How to Calculate Bodily Injury Settlements

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If you have been injured due to someone else's fault, regardless of whether that person acted negligently or intentionally, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Pursuing and receiving fair compensation will involve calculating a bodily injury settlement. The basis of your calculations requires knowing the type of damages to which are entitled and determining the facts that must be used to support the settlement amount you will be demanding. Any calculations for a body injury settlement require determining two types of damages: special damages and general damages.

How to Calculate Body Injury Settlements

Calculate the special damages associated with your bodily injury settlement using the bills you received for your medical treatment. This will include cost of medicine, medical equipment, doctor's services and anything necessary for your medical treatment. Special damages can also include employment-related losses, whether a short period of lost wages or special training necessary to obtain new employment.

Identify the general damages associated with your bodily injury settlement by making a list of the effects of your injuries not readily reducible to a dollar amount, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and emotional distress.

Calculate a dollar amount for your general damages by using the amount of special damages as a guide. For example, take the amount of your special damages and multiply it by a factor of three to indicate the amount your pain and suffering is worth. Combine this result with the amount of your special damages to determine a the total calculation for your bodily injury settlement.

Verify the accuracy of your calculations by reviewing all the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. A car accident caused by a drunk driver carries more emotional impact than an accident resulting from momentary inattention. While the injuries may be the same in either case, the circumstances of the accident are very different and you should consider such factors that indicate your bodily injury settlement should be higher.

Verify the accuracy of your calculations by viewing your bodily injury settlement from the perspective of a jury. In fact, jury awards are public records and you can use what juries have awarded in cases similar to yours as a basis for calculating your bodily injury settlement.


  • Keep in mind that using a factor of three times the amount of your special damages to determine the amount of your general damages is only a guide and may not be accurate in all cases. An accident that results in a small facial scar will involve relatively minor medical bills, but if that scar is on the face of a young girl, the emotional damages of growing up with that scar will be significant. Using a factor of three times the medical bills will probably be too low for the bodily injury settlement in this case.


About the Author

Joe Stone is a freelance writer in California who has been writing professionally since 2005. His articles have been published on LIVESTRONG.COM, and He also has experience in background investigations and spent almost two decades in legal practice. Stone received his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles.