What Is Your Case Worth? Personal Injury Settlement Calculator
“Without knowing how much your case is worth, you will not know when you should accept a settlement offer instead of litigating.”
One of the most important pieces of information you need before filing a lawsuit is the value of your case. When you know the value of your case, you know what you can expect from a jury.
But more importantly, you know when an insurance claim adjuster has made a fair offer. Only about 4% of personal injury cases go to trial. Of those that do not reach trial, the vast majority settle. Without knowing how much your case is worth, you will not know when you should accept a settlement offer instead of litigating.
Here is some information about how lawyers value injury cases and how to use the free settlement calculator.
Settlement of an Injury Case
The compensation you recover in a personal injury settlement will be based on the damages that you could receive from a lawsuit. In other words, insurance companies settle when they can pay a settlement that will be acceptable to both parties.
For insurance companies, the incentive to settle comes from the unpredictability of juries. Insurance companies prefer to avoid going to trial because juries are often more sympathetic to accident victims than they are to insurers. This can result in large damage awards against insurers.
For accident victims, the incentive to settle comes from the time it takes to litigate an injury case. By settling, you might resolve your case in months rather than years.
You and the claims adjuster will use your damages to determine the range of a fair settlement. For example, a claims adjuster may calculate that you could reasonably win between $25,000 and $35,000 at trial. You may work with a lawyer who provides a personal injury settlement calculator that estimates your damages at between $30,000 and $45,000.
The value provided by the settlement calculator overlaps with the valuation by the claim adjuster at $30,000 to $35,000. If you settle your case, it would be within this range.
Damages in an Injury Case
Whether you use an accident settlement calculator or consult with an injury lawyer about the value of your case, your damages will consist of economic and non-economic damages.
Unlike some other states, Arizona does not cap damages in injury cases. This means that you can seek compensation for all your economic and non-economic losses.
Economic Damages in an Injury Case
Economic damages are entered into an accident settlement calculator to estimate a settlement. Economic damages include everything arising from your injuries that has a financial cost, including:
Economic damages cover past and future medical expenses for your injuries. Medical expenses include all charges for medical treatment, physical therapy, and medication.
If you win or settle your case, you will use the settlement to pay off any medical liens. Depending on your health insurance provider, you may also need to reimburse your health plan for benefits paid to medical providers for your injuries.
Your economic damages include wages you lost due to your injuries. For example, you could claim lost wages if your injuries forced you to:
- Miss work
- Switch to light duty
- Quit your job
Economic damages also include future lost wages. For example, suppose your doctor has recommended ten months of physical therapy before you can return to regular duty. You can claim ten months’ worth of the difference between light-duty wages and regular duty wages.
“Arizona does not cap damages in injury cases. This means that you can seek compensation for all your economic and non-economic losses.”
Diminished Earning Capacity
If you suffer permanent injuries, you may need to change jobs. You can include any difference in wages with your economic damages. Suppose your back injury from a car accident forces you to quit your construction job and take a job in a retail store. You can claim the difference in earnings for the rest of your life.
Non-Economic Damages in an Injury Case
Usually, non-economic damages wouldn’t be entered into a settlement calculator. Instead, a personal injury settlement calculator will usually make certain assumptions about your non-economic damages based on your economic damages.
When you negotiate or litigate your case, you will need to present some evidence of your non-economic damages. The claim adjuster or jury will use that evidence to arrive at your non-economic damages. Some of the non-economic damages that you can assert include:
You can include physical anguish in your non-economic damages. You can document your pain with records of your pain medications. You can also use medical records from times at which you’ve discussed your pain with your doctor.
Non-economic damages can include mental anguish that arises from your accident or your injuries, such as:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
You can use your medical prescriptions for anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, as well as therapist notes and records to prove your suffering.
The inconvenience of your injuries can create non-economic damages. Inconvenience includes needing help with daily activities. For example, friends and relatives can testify that they have to drive you to doctor’s appointments, dress you, and cook for you to support your claim for non-economic damages.
Loss of Activities
Your injuries might prevent you from participating in activities for work or leisure. Witnesses can testify that you cannot play with your children, shop, or exercise. Your non-economic damages can cover these losses.
Estimating Your Damages
A free settlement calculator can estimate your total damages based on your economic damages. Greater economic damages, particularly past and future medical expenses, usually imply greater non-economic damages. This is because more severe injuries imply greater pain and suffering.
To get a more accurate estimate of your damages, you should consider meeting with an experienced injury lawyer. The lawyer can review the facts of your case and provide a valuation of your claim including both your economic and non-economic damages.
Contact the team at Goodnow McKay today for a free review of your injury case.