Personal injury settlements can help pay medical bills and other expenses if you are involved in an accident. However, you must consider all possible factors that can add to your settlement amount to get the compensation you deserve.

Here are the six things to consider when calculating personal injury settlement amounts

How Are Injury Claims Calculated?

To pursue an injury claim, you must calculate the total damages to come up with the personal injury settlements. 

Victims usually include medical expenses and repair costs when calculating compensation. However, your personal injury settlement amounts to how severe these damages are. 

Consider the following factors if you want to maximize your settlement amount:

Medical Records and Bills

Usually, victims of auto accidents incur minor to severe bodily injuries from the crash. If you suffer from physical injuries from an accident, you should document and keep your medical records and bills. This crucial evidence proves who is liable in an accident. 

Aside from proving liability, it also helps calculate the total personal injury settlement amount. You must keep medical documents, such as:

  • doctor’s diagnosis,
  • doctor’s prescriptions,
  • hospital visits,
  • hospital confinement bills,
  • emergency bills, and
  • medical treatments.

When you present your claim to the at-fault party’s insurance provider, they will check and examine these documents. In most cases, they will try to prove that the injuries were not from the accident. This is why you should:

  • Be consistent with your medical treatments. 
  • Ensure that you are getting the correct treatment.
  • Confirm that you have the right doctor for your injury. 

Future Medical Care

Sometimes, the impact of the collision is so severe that it results in long-term or permanent disability. While compensation can’t fully bring your everyday life back, it can help you recover and consistently attend to your injuries. 

Be mindful of the following symptoms and injuries that usually appear weeks, months, or even years after the accident:

  • neck injuries,
  • bone fractures,
  • brain injuries,
  • soft tissue lacerations, and
  • internal damage.

You must consult your doctor about your diagnosis and seek their medical opinion about your treatment or rehabilitation. This will help you establish the severity of your injuries. 

Keep a record of the following needs to prove your future medical care:

  • medical evaluation that helps analyze the proper treatments for you,
  • treatments and rehabilitations,
  • maintenance and other medicine prescriptions,
  • equipment costs needed to help adapt to your disability, and
  • wage of a medical practitioner or personnel to support you if you are living alone.

Consider your future medical care before agreeing to a settlement amount. It will help you pay for the medical expenses in the long run. You can also contact an injury lawyer to help determine your needs and calculate the total compensation. 


A scar is a part of your injury’s healing process, where your skin repairs itself if cut or damaged. It usually tries to connect the tissues if they have gaps caused by the injury. 

These scars come in different sizes and appearances that may or may not be noticeable. It can be a flat, keloid, or sunken scar. The appearance depends on the following factors:

  • type of injury or accident that caused the scar,
  • size and severity of the wound,
  • location of the injury,
  • type of treatment, and
  • your age, genes, ethnicity, and overall health affect the damage’s healing process.

How is scarring important in calculating the personal injury settlement amount? Sometimes, these marks can affect the lifestyle of the victim. 

For instance, let’s say the victim is a flight attendant. After having a noticeable scar on her face, she can no longer be admitted as a cabin crew. The blemish, then, affects her ability to work. 

Another example is when a victim incurs a minor scar on her legs. While it is not that evident, it has affected her confidence in wearing the clothes she used to wear. 

When calculating compensation, you should consider the type of scarring and its impact on your life. 

We understand that it may be difficult to quantify. Reach out to a legal expert who can help you examine the severity of your scars and include this information in your personal injury settlement. 

Pain and Suffering

Aside from physical injuries, auto accidents can result in pain and suffering. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are the emotional and mental discomforts that result from a traumatic experience. 

Non-monetary losses include:

  • cognitive function changes from brain injury,
  • trauma,
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
  • anxiety,
  • emotional discomfort,
  • depression, and
  • loss of will to continue their everyday life.

How do you quantify these non-economic damages? An injury lawyer can examine these factors and add them to personal injury settlement amounts. 

Loss of Earnings

Physical and emotional injuries may take some time to heal fully. Usually, victims fail to report to work when their injuries affect their ability to move or think. In most cases, lawyers can consider the lost income as part of the personal injury settlement amount. 

However, you will need to prove this through supporting documents, such as:

  • medical certificate,
  • doctor’s prescription to take some time off,
  • record from your company’s human resources department indicating the days you missed work, and
  • Tax certificate if you are self-employed.

