Can PI Calculators Really Determine the Value of a Settlement Claim?
Posted By Steven Langer
PI calculators are popping up on the Internet, promising that if you input your medical expenses, future medical expenses, wages, and so on that the calculator will spit out a number that suggests how much your settlement claim is worth. Some “sources” discuss how to figure your economic losses by using a certain “multiplier” to get the full value of your claim. The truth is that resolving a claim is not this simple, and you should not rely on these “calculators” to determine the value of your case.
One of the problems with PI calculators is that they do not take into account what is really happening in your case. Nowadays, many insurance companies do not voluntarily offer to pay the full value of a claim and do not value cases based on a “multiplier,” unless the insurance company somehow benefits–i.e., you are settling your case for less than what it is worth. Further, you may later regret settling your claim if you do not know the full extent of your injuries or how much future medical care you may need. What if you have very serious or permanent injuries? If you have serious, permanent injuries, your claim may be worth substantially more than a random “multiplier.” You have to take into account how to figure out what your future medical bills will be or how much future wages you may lose. These aspects and more can affect the overall value of your claim. Often times, experienced attorneys talk to doctors and other professionals to help put a value on these types of losses, and most times that value is not based on a “multiplier.”
Insurance companies also try to minimize your recovery on a settlement claim by arguing fault allocation–that you bear some of the fault associated with the crash.
Every case is different. Every case has unique nuances. Your case cannot be valued using a random, computer-generated formulaic procedure. Sometimes a claim is worth far more, and sometimes it is worth less. Sometimes it is worth contacting a personal-injury attorney to discuss what expectations you should have regarding the valuation of your claim. Most times, the answer is not an exact dollar amount, but a careful attorney will be honest with you and discuss the different aspects involved in resolving your case and steps to take that will best protect the integrity of your case and provide you peace of mind about reasonable expectations for your settlement claims involving injuries and damages.