How Do I Calculate a Maryland Personal Injury Settlement?
The easy, short answer is that there is no calculator that can be used to determine a fair, reasonable personal injury settlement, although many of the nation’s largest insurance companies began to utilize settlement software several years ago. The process at work with settlement software involving a claims adjuster inputting preset variables, and the software, or computer, coming back with a value range. I don't believe this addresses the intangible, "human", non-economic values in a personal injury claim. The more complicated answer is that properly evaluating a case is one of the most important things a personal injury attorney does.
There is no formula to determine case value. Rather, valuation involves a consideration of a number of factors.
Maryland law states that a jury should consider the following factors when awarding damages in a personal injury case:
- The extent and nature of the injury.
- The effect of the injury on the Plaintiff, physical and mental.
- Past and future pain and anguish.
- Disfigurement, humiliation, and embarrassment.
- Medical expense, past and future.
- Loss of earnings, past and future.
[Source Maryland Civil Pattern Jury Instructions]
The amount of lost wages and medical expenses are typically something that can be calculated with reasonable particularity. When it comes to pain, anguish and disfigurement, that calculation is not so precise. Necessarily, properly evaluating these factors involves one or more intelligent, informed human beings, applying the considerations to the facts of given loss. In some situations, an insurance company claims adjuster may offer fair value for an accident claim. In other situations, a jury may need to determine the amount of appropriate compensation. An effective personal injury attorney has two tasks. One is to properly arrive a fair value range for a case. The second is to obtain a settlement or verdict within that range for the client.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 10/27/20.