Calculating Auto Accident Settlement Amounts in California

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There are several factors that are used to calculate the settlement amount you may be entitled to receive following an auto accident injury in California. To ensure you receive a fair settlement, enlist the help of a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the negotiation process.

Suffering an injury in a southern California auto accident can lead to significant medical costs, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses. If another driver was responsible for causing the accident, you should be able to recover compensation from their insurance company. This settlement can help to cover your medical bills and other costs incurred by your injury so that you can make a recovery. If you’ve suffered an injury in an auto accident that was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person, you may wonder how the settlement amount will be determined. Here’s a brief overview of how auto accident settlements are calculated in California.

Factors Used to Calculate the Settlement Amount

In order to determine what a fair settlement offer should be, you can add up the costs for the medical treatment you received (such as bills for doctor visits, medical procedures, and medications you were prescribed), as well as any lost wages or earnings you experienced from having to miss work during your physical recovery. These amounts should be fairly simple to calculate, as you can use bills, receipts, and paystubs to arrive at a concrete number.  You can also include costs for repairing damaged property, as well as other expenses associated with your injury. The sum of these factors should serve as a guideline for an equitable settlement amount; if the insurance company fails to offer you such an amount, you have the right to reject this offer and ask for a more reasonable settlement. 

Don’t Forget to Include Future Expenses in the Calculation 

In many instances, your injuries may continue to affect you long after the accident. If you anticipate that you’ll need ongoing medical assistance, you should include these anticipated costs in the settlement calculation. Since these are hypothetical costs that haven’t actually occurred yet, it can be challenging to arrive at a concrete number that accurately reflects these future needs. It’s highly recommended that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you calculate these future costs so that you can obtain a settlement that will sufficiently cover your expenses—both present and future. 

Formulas for Calculating Pain and Suffering in Riverside County

In California, you may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering. While there is no one specific method that is used to calculate the exact amount, there are generally two ways to arrive at a fair settlement amount. The multiplier formula uses a number between 1.5 and 4—depending on the severity of your injury—to multiply by the costs of your medical bills. The per diem formula uses an approximate cost of your suffering per day—for instance, $50—and multiplies this by the number of days that you’ll likely experience this pain and suffering. While calculating the medical costs is usually more straightforward, calculating pain and suffering tends to be more complex. It’s a good idea to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer to ensure that you receive the compensation you need in order to get your life back on track.


If you need help seeking compensation following an auto accident in Temecula or Murrieta, reach out to Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation today at (951) 489-3320 today to speak to an experienced auto accidents attorney.

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