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How does an insurance company determine a settlement amount for a personal injury (premise liability) claim?

Waldorf, MD |

Is there a "formula" for determining compensation/settlement in a personal injury case (specifically a "premises liability" claim)? How much can reasonably be claimed for "pain and suffering" and/or emotional distress? Is it a percentage or multiple of the amount of lost wages and/or medical expenses?

Attorney Answers 13

  1. Best answer

    Assuming there is liability, you are entitled to all past and future medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. Determination of these amounts are very fact specific, especially pain and suffering which is based on the subective experience (judged objectively) of the person who was hurt. There was a rule of thumb many years ago of "three times the specials" is the total value of the case, and while it may be a starting point in some cases, but both insurance companies and attorneys will tell you there is no real "formula" and each case has to be considered on its unique facts.

    Good luck.

  2. There is no formula for calculating this number.

  3. There is no computer program that spits out a number. An experienced personal injury attorney, however, can give you a very realistic range on settlement. Sit down and talk to one about the possibilities.

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

  4. There is no formula for calculating the value of a claim.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at

  5. There is no formula that I'm aware of. You have to prove that the defendant is negligent or violated the law in some. This is a big issue in many premises liability cases. These types of cases are very fact dependent. By that I mean, the outcome can vary substantially, depending upon specific facts and circumstances.

    You also have to prove that the defendant's negligence was a cause of harm/injury to you. Then, you have to prove that you were injured. In terms of the value of pain and suffering or emotional distress, that too varies from case to case.

    Generally, an experienced lawyer can help maximize the value of a case and will know how to deal with common defenses and issues raised by the insurer. Good luck.

  6. The "formula" for maximizing your recovery is to know the marketplace. Your lawyer will know the range of awards for similar injuries in your jurisdiction, and will have access to jury verdict and settlement reporters showing results in other cases. He will know about the tendancy of juries and judges, and he will have experience gleaned from years of practice. He will then consider your injuries, course of treatment, the opinions of your medical and vocational providers, and the impacts on your daily and future life. Lost wages, benefits and other special damages may also factor in to his advice. And then, in consultation with you, he will establish a range of recovery as a target. Your ultimate recovery will depend on the course of negotiations, or the willingness of a judge or jury to make the award.

  7. There is no magic formula.

  8. I practice law here in Maryland in Prince George's county where you reside. There is no straight formula. The key is whether you can present a credible threat that you will take them to court and win. If not, they will lowball you by a lot

    So you probably need to retain an attorney if you want to maximize your settlement.

    Larry Holzman
    The Holzman Law Firm, LLC. 8955-A, Edmonston Road, Greenbelt, Md 20770, (301) 876-4393.

  9. There are way too many factors involved for there to be any formula. Each case is based on its merits. Credibility of plaintiffs, defendant, venue, injuries, and many other factors play a role in claims.

  10. There are many factors that go into a personal injury settlement evaluation. You should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney since the insurance adjusters will often not include all the factors they should include. We will advocate for you, the injured client, and get everything included, such as outstanding medical expenses, lost wages, periods of total and partial disability, and values for scarring, disfigurement, permanancy or residual symptoms.

  11. Your recovery in any personal injury case, will be determined by the seriousness of the injury, incurred medical expenses, forseeable future medical expenses, lost wages, potential future lost wages and any past, present, or future pain and suffering.

  12. There is no formula only factors to consider. If you are trying to handle this matter on your own I would suggest you get the counsel of a qualified personal injury lawyer in your area. Good luck.

  13. The first thing that can be said in answer to your question that that the value of the case will be much more if you are represented by a good attorney. Therefore, one answer to the question of your case and how to evaluate it to obtain the maximum possible is to bet the best personal injury attorney you can find in your area. Next, an insurance company determines a settlement amount for a personal injury case by looking at the extent of the treatment and its costs received by the injured party and also determining who is at fault for causing the injury. There is a formula that they use to evaluate the case in those two respects and determine where to being negotiating with the injured party and /or their attorneys. Some formulas can use a multiplier where they multiply the lost wages and medical expenses to come up with a pain and suffering number but as other attorneys have responded that number is so arbitrary that it is flawed and is considered inaccurate. The real answer to your question it seems is to provide you with a number, however, based on the facts provided here that is impossible to do. There are too many unknowns in this scenario to give you a real accurate number. I’m sure if you contact a well-respected personal attorney in your area, he or she will have questions for you to answer, after which they could give you a pretty accurate range of the cases value.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference

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