Is There a Formula to Determine an Accident Settlement?

Learn More About Your Claim's Potential Money Damages

Let's make this clear from the beginning. There is no such thing as a personal injury settlement formula. There is no insurance settlement calculator. There is no magic equation of “x times specials” that determines or even estimates the proper average car accident settlement payout for your case.

You can keep Googling until you are blue in the face. But you will never find it. Any lawyer that suggests otherwise does not understand civil tort cases.

But there is real information that can help you better understand the settlement value of your case.

Valuing car and truck accident claims is challenging. Our system of civil justice requires juries to monetize injuries in accident cases. But injuries are just not readily monetizable. So, ultimately, the best that we can hope for is narrowing the settlement range that your case will fall into within a 90% confidence interval.

Three Times Medical Bills and Other Ready Made Formulas

Many people are desperate for a settlement formula. For some of you, this is the fifth or sixth page you have stumbled on searching for a clear-cut answer. You have suffered from your accident and you are frustrated. But stay with me here and you will get information that will help you better understand the value of your claim. 

Yes, sometimes the appropriate payout for settlement may be some multiple of the special damages. But it is mostly a coincidence when this happens. A settlement that works is because it is fair based on what a jury would award you because of what you went through from the accident. This is the combination of your pain, your suffering, your bills, and your lost wages.  Not because of some pre-ordained mathematical formula. The real end game to value is not a calculation. It is an estimate of what a jury might award.  There is one thing we can tell you without equivocation: juries don't use mathematical algorithms to compute claim value.

So, in some cases, a settlement that is five times the medical bills and lost wages (called together "specials") is an awful "they stole from you" resolution. In other claims, it is a fantastic result. This is how it should be. Let's beat the dead horse one more time before we move on. The idea that you can use some multiplier of the medical bills to determine how much money a judge or jury would award makes no sense.

Below, we explain just how cases get valued. If you want a lawyer for your claim, call us. We have an undeniable record of success. If you want to discuss your claim with us, call 800-553-8082, or you can get a free online consultation. We handle only serious injury and wrongful death cases. Most of our cases are in Maryland. We accept about a handful of cases outside of Maryland each year.

Why Settlement Multiplier Talk Decreases the Value of Your Case

Attorneys who get the best compensation for their clients avoid the temptation to engage in the slippery slope of talking to insurance adjusters in "___ times specials" terms. Why? Because there is no formula to calculate settlement value. A traffic collision case is worth what a judge or jury would give the Plaintiff.  There are about ten variables far more relevant to this calculus than any average settlement calculator or formula.

Okay, but why it is harmful to talk to insurance companies like this? Insurance adjusters deal with a lot of lawyers. Some attorneys know what they are doing. Others do not have a clue how to position an accident case to maximize the value. (You can guess for yourself the relative proportions of those who know what they are talking about and those without a clue. The real truth is depressing.)

When attorneys use formula talk, they are telegraphing to the claims adjuster that they consider their client to be a number. A number cannot experience real suffering. A victim is not part of a formula.  THE VICTIM IS THE FORMULA!  Attorneys that talk "times specials" math like there is some theorem are not the same advocates that read and evaluate the medical records... or take cases to a jury. Insurance companies spot this from miles away.  

Sure, in some whiplash injury type cases, a multiplier type formula will often work. Still, even in those small soft tissue type cases, tossing around formulas and calculators will send a loud message to the adjuster. That message will forever mark the lawyer as an inexperienced advocate who is not able to fight the fight their clients need. The result? The client gets a smaller settlement offer. 

Settlement Formulas in Disguise

One thing insurance companies - thinking mainly of Nationwide [see here] and State Farm Insurance [see here] - have been doing of late is pitching offers differently.  The new framing of the offer is how more they are paying than the medical bills and lost wages. This is like calling something $9.99 instead of $10.00. It just sounds more palatable to say, "We are offering $50,000 more than the special damages" than saying "this offer is 2.8 times the medical bills plus lost wages." But it is the same thing as a monetary compensation formula. Regardless of how it is packaged, it is nonsense.

Is There a Way to Figure Out the Value of My Case?
More Settlement Information

You are not going to find the exact value of your case online. But we do have resources that explain how claims are assessed and the average settlement amount for different types of cases and various kinds of injuries. You can click on those links in the preceding sentence for this information.

But use this information carefully. There are a lot of variables at play. There may be reasons why your case is worth much more - or much less - than these statistics suggest. The take-home message is clear: median and average settlement value data is great. But it will not calculate your settlement for you and does not take the place of professional analysis of your case.

Also, keep in mind that many times, the insurance company will believe you are entitled to a full payout of their entire policy. But unless they know you can file a lawsuit - which almost invariably means retaining counsel - they have little incentive to make a fair offer for your injuries. So if you want to get the correct amount of compensation the case is worth, you may have to fight for it.

Finding a Lawyer for Your Serious Injury Case

Our attorneys look at cases on the merits of each case. We handle only serious injury claims. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or wrongful death as the result of the negligence of someone else, we would be glad to talk to you about your case to see if we believe we can add real value to your claim. Call our lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free Internet consultation.

Sample Demand LettersValues of Specific Injuries

Note: We provide sample verdict data on this page and a listing of some of our personal injury settlements. These are not the proper valuation of your case or any individual case. To get a better idea of the value of YOUR claim, you need to speak with a lawyer who can address all of the relevant facts in your case.

Miller & Zois Personal Injury Trial Verdicts & Settlements
  • $10,000,000 Malpractice Verdict
  • $8,000,000 Car Crash Verdict
  • $5,500,000 Malpractice Verdict
  • $5,200,000 Malpractice Verdict
  • $3,800,000 Malpractice Settlement
  • $3,250,000 Million Malpractice Settlement
  • $2,500,000 Surgical Error Verdict
  • $2,500,000 Malpractice Settlement
  • $2,100,000 Product Defect Settlement
  • $1,500,000 Malpractice Verdict
  • $1,350,000 Truck Accident Settlement
  • $1,300,000 Truck Crash Settlement
  • $1,200,000 Truck Crash Settlement
  • $1,100,000 Truck Crash Settlement
  • $1,100,000 Surgical Error Verdict
  • $1,000,050 Truck Crash Verdict
  • $1,000,000 Car Crash Settlement
  • $1,000,000 Truck Accident Settlement
  • $1,000,000 Truck Crash Settlement

Talk to a Lawyer at 800-553-8082 or Get an On-Line Consultation.

Medical Malpractice/Nursing HomeFoot, Ankle, and LegWrongful DeathHerniated Disc and Other Back and Neck InjuriesRotator Cuff/Shoulder InjuriesMore InjuriesValue of Personal Injury Settlements Generally or by Type of Case Motor Vehicle AccidentsClaim Values by StateRelated Articles
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We handle personal injury vehicle accidents, medical mistakes, bad products, and premises liability case. If you have been hurt, or a loved one has been killed as the result of the negligence of someone else, call us at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free Internet consultation.

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They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
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The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa