If you were injured in a car accident, it is natural to ask what the value of your car accident settlement might be. Many assume that the auto insurance industry has devised a standard formula to determine the value of a personal injury claim for a car accident settlement. This is not really so. 

There are statistics compiled by auto insurance companies that suggest an average value for certain types of car accident claims. But it is rare for a particular claim to fit exact profile of an average claim. The value of your claim depends upon many factors. Below is more information about some of the larger variables and how they can affect your auto accident claim. 

Special Damages

No auto insurance company will admit it, but a common way that auto insurance adjusters use to value the injury claim is to multiply your special damages by a certain number. Special damages are your financial losses from the accident. They include medical bills, lost earnings, out of pocket expenses, etc. 

Using a Multiplier

The number mentioned above is the multiplier that the insurance company may use in combination with your special damages. The reason to use a multiplier is to get a rough estimate of what your total claim could be worth, including your physical and mental pain and suffering.

In many auto accident claims, the auto insurance adjuster may use a multiplier of 2 or 3 to come up with an estimated value for your claim. For example, let’s say that the total of your medical bills and lost earnings from your car accident is $5000. If the auto insurance adjuster multiplied the sum by 2, then the claim would be worth $10,000. But if your pain and suffering is worse, they might multiply the $5000 by 3, so you would get $15,000. 

You may wonder why the auto insurance company is multiplying your special damages by 2 or 3. They generally do so because they are trying to guess what the jury might award you if the auto accident case goes to trial. 

A multiplier or 2 or 3 is often used for a moderate or average amount of pain and suffering in a car accident case. If you suffered minor injuries, the multiplier might only be 1 or 1.5. Only for people who have suffered serious, long term, or even permanent injuries would there be a multiplier of 4 or 5. You also would see the higher multiplier if you have much more in medical bills, such as $50,000 or more. This would indicate a serious level of personal injury that could take years to recover from and would result in temporary or permanent disability in most cases. 
Keep in mind that once the auto insurance company arbitration process comes up with a value for your claim, that does not mean you must accept it. You can continue to negotiate with the insurance company, or file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who injured you. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to get more money from the at-fault party than in a settlement.