Estimating a settlement after an injury can be a complicated process. This is where a personal injury calculator can be helpful. It provides a method of estimating the amount you might accept from the responsible party in an accident so that you can halt a legal claim against them. The main advantage of a personal injury calculator is that it takes into account both known and projected expenses.
In the United States alone, the latest available figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 27.6 million people received treatment in emergency departments in 2015 for various types of injuries, including those from car accidents.
The cost of these injuries is estimated to have been around $671 billion in 2013.  If you have been injured in a car accident and you’re seeking compensation from the responsible party then you’ll need to estimate how much that accident cost you, in medical bills, lost productivity and other factors.
How to Determine Pain and Suffering Settlements
Insurance companies are known to use a pain and suffering calculator to determine the amount your personal injury settlements.
Fill out the information below to calculate how much your car accident claims are worth.
Did you notice something strange in the calculation?
The amount of your insurance claim is simply not the sum of your total damages. It is higher. Much much higher. Why? It has to do with how your settlement figure is calculated.
Let’s take a look at how your settlement figure is calculated.
Pain and Suffering Calculator Formula
Here is how the personal injury calculator determines the amount of money you get from your settlements.
Maximum $ = Pain Multiplier X Medical Expenses + Loss of Income
Let’s look at each part of this settlements formula:
The medical expenses are sometimes referred to as “special” damages. These expenses include treatment for your car injuries, hospital visits, x-rays, lab fees, ambulance rides, medication etc.
It is highly recommended that you go through the prescribed medical treatment. This ensures that your medical bill is accurate, making it easy to use a personal injury calculator.
While you’re trying to get the most out of your settlement, your insurance company may also be trying its best to reduce your compensation. To ensure that you’re fairly compensated, you might need to take charge by having your own records of expenses. This is a task you can’t afford to leave entirely in the hands of other people.
The best way to ensure all expenses are taken into account is to keep track of the bills. You should be clear about the amounts, the dates the bills were due, whether they have been paid or not, and whom they have been paid by. This also makes it easy to compare the information with your attorney. This doesn’t have to be a complicated task. A simple excel spreadsheet and an old fashioned filing system can do the job just as well.
Loss of Income
Injuries will often lead to a loss of income as a result of your inability to work. Loss of income would be the amount of money you would have earned if you weren’t injured. This includes missing time from work or a potential business opportunity, like missing a job interview.
Loss of income may result in you struggling to pay your bills and medical expenses. Pre-settlement funding for personal injury is sometimes available. This entails that while you wait for your settlement, you can receive a form of litigation funding from a third party. In most cases, you’ll only be required to pay back the amount if you win or settle the case.
To understand how the pain and suffering calculator formula works, it is crucial to start by understanding different types of damages for which compensation can be claimed.
Types of Damages
As the injured party, you are most likely to be compensated for two main types of damages: special damages, which include medical bills and wages, and general damages, which include pain and suffering. While calculating special damages is usually straightforward, it can be more challenging to calculate general damages.
In addition to special damages and general damages, there are also punitive damages. As the name suggests, punitive damages are damages aimed at punishing the guilty party rather than compensating the injured. Although punitive damages are rarely available in personal injury cases, they can be applied when a defendant’s behavior is extreme or intentional. The defendant is punished to deter others from behaving similarly in the future.
In most cases, part of the compensation paid for punitive damages is used for the greater good of society. For this reason, some states will either tax punitive awards or require you to pay a proportion of the compensation directly to a state agency.
Pain and Suffering Multiplier
Adding up the financial costs of your personal injury settlement is the easy part. The insurance company also has to pay you for your pain and suffering, emotional stress, and inconvenience. These things are hard to put a dollar value on. So the insurance company decides to use a multiplier to see the range of your claims.
The typical range of the multiplier is between 1.5 and 5.
You were injured in a car accident and your medical expenses come out to $1,000. Your injuries caused you to miss 3 days of work which totaled to be $600.
Using the personal injury calculator your claim falls within
Claims Amount= [1.5 – 5 ] X $1,000 + $600
Claims Amount= $2,100 – $5,600
You can see that the bulk of your claim depends on which multiplier gets used. The higher your multiplier, the higher the your settlements.
The value of the multiplier used in the personal injury calculator, depends on how severe and painful are your car injuries.
If you only sprained your ankle, the multiplier will be on the lower side (1.5-3).
But if you broke your leg and were in a wheel chair, that is obviously a more serious injury. The multiplier for this will be on the higher scale (3-5).
The multiplier may even go higher (10) in more extreme cases like permanent disabilities or disfigurement.
Factors influencing injury calculations
Even though this does not constitute an exhaustive list of factors that may influence your claim, they can have a dramatic effect on calculations for personal injury.
Contributory Negligence Rules
Depending on the state in which your injury claim is administered, your calculations may be affected by a concept known as contributory negligence rules. In states where pure comparative negligence applies, your final settlement can be reduced by your degree of fault with no limits.
In states that use the modified comparative negligence, your compensation can also be reduced by your degree of error. If your share of the blame is beyond 50%, there is a chance that you won’t win anything. In some states, even if your blame for your injury is as low as 1%, you may end up with zero compensation.
There are times when your injury claim is much higher than the policy limits. In certain times, the person or entity that has caused the injury may be underinsured. This implies that you may have to accept what is offered and then sue the guilty party in a civil case.
If the insurer believes that the location or venue where the injury occurred usually leads to victims of injury being awarded huge compensation when they sue insurance companies, the insurers are likely to agree to a higher out-of-court settlement.
It is essential to realize that insurance companies do not accept all expenses without question. For each injury, they have specific tests and reasonable costs they work with. If your insurer feels that you or your doctor are inflating prices, it can remove such costs from the calculation or adjust them.
How Insurance Companies uses the Pain and Suffering Calculator
The claims calculator gives you an estimate of how much your insurance claim might be worth. The actual amount of cash for your car accident claims, will depend on how much fault the insurance companies gives you for your accident.
For example, let’s say using the injury calculator, you arrive at a range of $5,000 to $10,000 for your claim.
This is the amount of money you can potentially get. If the insurance company decides that the other driver was completely at fault for your accident, you would get the full amount of this range.
However, if after looking at evidence the insurance companies decides you were 20% at fault and the other driver 80% at fault, your claims range would shrink by 20%.
This means you would get between $4,000 – $8,000 (instead of $5,000 -$10,000) from your insurance settlements.
In other words, your actual personal injury settlement amount will be:
Your $= Pain and Suffering Calculator Value X % of other drivers Fault
Note:There is no formula to figure out what percentage of the blame you get. It is completely subjective and depends on how much evidence you have to show the insurance companies that you weren’t at fault. That’s why it’s important you understand which mistakes to avoid when you start your insurance claims.
The insurance company has to compensate you for your expenses and your pain and suffering. Because pain and suffering are subjective, the insurance companies rely on a multiplier range to figure out the amount of your settlements.
It’s important to know that the pain and suffering calculator formula isn’t the exact figure you will get from your settlement. This formula should be used to quickly see which range your car insurance settlement amount falls in. It is a ball park figure and an initial guess.
The personal injury calculator is also primarily used for less severe injuries. If you were badly injured (for example permanently disabled), then you should not rely on this formula. Your best option is to get a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer to see how much your damages could be worth.
The best use of the personal injury calculator, is to understand which things are important in your settlement claim. This way you can focus on these things in your demand letter and accident settlement negotiations