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Personal Injury Calculator

Is the personal injury settlement calculator you’re using accurate?

We’ve probably all seen a fancy personal injury calculator on a legal website meant to give us a sense for what our personal injury claim might be worth. We’ve got one such calculator below if you’d like to start playing with some numbers. But do these calculators work? For those who love to read, we’ve created an in-depth look at how the typical personal injury settlement calculator works and what its limitations are. For everyone else, we’ve created a short video. Enjoy!

Are Personal Injury Calculators Accurate

Before we calculate, lets relate

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, naturally you’re very interested in the compensation amount that you might receive to help you recover. But before we get into the dollars and cents of what your personal injury claim might be worth, we want to acknowledge that an injury can be an emotional, painful, life-altering challenge. You’re not just a payday to us. You’re a person. We have been Tacoma’s compassionate advocates for over 40 years with a focus on taking amazing care of our clients. So, while the numbers matter a lot to you, we won’t treat you like a number. With that said, let’s dig into the numbers…

The average personal injury settlement calculator

We have created our own personal injury calculator here, so you can play with some of the numbers involved in your case. However, we share this calculator with one major caution. We want you to know that whatever number it gives you, it is at best a very loose estimate (for details on this, read on below the calculator).

 
Personal Injury Calculator
Damages multiplier

Enter a value to estimate your damages from "pain and suffering." The more serious the injury and recovery, the higher the multiplier.

This personal injury calculator will give you an idea of the average settlement for personal injury claims. This is NOT a guaranteed amount.

If a personal injury calculator is really at best a loose personal injury estimator, why do we call it a calculator? Because this is what people keep calling it on the internet. We have to call it that too or you won’t find our page. So, why can’t a personal injury case calculator be fully relied on to give you accurate numbers? It’s because the value of a case depends upon a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Contributory negligence (how much an injured person might be at fault for their own injury from 0% to 100%)
  • Type and permanency of the injury
  • Age of the injured person
  • Degree of temporary disability and how long it lasts
  • Type of treatment given or not given

Unfortunately, there are not any hard and fast values given to any of the above factors. The accuracy of the estimate you receive from most personal injury calculators will also depend in large part on the general-damages multiplier you use (see explanation below under “How does a typical personal injury calculator work”). If you put in a number that is too low or too high, the personal injury calculator will give you a bad result. In other words, like all calculators, it does great math but it’s only as accurate as the data you enter.

How does the typical personal injury calculator work?

You can find personal injury calculators on a number of websites, and even on Google, believe it or not. Some insurance companies use highly sophisticated computer programs, which operate using the same theories as a personal injury calculator to estimate the value of the personal injury award. The average personal injury settlement calculator works like this:

  • It prompts you to enter what lawyers call your “special damages,” all of your easy-to- calculate financial costs due to the accident (e.g. medical bills, medication costs, lost wages past and future, replacing or repairing a damaged vehicle, etc.)
  • Then they ask you to enter a “general-damages multiplier,” a number that your special damages will be multiplied by to put a financial value on your more general losses (e.g. pain and suffering, decreased quality of life, severity of injury, etc.).

The reason personal injury calculators work this way is that attorneys and insurance companies in the past used multipliers to multiply special damages to arrive at the damage award. Today, that model is a little too simple.

The fatal flaw of the personal injury calculator

Personal injury calculators can easily get your hopes up or discourage you for no real reason because they fail to account for all the factors involved in a case and because so much depends on the accuracy of the multiplier you use to calculate your general damages, Here’s just one example of how the calculator’s multiplier method can break down, failing to account for all of the realities of the case.

Using a multiplier in a situation where a person doesn’t get enough medical treatment for their injury for whatever reason will yield a lower value than if somebody overtreated and incurred significant medical expense. However, usually an insurance company or jury will discount medical expenses if they believe that there has been overtreatment or treatment that is not reasonably related to the injury. A trained lawyer can usually give you a more accurate sense of what your case might be worth for three simple reasons:

  1. It’s a personal injury attorney’s job to know all of the right questions to ask to help determine an accurate multiplier.
  2. A personal injury lawyer is paid to make themselves familiar with case law — records of past cases that are pertinent to your case and the payouts of those cases.
  3. An experienced personal injury lawyer will likely have assisted with cases like yours, giving them more insight into achievable outcomes.

Why we want you to know the facts about personal injury value calculators

Just like any business, law firms have business models. Some have decided to make their living by getting a large volume of cases. Others choose to make their living by taking fewer cases and giving them the personal attention needed to hopefully get great results. We don’t use personal injury calculators to herd a high volume of clients through our door and then hand off our cases to an office full of inexperienced paralegals. Our personal injury attorneys personally work on every personal injury case in our office. We can’t promise miracles, but we feel confident that this strategy is in your best interest if you’ve been injured due to the fault of someone else. Please contact us today if you need help. Our team of Tacoma personal injury lawyers is here for you.

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Questions about Personal Injury Calculator? Ask Slater.

What is the average bodily injury settlement?▾

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.

How is a personal injury settlement calculated in Washington?▾

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.

Do personal injury calculators work?▾

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.