Settlement Guide: What’s Your Personal Injury Claim Worth?

Personal Injury Claim

An accident disrupts your life in more than one way. Depending on the severity of your injury, it may take a significant amount of time for things to go back to the way they were before the accident.

During this time that you are incapacitated, you’ll most likely rack up bills and expenses. Because of your inability to work, these funds can create a big dent in your financial situation.

As a victim, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. This is your best chance at receiving compensation for lost wages.

You might be wondering how much to ask for, or what amount is adequate enough to make up for past, present, and future losses that the injury has caused you. This is a guide that helps you decide what your personal injury claim is worth.

How Your Injuries Are Calculated

Your injuries are often calculated after calculating metrics that cover the severity and longevity of your injuries. Here are the common metrics your lawyer will assess before helping you decide on a suitable compensation amount: 

Medical Bills

This factors in all the past, present, and future medical expenses related to your injuries. It covers doctor visits, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and any anticipated future treatment needs.

Lost Wages

If your injuries prevent you from working or limit your earning capacity, you can claim compensation for lost income. This includes wages you miss during recovery as well as potential future earnings if your injury has lasting impacts.

Pain and Suffering

This category includes the physical and emotional distress caused by your injuries. This metric is usually more subjective to quantify than medical bills or lost wages.

However, factors like the intensity and duration of pain, emotional trauma, and impact on your daily life can be helpful in the final assessment.

Types of Damages You Can File For

Personal injury claims comprise various types of damages, all of which are categorized into two main groups:

  • Economic Damages: These are the concrete financial losses you incur due to your injury. They are easier to calculate and typically include:
    • Medical expenses
    • Lost wages
    • Loss of future earning capacity
    • Property damage
    • Out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury 
  • Non-Economic Damages: These are the intangible losses resulting from your injury and can be more challenging to quantify. They may include:
    • Pain and suffering 
    • Emotional distress (e.g., anxiety, depression, PTSD)
    • Inability to participate in activities or hobbies you used to enjoy
    • Loss of consortium 
    • Scarring and disfigurement

Factors that Affect Your Claims

You will not always get the first amount you ask for, even if you take your chances in court. There are a few factors that can either inflate or deflate your asking price. Here are the key ones:

Severity of Your Injuries

More serious injuries that needs extensive medical care, cause permanent impairment, or significantly impact your daily life tend to result in higher settlements.


The degree to which the other party was responsible for your injury plays a crucial role. If the other party is found to be completely at fault, your claim will likely be stronger.


Having comprehensive medical records, bills, and proof of lost wages strengthens your claim. It’s almost impossible to convince the judge and jury about the extent or even the existence of the pain and suffering you’ve suffered due to the accident if there is no documentation to back your claims.

The court needs to see paper trails. A competent lawyer knows just the right documents that can turn the tables in your favor.

The Competence of Your Attorney

An experienced attorney can negotiate a higher settlement on your behalf by effectively presenting your case and understanding the legal nuances involved.

What to Do If Your Settlement is Inadequate

If you receive a settlement offer that feels inadequate, don’t feel pressured to accept it right away.

Let your lawyer know all that bothers you. They can assess the fairness of the offer based on the details of your case and negotiate for a better settlement.

Most personal injury cases settle before trial, but you should not be afraid to go the extra mile to get the compensation that is due to you.

Consult with your lawyer and find out if the odds are in your favor. You won’t have to worry if you’ve hired a competent lawyer with a track record of getting clients what is due to them.

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