Personal Injury Calculator in Florida
Before you can finalize a settlement in a personal injury claim, you must calculate a dollar amount that would serve as appropriate compensation for your losses. Insurance companies, personal injury lawyers, and judges use their own formulas or strategies to reach a starting point for settlement negotiations. These figures can vary considerably, but you can get an estimate of a reasonable settlement value with the help of a personal injury settlement calculator.
Estimates provided by a personal injury calculator are not guaranteed numbers, but they can offer you an idea of the values that you could use to begin settlement negotiations. However, the best way to determine the amount of compensation you could be eligible to obtain for your losses is to consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer. An attorney will have the advantage of knowing how much cases like yours have settled for in the past, which could be much higher than the ballpark figure you get from a personal injury calculator.
This is not legal advice and we are not your lawyer. The calculation here is for instructional purposes only.
You should not rely on the settlement estimate. Consult an attorney for a financial and legal analysis of your case.
How a Personal Injury Settlement Calculator Can Help You
If you were injured in an accident and decide to seek compensation for your related medical, wage, and other losses, a personal injury settlement calculator is a useful tool to help you get started. Any time you demand monetary compensation in a personal injury claim, it’s a good idea to have a specific dollar figure in mind before you make demands or head into the negotiation phase.
Arriving at an exact dollar amount for your settlement demands is often challenging, especially if your accident-related injuries still require ongoing treatment and you need to account for expected future medical costs. With the help of a personal injury settlement calculator, you can sum up the expenses you have already incurred as a result of your accident, add in the estimated losses you are expecting, and position yourself well for future negotiations.
Insurance adjusters, attorneys, and judges have specialized knowledge and years of experience estimating the values of personal injury claims. A personal injury settlement calculator is an easy-to-use tool that will help you consider all of the economic and non-economic factors that these professionals use to develop their estimates. But it should not be considered a replacement for the seasoned advice an attorney could offer.
What to Know When Estimating Your Personal Injury Settlement Value
Whether you were involved in a slip and fall accident, a motor vehicle collision, or a medical malpractice case, a personal injury calculator can be applied to estimate the value of your personal injury claim. Generally speaking, a calculator will take the six following categories of losses, or “damages,” into account:
- Costs of medical care: The total cost of any medical treatments and healthcare-related expenses you have incurred since your injury. This can include the cost of ambulance rides, emergency surgeries, diagnostic tests, medications, and transportation to follow-up appointments. Costs of your medical care may be affected by the extent of your accident-related injuries and any pre-existing conditions that were aggravated by your accident.
- Future medical expenses: The value of any medical expenses required for the treatment of long-term accident injuries. Common examples of future medical expenses include costs of physical or psychological therapy, rehabilitation, prescriptions, home accessibility modifications, and durable medical equipment.
- Lost income: If you suffered severe injuries that prevented you from returning to work, you can add the value of your lost income to your personal injury claim. One way to calculate your lost income is by reviewing your past pay stubs to determine your normal hourly or daily wages, then multiply that value by the number of days or hours you have been out of work.
- Loss of future earnings: If you were involved in a catastrophic accident that left you with long-term or permanent injuries, you may miss out on opportunities you would otherwise have had to develop your future earning potential. This kind of loss can be included in your claim to compensate you for the increased income you are prevented from earning due to your injuries.
- Property damage: Anything that was damaged or destroyed as a result of the accident can be included in your personal injury settlement calculation. These costs can include repair or replacement costs, depending on the nature of the damage.
- Pain and suffering: These damages are directly related to the psychological, mental, or emotional costs of your injuries, such as losses in your overall quality of life or losses of companionship for your loved ones. It’s not easy to assign a dollar value to a person’s pain and suffering, so insurers, lawyers, and settlement calculators often use a multiplier to arrive at an estimate based on the severity of your injuries and the real dollar amounts of the rest of your expenses. (You’ll learn more about the multiplier method below).
There are two other factors that can affect the value of the settlement you could recover for your personal injury claim. The first is any limits on the insurance policies carried by at-fault parties involved in your accident. If the amount of compensation you decide to pursue exceeds the limits of another person’s insurance policy, you may need to take them to court to demand the amount you need in a lawsuit.
This brings us to the second factor: pure comparative negligence. In Florida, the doctrine of pure comparative negligence states that the dollar amount you could be awarded in a trial verdict may be reduced by your own percentage of fault. This means that if you take your case to court and a judge or jury determines that you are partially responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you will not be able to recover the full settlement you could have expected if you were not at fault.
