If you are making a personal injury claim, you may or may not have a specific amount in mind. Either way, you might be surprised when the final settlement amount is calculated. The calculation of personal injury compensation seems quite a complex one, but it operates on principles that are simple once you have grasped them.
General and Special Damages
When calculating what to ask for when making a claim for personal injury, there are many, many factors (i.e.—who the client is, history of other accidents, injuries, type or quantity of insurance available just to name a few) that need to be considered. Albeit, there are two categories of damages that are also taken into account:
General damages are those that cannot be easily quantified. The reason is that there are no bills or receipts that can be tallied up for these. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, anxiety as well as other, subjective effects of the accident. These sort of damages can involve comparative analysis, years of experience and are generally more ‘flexible’ than definitively quantifiable damages such as a rental car reimbursement or the like.
This class of damages is specific to your situation and perhaps more easily calculable. They consist of past medical bills, lost income, possible future loss of income, future loss of income, and the like.
In a personal injury claim, and perhaps if the matter goes that far, lawsuit, you are claiming for the sum of general and special damages while taking into account the other factors alluded to above.
How Are General Damages Calculated?
Special damages are easier to tally up. But, how to create a specific figure from general damages? Adjustors use many methods, even employing artificial intelligence (AI) on certain cases, but often two methods to make this calculation, namely the multiplier method and the per diem method.
The Multiplier Method
This is the most common method, and it involves taking the total obtained when adding up the special damages and multiplying it by a number, for example, between 1.5 and 5. This second number is called the multiplier and it depends on a variety of factors relating to your case, including your recovery prospects, the seriousness of your injuries, and whether or not another party was at fault for the accident. This method is generally accepted, with the only debatable point being the value of the multiplier. Generally, the plaintiff’s attorney will want to push for the higher value, while the defendant will argue for the lower one. A middle ground is often negotiated. Unfortunately, this is an oversimplified method of calculation that is not necessarily the most accurate or employed.
The Per Diem Method
The second method is the per diem method. The idea here is to demand a fixed dollar amount for every day you’ve had to endure the pain and suffering caused by the accident. The trick is coming up with a daily rate that is reasonable. Normally, the injured person’s actual earnings are used as a guideline. This can be incorporated into an equation or logorythm that an insurer may use to give them a range of settlement values. Again, how they do so is often proprietary.
In more complex cases, like those featuring permanent or long-term injuries, a settlement is usually reached in a different way. Since there are often not just one way to calculate same, your car accident lawyer or personal injury attorney will research verdicts reached in similar cases within the relevant jurisdiction, and then base your claim amount off of that.
If you’re looking to pursue a case for personal injury compensation, you will need a good lawyer on your side. Contact Sokoloff & Weinstein, P.A, a personal injury law firm in Royal Palm Beach and Vero Beach.