No good answer can be given without reviewing all of the facts in an injury case in their entirety, including all of the medical records. There is a general formula that is based on a number of variables. I evaluate personal injury claims every day and have published an article on the topic. Having tried many cases both to juries and to judges in “bench trials” I have learned what generally works and what does not. To summarize, the ultimate settlement range includes evaluation of the following:
Total dollar amount of all medical bills.
Itemization of portion of medical bills that are outstanding or must be paid through liens.
Length and extent of any total disability.
Length and extent of any partial disability.
Residual loss of function/disability.
Age of injured person.
Activities of daily living of individual, pre and post injury.
Permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Potential need for future treatment.
Diagnosis of all injuries.
Lost wages/lost earnings capacity. (Documented, not speculative. “Under the table” earnings do not count.)
Each factor must be clearly documented. There must be medical support for each factor, stating that each was caused by the accident.
The existence of prior injuries of any type and previous insurance claims adds a wrinkle to any case, but can be dealt with. The personal injury attorney must know about this from the outset and not learn about such factors only after the insurance adjuster slaps us in the face with it. I can deal with almost anything with a forthright client.
Finally, the insurance industry's own publications acknowledge that once an attorney becomes involved in a bodily injury claim the value at least doubles. Nearly all personal injury attorneys give a free consultation. Therefore, anyone serious about optimizing their own personal injury settlement retains an experienced personal injury attorney in their jurisdiction.
This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.
Without having all of the facts, the medical records to review, and the police report, there's no way to even give a ballpark figure without possibly being misleading. The insurance company also makes a huge difference. Some are much better to negotiate with than others. If you overdid your treatment, you could well have problems with the insurance company.
I am licensed in Nevada, but this answer should apply in California as well.
The value of damages in any case depends on the facts of that case. Damages consist of special and general damages. Special Damages include reasonable and customary medical bills for the injuries received and lost income as a result of the accident. Both have to be caused by the accident to be compensable.
Medical bills must be reasonable and necessary meaning that the treatment was "normal" for the injuries caused by the accident. They must also cost within the reasonable and necessary costs for similar treatment by similar providers.
General damages are what most people think of as pain and suffering. You can go to our website at http://capandkudler.com/useful-information/my-personal-injury/ for information on how the insurance company will evaluate your general damages.
Hope this helps.
/s Donald Kudler
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