huge margin of error when it comes to using injury settlement calculators. This is for a number of reasons. For one, every case is different. Not all personal injury cases fall under the same laws. For example, the money you can receive for a car accident versus what you may be eligible for with a medical malpractice claim can vary significantly because of state laws and damage caps.
Additionally, different victims could be awarded different settlements, even if their accident happened around similar circumstances. If two car accident victims in different accident sustain the same injury, the person with the more difficult recovery may be eligible for more compensation.
Oftentimes, the calculators are used as a marketing ploy to obtain clients. In reality, you may learn you’re eligible for much less than you originally thought once you file a claim. When you see a personal injuries claims calculator, it’s better to move along from that website and find a lawyer you can trust to accurately determine what you’re owed.
How Lawyers Accurately Predict Settlements
A reasonable settlement will compensate you for your economic and noneconomic damages and cover additional expenses related to your claim, like your lawyer’s fees or liens. There are a number of steps that go into accurately calculating how much money to seek from the negligent party that caused your accident.
When a personal injury case is particularly complicated, like one that involves all of the factors we discussed above, your lawyer might bring in a number of financial experts to determine how much you’re owed. The most difficult part of calculating what a reasonable settlement is often revolves around future cost of care and wages. This is because concepts like inflation need to be accounted for.
Once your lawyer has calculated what you’re rightfully owed, they will frame the request in a demand letter. Generally, your lawyer will demand a greater sum that your actual bottom line in order to leave room for negotiations. When you’re working with the right attorney, you’ll walk away from your claim with enough compensation to get your life back in order.
If you’ve been in an accident and are considering filing a personal injury settlement, contact our office. We provide clients with free consultations. We’ll be able to review your case and help you determine if pursuing legal action is in your best interests. If you decide to proceed with our firm, we’ll work to ensure the compensation demands we make on your behalf will ensure your recovery proceeds as smoothly as possible.