How Do I Calculate My Personal Injury Claim?
Updated: Feb 24, 2022
Most personal injury claims are the result of slip and fall, or car accidents. Dog attacks and other negligent acts can also cause injuries. This entails dealing with an insurance company to seek compensation for injuries.
The first step in negotiating a fair settlement for a personal injury or road accident claim is determining how much money the victim is willing to accept in exchange for giving up their legal claim.
It can be difficult to determine the precise amount of money that accurately represents their losses. There is no specific formula for calculating the ideal amount.
The truth is that all injury claims are unique, and the value of a claim is determined by the unique circumstances that led to the injury. To determine the value of a personal injury claim, medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering must be considered.
What Is an Injury Claim Worth?
Insurance companies use the term "damages" to refer to any losses that a victim incurred because of an accident. These damages are divided into two categories, namely special damages, and general damages.
Special damages are those that can be quantified easily. They cover the costs of medical care, the wages lost due to time away from work, damage to property, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident.
On the other hand, general damages are more difficult to measure, and include any damage that caused mental anguish, physical pain, and suffering, and emotional distress that has have impacted a victim's day-to-day life.
How to Calculate Special Damages
The following expenses form part of special damages:
Lost wages (this includes the total amount that is lost due to the incident, both past, and future)
Replacement costs, including childcare, garden services, and housekeeping expenses incurred during recovery
Out-of-pocket expenses, including medication and medical equipment
The cost of damaged personal items during the accident
Calculating General Damages
General damages are more challenging to calculate because there is no unbiased way to quantify pain and suffering. Every personal injury case is unique.
One person’s pain and suffering may be different from someone else's. Two individuals can have the same wound, but one person may feel more pain than the other. One person could suffer depression, and take time off work, while the other person does not.
To calculate general damages, multiply the total special damages by one or two to get an accurate estimate of the value of the victim’s physical, mental, and emotional anguish.
With minor to moderate claims, most insurance providers accept a multiple of one or two times the special damages.
Put It All Together
It is possible to estimate the value of a claim by adding special and general damages together. Collect photographs, medical records and bills, witness statements, and other evidence to prove the claim. These supporting documents should help with settlement negotiations.
Before a person can receive compensation, an attorney must convince the insurance company that they are responsible for all losses, that their client caused the accident through negligence, and that this negligence is what resulted in the victim’s losses.
What Affects Claim Calculations?
Some factors could impact a claim. They are:
Shared blame. If both parties share the blame, there is a chance a person may not receive any compensation. Those who share 50 percent of the blame are likely to have their cases dismissed.
Questionable medical bills. Unnecessary tests and medical procedures may not be paid for by insurance companies.
Insurance policy limits. When a person’s claim exceeds the insurance policy limits, they may have to file a direct claim against the person at fault and cannot receive compensation from the insurance company.
Contact Powell Law Firm for All Your Personal Injury Claims
The truth is that insurance companies do not want complainants to hire an attorney, because they are more likely to have to pay the claim. Therefore, all victims should employ the help of a St Louis personal injury attorney to handle their claims.
If a claim goes to court, insurance companies may need to pay a greater compensation than originally requested. Powell Law Firm can help victims prepare their claims, calculate the value of their claims, and help them to get the compensation they deserve.