A whole host of variables go into putting a dollar value on an injury claim (there is even an injury damage formula that should give you a ballpark figure).
Obviously every case is different, but there are also a few common factors that tend to either increase or decrease the amount of compensation you can expect to receive in an insurance settlement or court-based lawsuit after an injury.
Compare the factors listed on this checklist with the real-world facts in your own case, and get a sense of how your compensation might be affected.
In the most common formulas used to value a personal injury claim, a multiplier is applied to determine how much pain you suffered as a result of your injuries -- the more pain, the higher the settlement offer. The following factors will guide an insurance adjuster or defense attorney toward a "fair" multiplier. (To better understand how the multiplier is used, see this page).
Factors that indicate that a higher multiplier might be applied to calculation of your medical expenses:
Factors that indicate that a lower multiplier may be applied to calculation of your medical expenses:
After the settlement formula is applied, the opposing party will look at the other legal and practical issues that help or hurt the overall strength of your case.
Factors likely to get you higher compensation after the formula is applied include:
Factors likely to get you lower compensation after the formula is applied include:
This checklist is an excerpt from How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim by Attorney Joseph Matthews (Nolo).