What is a fair settlement amount for bodily injury claim?

Question Details:When negotiating a settlement for bodily injury in an auto accident is there a general rule of thumb for settlement amounts on medical bills related to "soft tissue" injuries? What other factors go into a claim amount and how do you measure the monetary impact, for example pain, suffering and inconvenience of physical therapy. As an example, if I had $4,000 in medical bills, is there a percentage I should ask in a settlement and if I went to 12 physical therapy appointments is there a dollar amount to request for each appointment?

Asked 5 years ago under Personal Injury | 6938 Views | More Legal Topics

Are you an attorney? Sign up to answer this question.
L.M., Member, California Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 5 years ago

Very good questions!  There is no set method used to evaluate a claim for settlement.  Insurance companies vary.  Basically, they look at the facts and the liability.  Assuming the other party was 100% at fault, then they look at the type of injury, prognosis for recovery, an dthe expenses--was the treatment reasonable and necessary?  What other expenses were there?  Any special factors involved?  Lose time at work? Then the adjuster will come up with a range based on all of this info., often taken from past jury verdicts with similar facts.  Using your example, with $4K in med. bills, if all of it was reasonable and necessary, and clear facts and liability, no special factors, soft tissue injuries with good prognosis for complete recovery, including pain and suffering, the range, depending on where you live, could be in the $10K-$15K area.  If you lost time at work, add that in.  If you had to hire a housekeeper, add that in, too.  This is a total estimate and may differ substantially for your specific facts and injuries. Hope that helps.

Attorney Quick Finder

Top Ranking Attorneys

  • Gregory Abbott 70 Answers | Points 650 Bronze Contributor
  • Terence Fenelon 226 Answers | Points 600 Gold Contributor
  • Joanna Mitchell 11 Answers | Points 550 Bronze Contributor
  • Maury Beaulier 322 Answers | Points 450 Gold Contributor
  • Christine Socrates 17 Answers | Points 400 Bronze Contributor
  • Anne Brady 931 Answers | Points 400 Platinum Contributor
  • Anne Brady 931 Answers | Points 46530 Platinum Contributor
  • Kevin Bessant 741 Answers | Points 37030 Platinum Contributor
  • Hong Shen 568 Answers | Points 28400 Platinum Contributor
  • Catherine Blackburn 566 Answers | Points 27770 Platinum Contributor
  • Victor Waid 522 Answers | Points 26060 Platinum Contributor
  • Tricia Dwyer 480 Answers | Points 22150 Gold Contributor