How Is Your Personal Injury Settlement Calculated?
Personal injuries due to vehicular accidents, medical malpractice, or work hazards may happen to anyone unexpectedly.
No matter the reason, the harm caused by someone else’s negligence can affect a person’s life, work, and relationship with other people.
Sometimes, the damage may be too grave, and the victim suffers the consequences of the act for a lifetime. But regardless of the severity of injuries, all victims must be given fair compensation.
Filing a lawsuit can be expensive, and the chances of getting a fair settlement in court can be slim, depending on the jury’s verdict. So, settling personal injury cases without a formal court complaint is often more advisable.
But how can you ensure you’re justly compensated for the damage you’ve sustained? A personal injury lawyer can help you review the gravity of its effects and guide you in negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurers.
How To Calculate A Personal Injury Settlement
You can calculate a fair settlement by looking at the economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages
The economic damages are easier to account for as they cover the expenses incurred to recover from the injuries, as presented by receipts and bills. These damages can include the following:
- medical bills, including medicines, therapy, and doctor’s fees;
- lost wages due to the inability to report to work; and
- the cost of repair or replacement of damaged properties.
Aside from the charges already incurred and paid for, economic damages can also include any future expenses caused by the injury. Examples are additional medical care needs and loss of potential income due to permanent impairment or disabilities.
- Non-Economic Damages
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are trickier to calculate as it is based on intangible factors and how much the victim has suffered due to the injuries caused. Negligence may negatively affect the victim’s life through anxiety and trauma. These negative effects must be repaid as well.
Injury lawyers use the multiplier or per diem methods to calculate the proper compensation for non-economic damages.
- Multiplier Method: The settlement amount is based on the total economic damages multiplied by any number from one to five. The multiplier used depends on the severity of the injuries. When the harm is too grave, a higher multiplier is used.
- Per Diem Method: The per diem method compensates the victims for each day they suffer the consequences of their injuries. The cost given per day may depend on the sufferer’s daily wage.
Engaging with an injury attorney to help you assess your case and calculate all non-economic damages is beneficial to ensure you arrive at a fair settlement.
Factors Affecting The Settlement Value
The at-fault party’s insurers will likely look for ways to reduce the settlement amount. However, some factors may also cause the compensation to increase.
- Severity Of The Injuries Sustained: Some injuries may cause lifetime consequences to the victim. For example, a vehicular accident led to a person’s permanent disability. If the person cannot return to work, the loss of potential wages may be accounted for. So, the settlement value may increase.
- Shared Responsibility: Sometimes, the victims may be partly to blame for the injuries. When two parties share the responsibility, the settlement amount may be reduced.
- Insurance Policy Limits: In cases where the at-fault party’s insurance coverage isn’t enough, it may be better for the victim to file a lawsuit than be unjustly compensated.
When To Accept A Settlement Value
It may take months before you and the at-fault party’s insurers conclude the final settlement amount. In any case, an injury lawyer can help you throughout the negotiation process to ensure fair compensation.
However, some people may settle a personal injury case without a lawyer. In this case, it’s advisable only to accept a settlement value after your recovery. This ensures no permanent damage and you can return to work.
You may ask your doctor to give you medical clearance to ensure you won’t need further treatment. You must also see that the offer can cover all your medical expenses and lost wages, including travel expenses to the hospital and treatment centers.
It may be difficult for personal injury victims to get back on their feet after suffering from another person’s negligence. So, they must be given proper compensation to help them recover. However, getting a fair settlement value may be challenging. It’s good practice to assess the case thoroughly to ensure all damages are accounted for, whether economic or non-economic. You can also engage with a personal injury lawyer to guarantee you’re justly compensated.