How much can you expect
With thousands of injury lawsuit settling every year, you can have a good estimate of what your claim is worth.
Use our calculator below to calculate how much your claim typically settle for.
How much is my accident claim worth?
From car, truck and motorcycle accidents to workplace injury and medical malpractice lawsuits, one question is often front and center: is there a calculator to estimate my injury claim?
Insurance companies and accident attorneys usually use a formula based approach when estimating what to offer or recommend when starting a settlement negotiation. While economic loss and damages are often important drivers of this calculation, the type of injury is a key component of the value of your claim. From a car accident case or truck accident claim to a slip and fall injury claim or medical malpractice claim, the calculator below can give you a sense of the value of personal injury your claim.
American Courthouse has researched each category of personal injury cases and created the calculator below that can estimate how much your personal injury claim is worth.
Please keep in mind that this is not legal advice and that we are not lawyers. This tool is for instructional purpose only.
Answers a few questions to get the estimate
A DEFINTIVE GUIDE TO INJURY CLAIM ESTIMATION
After being injured in an accident, one of the first things plaintiffs want to know is how much their personal injury claim is worth. However, estimating the amount of compensation a plaintiff in a personal injury case should receive is rarely easy.
This is mostly because of two things. First, no two personal injury cases are exactly the same. There will be varying circumstances, injuries and evidence, all of which will affect your case differently.
Second, nobody can really tell exactly how much a plaintiff can expect in their personal injury case. Courts treat different cases as entirely different occurrences, and evaluate them on that basis.
Despite this, there are certain factors which courts, experienced attorneys and insurance loss adjusters tend to consider in valuing a personal injury claim. Although these factors will not provide an exact value of an injury claim, they can help provide a likely estimate. The factors usually considered include:
- Strength of the claim
- Economic loss incurred
- Non-economic loss
- Likely venue of the trial
- The fault of the plaintiff
We will examine each of these factors in this article and how they combine to determine the value of your personal injury claim.
THE STRENGTH OF YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
Before the question of compensation even comes into play, the facts of your claim should clearly establish the liability of the defendant. If it was unclear whether the other party was really at fault or if their actions caused your injury, the value of your claim may suffer.
Typically, a plaintiff in a personal claim must prove certain factors in court to establish the liability of the defendant. These include that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- The defendant breached this duty by acting negligently, recklessly or otherwise contrary to law
- The actions of the defendant resulted in injury to you
- Those actions were the direct cause of your injuries
Even if the case does not make it to trial, insurance companies will consider these factors in determining whether to provide compensation. If the facts of the case indicate that there is not enough evidence to establish one or more of these factors, the claim will suffer.
The value of economic loss incurred
Economic loss consists of all financial loss you have suffered due to the accident, that is quantifiable in money terms. Usually, if the matter proceeds to court, the first concern of the jury will be to compensate you for what the accident actually cost you financially.
As a result, loss adjusters also use these figures in determining the amount of compensation to pay a claimant. Some of the items that typically fall under economic loss include:
- Bills and expenses for past, ongoing and expected medical treatment
- Ongoing and future expenses for rehabilitation and other medical attention
- Out of pocket expenses such as the cost of securing alternative means of transportation, domestic help around the house etc.
- Cost of lifestyle changes made necessary by the temporary or permanent effects of the accident
- Ongoing and future loss of paychecks due to inability to work
To recover compensation for these items, the plaintiff is usually required to provide proof of the expenses. As such, you should keep all receipts and bills you collect at this period. In addition, your attorney may need to provide a projected bill of expenses from a professional showing what the injury will cost you in money terms.
The likely value of non-economic loss
Just like economic loss, the value of non-economic loss tells the court what the injury has cost you and will still cost in the future. Only, in this case, the loss is not quantifiable in money terms. Typical items considered here include:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Temporary or permanent loss of bodily function, either partially or wholly
- Loss of limbs
As you can see, none of these items really carries a dollar amount. How then are they considered in estimating your personal injury claim? There are two major methods used to assign dollar figures to these heads of loss.
- The multiplier method: This method involves adding up all the items that constitute your economic loss and multiplying them by a number between 1.5 and 5. This number is called a multiplier and the exact value of the multiplier will depend on several factors. The more factors are present, the higher the multiplier will be. These factors include:
- The seriousness of your injuries
- Your prospects of a quick and complete recovery
- The egregious nature of the defendant’s actions – how terrible their actions were
- The per diem method: This method involves demanding a dollar amount for every day you spend recovering from your injuries. The dollar amount is usually calculated by taking your daily income and multiplying it by the amount of time you spent injured. For instance, if you earn $150 per day, and spent 100 days recovering from your injuries, the per diem amount would be 150 x 100 = $15,000.
The venue of the trial
The place where the lawsuit is filed can affect the likely value of the claim. This is because juries in certain parts of the US or a state are often known to be more generous to plaintiffs than in other parts.
Similarly, juries in some parts of the country are known to provide far less compensation to plaintiffs. Insurance companies usually have access to this information and may apply it to accordingly review the value of a claim.
The fault of the plaintiff
Even when all the other factors operate in your favor, the question of fault may impact the value of your claim. In most jurisdictions, where the plaintiff owned some fault in the accident that underlies the claim, they may be paid less in compensation.
How much less will be paid however depends on the specific rule of fault employed in each state. There are three main rules:
- Pure comparative negligence: In these states, the dollar amount of compensation will be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. For instance, 10% fault reduces likely compensation by 10%.
- Modified comparative negligence: Here, if the plaintiff is at fault by up to or more than 50%, they don’t get anything.
- Contributory negligence: In these states, if the plaintiff has any percentage of fault, they cannot recover compensation.
Depending on where you live, these rules may mean that insurance companies will only offer to settle your claim for very low amounts.
Retaining an attorney helps increase the value of your claim
In all circumstances, securing the services of an attorney will increase your chances of a more favorable outcome. Insurance companies will offer more when they know an attorney is involved.
Also, your attorney will know exactly what to do to help maximize your claim and increase your potential recovery.
If you suffered a personal injury and would like an attorney to help evaluate the value of your claim, you can use our Attorney Matching Tool.