While many insurance companies and personal injury attorneys have their own formula for calculating a fair settlement amount owed to a personal-injury accident victim, most of them are generally pretty similar. They include a variety of factors, such as medical bills, present and future lost income, and more.
On a basic level, your compensation is calculated using the following general formula:
Total Dollar Amount for Special Damages
x General Damages Multiplier
= Total Compensation Owed to the Victim
First, here are categories to include in calculating your special damages (the provable expenses associated with your personal injury):
Current Lost Wages
If the personal injury accident you were involved in has caused you to miss work due to injuries or other similar damages, calculate the total amount of money you’ve had to miss out on so far.
Future Lost Wages
If the personal injury accident is going to cause you to miss even more time from work due to injuries or other similar damages, calculate the total amount of money will have to miss out on based on the estimated recovery time determined for you by your doctor.
Current Medical Costs
This amount includes everything you’ve had to pay in medical expenses at this point as a result of your personal injury accident, even if they have not been out-of-pocket expenses. All of these costs should be factored in, as they can definitely be compensated for later.
Future Medical Costs
This amount includes any future medical costs associated with your injuries, as determined by a medical professional. Examples include ongoing physical therapy, continued use of certain medications, surgeries, special equipment needed for recovery, etc.
Damages to Property
If there is any property damage associated with your personal injury incident—as there would be in a car accident, for instance—then this would be something to factor into your total settlement amount, as well.
General Out-of-Pocket Expenses
These can include anything from medical expenses to property damage and beyond. If they are associated with the personal injury, they can be calculated into the final estimated amount owed in the settlement.
Once you have your calculation for special damages experienced, you can then calculate in your general damages multiplier:
General Damages Multiplier (between 1.5 and 5)
Your GDM is a number between 1.5 and 5 that’s used to multiply your special damages based on the amount of pain and suffering you have experienced or are still experiencing. Some examples of this might include: emotional or psychological turmoil, the disruption to the flow of your normal everyday life, loss of enjoyment as a result of injuries, physical discomfort, etc. The higher the amount of pain and suffering experienced, the higher the general damages multiplier gets.
Now that you have both amounts, multiply them together to determine what your estimated settlement amount might be.