How Do I Settle my Accident Injury and What is it Worth

Attorney Serving Cincinnati, Mason, Hamilton & Nearby Areas in Ohio

Many accident injury victims want to know what their case is worth and how can they settle it. The temptation is to buy one of those self help books. Let's examine what these books really have to offer.

The reality is that they can not take the place of an experienced personal injury lawyer, and in fact cost you more. And most of the "books" end up saying if your case is really serious hire a personal injury lawyer. What is the single greatest thing I can do to increase the value of my claim? Pray tell. I bet it's to buy Your book. Answer: Buy my book. Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim (How To Evaluate and Settle Your Loss)

The "self help" book contains what they call the exclusive BASE Formula that places a specific value on personal injury including "pain and suffering." Sorry folks there are no formulas that you can apply to each case . Each case is as different as a snow flake.

There are multiple factors to consider but no formula such as 3 times your medical bills However, the book also says that where the services of a lawyer or other professional are called for, such advice should be sought accordingly. In fact it specifically states: "...if your medical diagnosis includes bone fractures, a herniated disk, serious aggravation of a pre-existing condition, prenatal difficulties, or almost anything diagnosed to be more complicated than a "soft tissue" type of injury, it's not wise for you to handle your claim yourself. You should engage an attorney to represent you." That's a direct quote from the advertisement for the book!  If you can not find the information you seek about your injury settlement take a look there. Here is an example about what they say about how much a car accident injury settlement is worth.

Multiple of Specials ... Let's See What The So Called Experts Say

The insurance company may challenge the amount of medical bills and lost income that you claim. The much more difficult question to answer is: how much are you entitled to recover for your pain and suffering? One common method of estimating the unknown -- pain and suffering damages -- is to multiply the known -- the out-of-pocket expenses for medical bills and lost income -- times an arbitrary multiple. The out-of-pocket expenses are called "special damages" or "specials."

In a case that does not involve serious or permanent injuries, and where fault is reasonably clear, accident settlement value is determined under this system by multiplying "specials" by somewhere between 1 1/2 and 4, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Again I say there is no such thing as a multiplier. what if your leg was amputated in the emergency room and your medical bills were $50,000. what multiplier is even close . There is none. There's a multitude of factors that drive value, and a multiplier is not one of them. But the amateurs trying to sell books keep pumping out this garbage. here's another one of their examples. If you received a neck injury in your car accident, incurred medical bills of $2,500 and missed a week of work, which cost you $1,000, your "specials" are $3,500. Depending on the other facts in the case, the accident settlement value of your claim is somewhere between $5,250 (1 1/2 times specials) and $14,000 (4 times specials). THERE IS NO SUCH FORMULA.

Here Are Some Items of Damage To Consider

Whether there are any aggravating circumstances in the accident, such as drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs. If there are aggravating circumstances damages will be higher.

The seriousness of your injuries. Obviously, more serious injuries demand more compensation than less serious ones. For example, broken bones are considered more serious than soft tissue injuries. (My experience, however, is that soft tissue injuries (sprains and strains) can be quite serious, causing significant long term problems. Don't let insurance adjusters scoff that you "only have soft tissue injuries" if there is nothing "only" about your injuries.)

How long your recovery took. For example, a 6 month recuperation normally entitles you to more than a 2 month recovery. Whether you recovered completely. If you will have permanent consequences, you are entitled to more. In fact, if you have a permanent injury of any significance, I recommend that you consult with a car accident lawyer about your case.

Finally, take a common sense look at the case. If the out-of-pocket monetary expenses are particularly high compared to the injuries, it may be difficult to get much money for pain and suffering.  And for severe injuries, the multiplier approach is a bad idea, as it will likely giive you much less in compensation. 

A Per Diem Approach is the best. How many days did they suffer and will they suffer in the future. You were given a job, a job you did not want. You job was to endure pain and limit your activities.

One author recommends that you use $3,000 per month as compensation while your injuries were being treated. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2006, this was the approximate median income for U.S. males. Your reasoning, therefore, is that dealing with pain from your injury while it was acute was at least as difficult as doing the average job in this country. more months of symptoms, the total pain and suffering amount under the per diem system that I recommend is $11,000, and, when the out-of-pocket expenses are added, the total accident settlement value is about $14,500.

Another way of using a per diem approach is to use your actual income figures as a measure of damages for the time you were in active treatment, reasoning that dealing with your injury was at least as difficult as the job that you normally do. I prefer this method of determining accident settlement value for several reasons. First, it gives you a reasonable answer to the question "how did you get that figure for pain and suffering?"

Second, it is a method of valuation that you can use if your case goes to court. In court, the multiplier approach ais not formally recognized. You can't stand in front of a judge or jury and tell them you want 3 times your special damages. At least judges and juries are not supposed to calculate damages that way. Instead, they are supposed to award the amount that they decide is reasonable, fair and adequate for each component of damages -- medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. Therefore, you can use this system to explain to a judge or jury what you claim and why you claim it.

And I submit this last method is worthwhile to explore. It ties your injury to something tangable. One more thing. The jury better like you and you better not seem greedy or a whiner. You won't recover much if that's the case. Human Nature Prevails. by Cincinnati car accident injury lawyer Anthony Castelli Call For a Complimentary no obligation evaluation of your case . 513-621-2345

Further Source Reading on Neck injury Settlements