Watch Out For Those So-Called Magic Personal Injury Value Calculators

by G. Patrick

I find it amusing, and at the same time rather scary, to see all of the websites claiming to have personal injury calculators that are capable of showing a person exactly how much their injury claim is worth if they just click on a button. With those websites, before you know it you’ve gotten into a personal injury attorney’s website and made an appointment and come in to sign a contract to let him or her handle your case.

That’s okay if it’s what you wanted to do: hire an attorney. I would like to see one of those websites give a written guarantee that if you don’t get the settlement money that they say you should, they’ll give it to you with interest. That would be a popular website, but probably wouldn’t be around for long before it went under.

But if you are looking for the magic personal injury calculator, there isn’t one. Insurance companies have forms that may guide their adjusters in finding ranges for what they call “general damages”; the money added to your medical bills and lost wages after they have been reviewed to see what charges or expenses are considered reasonable and related, and what charges are not. Some people call that “pain and suffering” money. Friends, acquaintances or attorneys who tell you that your injury claim is worth three times your expenses simply have long memories: unfortunately, that practice died out in the early 1990’s.

Nowadays those insurance company representatives come up with a value for your type of injury and then add the reasonable, related expenses to that. Whatever form is used, you should ask to see a copy of the claim evaluation. You are absolutely entitled to see it.

This article is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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