A personal injury settlement is typically comprised of the following damages:
- past and future medical expenses
- past and future lost wages
- past and future pain and suffering damages
Thus, by adding these damages you can arrive at a potential settlement value of a case. However, it is not that simple. While calculating economic damages is relatively straightforward in most cases, pain and suffering damages are entirely personal and difficult to quantify. There is no formula to quantify pain and suffering damages. Instead, insurance companies use different approaches in calculating pain and suffering damages as part of their case evaluation.
Some insurance companies use a multiplier formula to arrive at the settlement amount – economic damages (medical expenses and lost wages) are multiplied by a number usually between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier number depends on a number of factors, such as the seriousness of the injuries, the projected recovery, liability, etc. For example, minor injuries would get a multiplier of 1.5 or 2, while serious and long-lasting injuries would get a multiplier closer to 5. The multiplier may even be as great as 10 in some severe injury cases.
Other insurance companies use computer programs which are based on statistical averages and jury verdicts to calculate a settlement value. The most commonly used computer program is Colossus. Colossus uses a point system, which assigns values to special and general damages by analyzing various factors in a claim, such as the age of the injured person, where the injury occurred, the nature of the injuries, etc.
Very often, insurance companies use a combination of different methods to arrive at a ballpark estimate of the value of a personal injury case. Regardless of which method the insurance company is using to make a settlement offer, in most cases, we are able to substantially increase the produced amount through additional documentation of our clients’ damages, past jury verdicts in the local area, and expert reports.
At Anna Handy Law Firm, P.A. we maximize the settlement value of each case. We take a hands-on approach to each claim. We build up the case from ground up to obtain the maximum financial compensation for our clients. We leave no stone unturned. We make our clients an integral part of the process because only working together we can obtain the best results. If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, please give us a call for a free non-obligation consultation. (386) 248-3000.