How Much Is My Case Worth?
It's the top question on any plaintiff's mind — how much is my case worth? Unfortunately, that answer is that your personal injury case's worth might be entirely up to a judge or jury. Many factors decide how much an insurance company will be willing to pay out, or what a jury might decide is a fair award, but there is no one magic formula.
There is, however, a general equation to determine the amount your lawyer will ask for as a settlement:
Special Damages x General Damages Multiplier = Total Compensation
The resultant number is presented to the defendant's insurance company or the court, depending on the circumstance. This is not necessarily the amount awarded in the end, but it is what your lawyer will be asking for.
What are Special Damages?
Special damages are those that can be assigned a specific monetary value, such as:
Current medical costs to date
Expected future medical costs
Current lost wages to date
Estimated future lost wages
Other out of pocket expenses directly related to the injury
Add these costs together to come up with the number to use for "Special Damages" in the calculation.
What are General Damages?
General damages are commonly called "pain and suffering." These are the damages to your life from the injury, which cannot be quantified monetarily. Examples include:
Physical pain and discomfort
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Loss of consortium
This is converted into a multiplier between 0.5 and 1.5 that is used to multiply the special damages' value. The plaintiff's amount of pain and suffering determines the number used as the general damages multiplier.
Once both numbers have been calculated, multiply the two together to determine the value of your estimated settlement.
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, please contact us at the Law Offices of Tanya Gomerman. Call 415 545 8608 for a FREE case evaluation.