If you have been injured in a car accident, you want to know how to determine an appropriate settlement amount for your personal injury case.
Is there a secret formula for calculating the settlement value of personal injury cases? This page is about giving you the weapons to better calculate an appropriate settlement compensation payout for your claim.
There is no settlement value formula or insurance settlement calculator that can determine or even estimate what the payout for your case will be. Our lawyers wish it was that simple. It is not.
Juries don't use mathematical algorithms to compute claim payouts. Yes, sometimes the appropriate payout for settlement is a multiple of the quantifiable damages (a.k.a. “specials” or “special damages”). It is mostly a coincidence when this happens.
There is, however, real information that can help you better understand the settlement value of your case. Our system of civil justice requires juries to monetize injuries. But injuries are just not readily monetizable. Ultimately, the best that we can hope for is to find a settlement range that your case will fall into.
Settlement value is essentially based on what a jury would award you for what you went through because of your injury. That number is the sum of your pain, your suffering, your bills, and your lost wages. Using a formula would not capture the details of each individual person’s case.
When insurance companies use formulas, such as when they say, "we are offering $50,000 more than the special damages," or, "this offer is 2.8 times the medical bills plus lost wages,” this is nonsense. This is not how car accident settlements are calculated. It is likely the insurance company is not taking into account what a fair settlement compensation payout would be.
Below, we explain just how cases get valued. If you want to discuss your claim with us at no charge, call 800-553-8082, or contact us online.
Our goal in any accident case is to obtain the best possible settlement for their client. Typically, that means maximizing the monetary value of the case and reducing the medical liens and bills as much as possible.
1. Get a lawyer with a history of success at trial
If you want the best possible settlement amount, it is critical to have an attorney who has a history of success at trial. But why does that matter if you just want to settle your case? Some attorneys may talk a big game, but insurance companies know full well who is willing to try cases, who has tried cases before, and who has beaten them in the past.
If your car accident lawyer does not have a history of winning cases, the insurance company defending your case will offer smaller settlements. This is because they know that your counsel is more likely to take a low-ball settlement rather than risk continuing to trial, where they may lose.
2. Show the insurance company a lawsuit is on the table
A related tactic is to show the insurance company that you are ready and willing to move forward with the case. The best way to do this is to be prepared for the litigation process before initiating settlement negotiations.
Along with our demand packages, we send the volumes of paperwork that the insurance company will need to respond to should the case become a lawsuit. It gets the insurance company's attention when they see that your counsel has already made the extra effort to get the lawsuit started.
Another benefit of early preparation of the lawsuit and discovery is that, if negotiations fail, a lawsuit can be filed with a simple stamp without delay.
3. Hire a lawyer who believes in your case
It is also imperative to find a lawyer who you feel believes you and your case. If you get the sense when you talk to your personal injury lawyer that he does not believe in you or your case, do not hire him/her.
Most plaintiffs' attorneys focus on the problems with their client's accident case. Insurance company adjusters do the same thing: they are more worried about their weaknesses in the case than the plaintiff's weaknesses.
Most personal injury lawyers do not realize this and tend to focus on the negative. They invariably leave a lot of their clients' money on the table.
We often tell adjusters: "Absolutely, that is a real weakness in our case. Here is how we intend to overcome it...."
4. Be honest in negotiations
Don't skip past this one! An axiom of personal injury settlement negotiations is to tell the truth about the facts of the case. If your lawyer fails to do so, he/she will have no credibility with insurance companies. Our lawyers may not always agree with insurance companies on settlement values, but they know we do not make statements that we cannot back up.
Many adjusters that we talk to tell us about lawyers they deal with regularly who make bold assertions that they never can back up and deny weaknesses in their case that any reasonable attorney would be able to see. Although complete factual disclosure may not be necessary or appropriate, unwillingness to acknowledge obvious weaknesses destroys a lawyer’s ability to credibly convey the strengths of the case.
Of course, the type of injury is critical. We provide settlement value for specific injuries below:
Foot, Ankle, and Leg
Herniated Disc and Other Back and Neck Injuries
- Average Disc Injury Verdicts
- Vertebral Fractures
- Fractured Back
- Aggravation of Degenerative Disc Disease
Rotator Cuff/Shoulder Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Dog Bites
- Burn Injuries
- Loss of an Eye
- Vision Loss Cases
- Face Scars
- Fractured Hip
- Wrist, Hand and Finger Fractures
- Side impact
- Unsafe lane change
- Chain reaction
- Distracted driving
- Valuing Truck Accident Cases
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
Claim Values by Location
At Miller & Zois, we have won millions of dollars for our clients. We fight hard every day to get our clients the settlement that they deserve. We would be happy to discuss your claim with you at no charge. To speak with one of our attorneys, call 800-553-8082, or contact us online.