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 | 5740 Views | More Legal Topics

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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.

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