The assessment of your claim begins with the calculation of your medical damages. These are your actual medical costs to receive treatment for your personal injury. Multiply the total of your special damages by one or two to get a fair estimate of the value of your pain and suffering. For minor to moderate injury claims, most insurance companies will accept a low multiple of their costs to account for their non-economic damages.
The library has several resources that you may find useful in evaluating your situation and calculating damages, including “How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim” from Nolo Press, which includes a very detailed chapter on how to determine the value of your injury claim, as well as tips for negotiating a settlement with the defendant. This is true for a bodily injury claim in a car accident case, a slip and fall lawsuit, or any other personal injury case. They include a subcategory of damages known as pain and suffering, which includes physical discomfort, mental anxiety, stress, and the similar negative effects of injuries, as well as the impact that injuries have on the claimant's daily life. That's why a good personal injury lawyer usually negotiates a fair settlement with the insurance company before the case ends up in court.
The first step in negotiating a settlement for a car accident or personal injury lawsuit is to calculate a reasonable amount of money you would accept to waive your legal claim. In general, the person responsible for the injury (or that person's insurance company) is responsible for reimbursing the injured party for all expenses related to their injury, as well as for compensating the injured party for any pain, suffering, or emotional damage that they suffered as a result of the injury. In any injury-related insurance claim, or even in a personal injury lawsuit filed in civil court, the losses suffered by the injured person can fall into one of these two categories. For most types of cases, there is no law that dictates the amount of general damages you can receive in a general personal injury case.
For cases such as medical negligence, birth injuries, product liability, wrongful death, and other catastrophic injuries, you'll need an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your personal injury compensation or settlement is considered an “asset” in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case when the injury occurred before you filed for bankruptcy. General damages, commonly called “pain and suffering,” are intended to compensate you for the non-monetary injuries you experience, such as pain, anxiety, and other suffering you may have to endure because of your injury. Insurance settlement programs assign values to special damages and other factors in a personal injury claim.
To fully understand how these types of formulas work during personal injury settlement negotiations, you need to learn the basics of damages and compensation. Relatively minor injuries would be at the lower end of the multiplier range, while severe or long-lasting injuries would likely be at the higher end of the range. Instead, personal injury damages are based on a combination of actual expenses and compensation for pain and suffering.