In addition, consider your ability to earn income in the future. Sometimes, your injury may hinder you from doing your job. 

For instance, the victim is a military soldier. Due to his leg fracture from an auto accident, he can no longer walk or run as he used to, which hinders him from earning his income. 

A legal expert can help you determine how you can calculate the lost earnings and include this in your total personal injury settlement. 

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Sometimes, victims tend to shoulder their initial expenses from the accident. You may reimburse the out-of-pocket costs if you later pursue a personal injury claim and claim restitution for the damages.

However, you must prove that these expenses are connected to the damages from the crash. You must gather the documents, such as the medical bills and vehicle repair costs, to present to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. 

On top of that, you should also be aware of the policy limit of the party responsible for the accident. The insurance company may deny your claim if the expenses exceed their client’s limit.

Reach out to an accident lawyer who can help you communicate with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. They can calculate the total damages and negotiate on your behalf. 

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?

Your personal injury claim can take weeks, months, or years to settle, depending on the nature of your case. If you have the necessary evidence to prove your claim, you will likely receive your compensation faster than a case that lacks supporting proof. 

In most cases, the time it will take to win a case depends on the following factors:

  • the severity of your injuries and other damages,
  • the evidence to support your claim, 
  • the negligent party’s degree of fault, and
  • the negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance company. 

If you have loopholes in your case, you will likely experience challenges that hinder you from receiving your compensation. 

For example, California allows victims to pursue a personal injury claim two years after the accident. Unfortunately, you suffered significant injuries from the crash that refrained you from filing a case immediately. By the time you were physically able, you were only two months away from the legal deadline for pursuing a claim. 

In such instances, you will likely run out of time and lose your case. This is why it is essential to contact an accident lawyer who can handle your case and compute the maximum personal injury settlement you deserve. 

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

Insurance companies will usually issue a check when paying for personal injury settlements. However, it may take weeks before you receive your actual compensation. This is because firms follow a typical specific process when handling restitution.

Paying the Damage Expenses 

The first thing your lawyer will do after depositing the check to their account is to pay the damage expenses of the accident. Some firms shoulder the costs during the claim process and reimburse the expenses once you get your personal injury settlement. However, others let you pay the bills along the way.  

Damage expenses may include the following:

  • medical bills,
  • vehicle repair or replacement costs, and
  • out-of-pocket expenses. 

Accident attorneys typically negotiate with third-party companies, such as healthcare providers, to cut your expenses and maximize your payout. 

Paying the Attorney’s Fee

Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means that their fees will depend on the outcome of your accident claim. If you lose your case, you won’t owe them any costs. On the other hand, you will need to settle your attorney’s fee if you win your claim.

Usually, contingency fees amount to ⅓ of your settlement. However, the fee may increase depending on the nature of your case. 

Receiving your Payout

After covering all damage expenses and other costs, you will receive your payout. In most cases, lawyers will issue a check in your name when settling the compensation. You may need to pick up the check at the firm, or the company will send it via mail. 

Make sure that you have all the documentation you need to verify the personal injury settlement, such as the lawyer’s contract, damage expense invoices or receipts, and the final settlement agreement. 

It may take weeks or months to receive your final restitution, depending on the total expenses. 

Who Can Help Me Calculate My Settlement Amount?

Dealing with an accident claim while recovering from injuries may be overwhelming. How will you be able to consider all damages if you need to look over your health recovery? Additionally, victims with limited knowledge of personal injury settlements miss out on non-economic damages because these are challenging to quantify.

It is best to reach out to a lawyer who can prioritize winning your case by determining all types of compensation to include when maximizing your payout while you focus on your health. 

A personal injury lawyer can:

  • Gather evidence when you want to pursue a claim.
  • Prove who is liable for the accident.
  • Examine the nature of the accident.
  • Determine which factors to add when calculating the damages.
  • Negotiate with the insurance provider.
  • Proceed to trial if necessary. 

The Offices of Larry H. Parker has experienced accident lawyers in Southern California. We can provide the highest quality of service in fighting for your rights. We consistently do our best to help you recover and claim the maximum compensation. Contact us at 800-333-0000 to schedule a free legal consultation. We want to help you today!