According to a 2017 survey conducted by nolo.com, a major legal website, the average personal injury claim payout was $52,900. This average included people who handled their claim on their own and those that got an attorney involved. The average bodily injury settlement for those who hired an attorney was $77,600. Most insurance companies are businesses with shareholders and a strong interest in protecting their bottom line. It usually pays to negotiate, to fight for your rights, and, yes, hire a lawyer.
Loosely speaking, personal injury settlements use a two-step formula to determine how much you are owed. The first step is to add up all of your special damages, in other words the financial losses you have experienced due to your injury (e.g. loss of wages, property damage, medical bills, etc.), then multiply these damages by a factor that helps us determine the value of your more general losses (e.g. quality of life, pain and suffering, etc.). Your best bet is usually to secure an attorney with experience in these matters to determine the multiplier in your case and help you reach a maximum settlement. In actual practice, there are more factors to evaluate to arrive at the damages owed.
Most personal injury calculators add up the easy-to-quantify costs caused by your injury (your special damages) and then multiply them by a factor of 1 to 5 to estimate your overall, harder-to-calculate damages. In theory, this formula could give you something close to what your case is worth. However, we caution you not to get too excited or discouraged by the estimate you get from any online personal injury calculator. These calculators can give a sense for what your case might be worth on the low and high end, but unless you’re a trained attorney or someone with enough time on your hands to become an expert in personal injury law you’re probably only learning a general range of what your case might be worth.