Because each case is unique, the answer to this is not ‘one-size-fits-all’. Usually, settlement worth is factored into two main categories:
- Economic Losses: also known as Special Damages, are easier to quantify in that they include costs of medical treatment, lost wages, property damage, and out-of-pocket costs associated with the accident.
- Non-economic Losses: also known as General Damages, include those things not as easily quantifiable such as pain and suffering, anxiety, stress, and the overall, long-term, negative impact of the accident on the victim’s daily life.
Let’s look at subcategories that determine the value of a settlement in an accident:
- Medical Expenses: All costs of medical intervention attributed to the accident
- Property Damage: All costs associated with damage to your vehicle
- Lost Earnings: All lost income due to injuries associated with the accident
- Future Lost Income: All income which will be hampered due to ongoing medical therapies and interventions, or you will be completely incapacitated and unable to work
- Estimated Future Medical Expenses: All money to be attributed to ongoing, long-term treatment including surgeries, medical visits, physical and occupational therapies, etc.
Again, each accident is unique due to the variance in damages and injuries. Because these factors directly impact settlement, determining the exact value of a settlement is virtually impossible without knowing all of the variables. It is safe to say, however, that the greater the economic and non-economic losses attributable to the accident, the greater the value of the settlement overall.