If you’re looking for an answer to the question “how are car accident settlements calculated?,” there are 2 things you need to know right away.

One: there is no single identifiable formula for how car accident* settlements are calculated. It depends on a lot of factors, including:

  • Who was injured, and how badly;
  • How those injuries affected the person;
  • The medical bills and damages;
  • The costs of future medical care, assistance, and general life changes;
  • The causes of the crash;
  • And where and when it happened.

Two: all of these factors could be irrelevant if the person who caused the crash doesn’t have enough insurance, or can’t pay for the settlement.

Let’s look at these factors in greater depth.

Factors in calculating a car crash settlement

In free consultations, we are often asked some version of “how are car accident settlements calculated?”*

It is a great question, with a complicated answer. We always want people to understand that there is no single formula. The closest you will get is an educated guess from an experienced personal injury lawyer who reviews the records and considers all of the factors below – and more.

Here are some of the factors we start with in calculating personal injury case value for a car crash claim.

Who was injured in the crash.

Your instinct might be to say, “It doesn’t matter WHO was injured! That shouldn’t change the value!” For the most part, that’s true. But one of the factors in assessing case value is missed work, and how it affected the injured person’s household.

For example, if a single mother of 3 worked full-time as a nurse practitioner, and injuries from a car crash kept her out of work for a year, the economic cost would be enormous. The value of her claim could be greater than a retired person with the same injures, because she lost more income, and had more expenses.


An injured person with a