How Are Damages Calculated in Personal Injury Cases?

Learn How Insurance Adjusters & Lawyers Determine the Value of a Personal Injury Claim

Suffering injuries because of another person’s negligent or reckless behavior can be  devastating. You may feel confused and afraid, unsure where to turn for answers. At Farah & Farah, we understand what you’re going through and we’re here to help you during this challenging time.

While no standard formula exists to calculate damages, there are common guidelines that insurance adjusters and attorneys use to determine how much you can recover from your injury case.

The most universal approach to calculating damages includes “special damages” and “general damages.” Special damages include economic losses you incur after an accident, while general damages include non-economic losses.

You can trust that the personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah will seek to recover the maximum compensation possible for you and your family. Call us 24/7 at 877-245-6707 to learn more about how we give clients the winning edge.

How Are Special Damages, or Economic Damages, Calculated?

Generally we determine the base figure for your potential damages by adding up all the “special damages” — also called “specials” or economic damages — you have incurred from the accident. 

Hard costs factored into the total special damages amount include:

It is essential to keep all paperwork and records. Insurance adjusters and your attorney will use the total amount billed — even if paid by insurance — to support your injury and expense claims.

The total amount of special damages is the base figure used to determine how much your settlement for general, or non-economic, damages.

How Are General Damages, or Non-Economic Damages, Calculated?

In addition to recovering special damages, you can also pursue general damages, which include non-economic, intangible losses caused by the accident. Assigning an exact monetary value to these damages can be difficult because each person reacts differently to an accident.

Common general damages include:

Attorneys and insurance adjusters assess the severity of your injuries to determine the amount of general damages you can claim.

If you have minor injuries, your total special damages may be multiplied by one or two to calculate your general damages. If you suffer severe injuries and have high medical expenses, your special damages may get multiplied by five and possibly up to ten.

What Other Factors Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim?

Several factors can affect the amount you may receive in a settlement, including:

Severity of Injuries

More severe injuries have higher claim values than minor injuries. This is because the cost of treating more severe injuries is higher, there is a higher degree of injury permanency, and the general damages are often greater. If you have bone fractures, ligament tears, nerve damage, or a traumatic brain injury, or soft tissue damage to the heart and lung, you will most likely recover more in damages than someone with whiplash or other injuries.

Receiving a documented diagnosis from a medical professional can also increase your potential compensation.


The amount of fault assigned to the parties involved may be the most critical factor in determining how much the insurance company will pay. Attorneys help build cases with police reports, witness testimony, photographic and video documentation, and other evidence to show fault in accidents.


Age can play a vital role in determining the value of your claim, especially in cases where injury permanency occurs. For example, an accident victim in their 20s who suffers a debilitating injury may receive more compensation than if someone in their 80s with the same injury. The reason is that the victim in their 20s will experience a longer period of pain and suffering, more income loss, and a more drastic drop in quality of life.

Insurance Coverage

The at-fault party’s insurance coverage limits can affect your settlement amount because the insurance company will only pay a certain amount. You may file a personal lawsuit against the negligent party if your damages exceed the insurance limits. Your attorney can help advise how to pursue this situation if the at-fault person does not have the money to pay a large amount.

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Farah & Farah Will Help You Understand How Damages Are Calculated in Your Personal Injury Case

Don’t let insurance companies manipulate you with lowball settlement offers. They will do everything they can to dismiss your claim and argue that the accident was your fault. We’ve seen it happen to too many people, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. 

The personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah have the knowledge and skills to pursue all available damages for you.

We’re ready to help you get justice. Contact us to get a free, no-obligation case review.

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