How to Estimate the Value of Your Damages When Calculating Your Claim
When you use a personal injury settlement calculator, it’s a good idea to understand the different methods that could be used by the insurance providers who will calculate their own settlement values.
The calculation method is most commonly used to estimate the value of “economic” or “special” damages. Special damages are losses that are associated with exact dollar figures, such as medical bills and repair invoices.
In most cases, insurance companies use the calculation method to estimate special damages by simply adding up the dollar amounts of your real, accident-related expenses. This straightforward method typically allows injured victims and insurance providers to reach very similar settlement values for special damages.
General damages, which include losses like pain and suffering that do not have associated dollar values, can be calculated in a couple of different ways.
One common strategy is called the multiplier method, which multiplies the total value of all special damages by a number between 1.5 and 5 to estimate a general damages total. Higher multipliers of 4 or 5 are typically only used when victims suffer catastrophic injuries with significant, long-term impacts.
Daily Rate Method
Another strategy used to calculate general damages is the daily rate method. Insurance companies pay victims a fixed dollar amount, or “daily rate,” for each day that they are forced to live with the pain of their injuries. This method is never used for permanent injuries, and it can be difficult to establish a reasonable daily rate. In many cases, a victim’s pre-accident daily earnings are used as a basis for this kind of calculation, and the daily rate is multiplied by the number of days it takes to recover.
Types of Injuries to Include in Calculation
The type and severity of your injuries will have a significant impact on the value of your claim. Some common accident-related injuries you should include in your settlement value calculations include:
- Head injuries: Concussions, puncture wounds, or any other types of traumatic brain injuries. These injuries often have long-term effects on a person’s physical functioning and emotional wellbeing.
- Spinal cord injuries: Trauma to the spinal cord can leave victims with losses in sensation and motor function. In especially severe cases, spinal cord injuries may cause partial or total paralysis.
- Soft tissue injuries: Damage to muscles or connective tissues are often considered less severe injuries, but still result in costly medical bills and missed time from work. For this reason, these injuries should be included in settlement calculations.
- Broken bones: Fractures heal with rest and time, but it’s not so easy to recover from all complex fractures. Broken spinal cords and severe compound fractures can cause long-term disabilities for accident victims. Broken bones should not be undervalued in a personal injury settlement calculation.
- Amputations: Disfiguring injuries, such as amputated limbs, should significantly increase the value of a personal injury settlement. This kind of injury is considered a permanent disability that will affect victims for life.
How Much Money Will I Pay My Lawyer After My Settlement?
Most personal injury lawyers, including Brooks Law Group, represent clients on a contingency fee basis.
In a contingency fee arrangement, attorneys who represent injured victims agree to provide their services at no cost unless they help their clients win compensation. If a client wins money in an insurance settlement or favorable trial verdict, their lawyer would then collect a percentage of the overall settlement in legal fees.
In most contingency fee arrangements, lawyers agree to provide their services for somewhere between 33 and 40 percent of a client’s total settlement value. Many attorneys use a sliding scale arrangement that increases or decreases their contingency fee based on the progression of a case. In a case that goes all the way to trial, for example, a lawyer with a sliding scale contingency arrangement may increase their fee to 40 percent.
How Much Money Will I Take Home From My Settlement?
The total amount of compensation you receive from a settlement or trial verdict is not necessarily the amount you’ll be able to take home with you. To determine the value of any money you can take home, you’ll need to subtract the following costs from your overall settlement:
- Attorney’s fees: The percent your lawyer charges based on their contingency fee agreement. These are typically the first charges taken from your settlement amount.
- Case costs: Your lawyer may incur certain case-related expenses, such as accident reconstruction specialist fees, while preparing to argue your claim. Lawyers may need hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars to litigate a case effectively, so it may be necessary to reimburse them for the money they spent to win you compensation.
- Medical liens and expenses: If you have any outstanding liens or medical expenses as a result of your injuries, they will likely need to be covered by charges deducted from your settlement.
In addition to these costs, you may also need to reallocate a portion of your settlement to cover any lost wages that result from time you had to miss at work. To help increase the amount of compensation you ultimately take home, a personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate aggressively for reduced bill amounts and fight for the maximum settlement you deserve.
Contact an Injury Lawyer at Brooks Law Group If You’ve Been Hurt
If you were seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision in Florida, slip and fall incident, or other accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact the personal injury lawyers of Brooks Law Group today.
Learn what your case is worth by talking to a personal injury attorney in Florida at Brooks Law Group today. Our trusted legal team offers free case reviews 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your most important questions. Call or contact us today to learn more.