When you’ve been injured and are filing a personal injury claim, the defendant’s insurance company will evaluate how much they are willing to pay to cover your damages during the settlement process. In order to do that, the insurance company has a formula they use to calculate the amount you should be owed. This doesn’t determine what your compensation would actually be, but rather the starting point for the negotiation process.
This damages and compensation formula varies depending on several different factors surrounding your accident and the aftermath. Once you’ve come to understand how the damages and compensation formula works, you can go into the negotiation process feeling more educated and better about your chances at getting what you deserve.
What The Damages Formula Does
There are several types of damages the defendant’s liability insurance provider will be responsible for if they are found liable for your injury. These include medical expenses, any lost income, pain and suffering, loss of experience, and permanent disability. Of course, some of these damages are easier to assign a dollar amount to than others. Medical bills have a quantifiable amount, but you can’t really put a price tag on pain and suffering. That’s where the damages formula comes in.
How The Damages Formula Works
The damages formula is necessary for the insurance adjuster to come up with a number amount from which the negotiation process will start. They will start calculating by adding up all of the hard costs, like the medical expenses you’ve undertaken due to your injury – the “medical special damages,” or “specials.” They will then decide how much to compensate you for these plus the other “general damages,” such as pain and suffering and emotional damages.
In order to get to a number to cover the general damages, they will decide how much to multiply the specials amount by. For minor injuries, they will multiply the specials dollar amount by one and a half to three times. For more serious or especially painful injuries, they will multiply the specials by up to five times. They will also add on the total income you’ve lost due to injury after the multiplication has taken place. The total they’ve arrived at will be used in starting off the negotiations with you and your personal injury lawyer.
Other Factors To Consider
As the insurance adjuster will keep the formula they use a secret, you also don’t want to give too much information away – what you are thinking or the number you have arrived at. This will help you in the negotiation process. Also, remember that the figure they arrive at may look different, depending on their evaluation of the seriousness of your injury. If you cannot reach a settlement, you may end up choosing to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you’ve been injured and are in need of a personal injury lawyer near Oklahoma City or Tulsa, we at Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm can help. We’ll review your personal injury case for free and only charge fees if we win. Give us a call to get the settlement you deserve today.