"There’s a formula for personal injury case settlements."
"It’s really three times your medical bills and wage loss ?"
"I heard that the insurance companies usually pay Pi (3.14159) times your medical bills for the first year."
All of these statements are false. Having represented injured victims for decades, hired former insurance claims adjusters, and reviewed hundreds of settlement reports, the Abrams Landau Herndon law firm‘s Doug Landau points out that every case, like every client, is unique. In some cases, there are no medical bills, because the victim is in the military or the medical profession. In other cases, a stay at home parent has no "lost wages" – how do these formulae apply then ? And, in cases of limited insurance coverage, formulas like those above are just absurd, as are the lawyers who suggest that they even exist.
In cases where there has been "over treatment" or lots of diagnostic testing with no objective sign of injury, the insurance companies will "discount" the evidence of medical expenses. Likewise, insurance companies may weigh surgical costs and hospitalization more heavily than chiropractic and purely palliative care. In a recent car crash case tried by the Landau Law Shop, the Northern Virginia jury returned with a verdict of over seven times special damages (medical bills and wage loss). When asked by the Virginia Circuit Court Trial Judge what she thought was a fair number, since she complained that over $200,000 was "excessive," insurance defense counsel responded "$120,000." This was still almost 5 times the medical expenses and lost wages ! Bottom line: there is no magic formula.