How doI calculate a personal injury settlement?

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How doI calculate a personal injury settlement?

I the hit the neighbor’s dog on my scooter (it ran out in front of me). The insurance company is paying the medical bills and for my scooter. By the time the doctor releases me, I will have been out of commission for 6 1/2 months. I broke a hip and a month later I got a staph infection; it wound up in my foot. I was in the hospital for 5 days and had surgery on foot to remove infection from the bone. I am 58 years old and retired.

Asked on February 19, 2012 under Personal Injury, Missouri


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Once your medical treatment is completed and you are released by the doctor, obtain your medical records, medical bills and documentation of any lost wages. 

Compensation for the medical bills and/or lost wages is straight reimbursement. The medical records will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering (which is an amount in addition to the medical bills).  There isn't any set mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering; it depends on the facts of the case. For example, if you will need future treatment, the estimated cost of this treatment will be discounted to present value and should be included in your settlement.  If you are not ssatisfied with the settlement offered by the insurance company, then reject the offer and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party (if the case is settled with the insurance company, no lawsuit is filed). 

Note: If you do file, you must do so before the "statute of limitations" (i.e. the time period for bringing suit has expired).

At this point, you really should consult directly with a personal injury attorney in your area. Most consultations of this kind are free. The fact is that a settlement negotiated by an attorney typically results in a higher offer for the plaintiff (even after their fees).

Bryson Cloon / Cloon Law Firm

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, insurance companies will value your case at 2 to 3 times actual medical bills + any proveable lost wages, but it depends on whether they believe liability is absolute or they believe you failed to keep a proper lookout and should share the blame.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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