How Is a Personal Injury Settlement Determined?

If you get injured in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or another preventable accident, you could be eligible for financial compensation in the form of a personal injury settlement or judgment award with the help of a Kansas City personal injury attorney. Filing a personal injury claim can reimburse you for the thousands of dollars spent in medical bills, property repairs and other expenses.

An insurance company will want to maximize its profit by paying you as little as possible for your claim. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a Kansas City personal injury lawyer who truly understands the ins and outs of personal injury cases. Understanding how personal injury settlements are determined can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Orthopedist applying wrist elastic wrap on female patient hand. if you've been injured due to another's negligence, our Kansas City personal injury lawyers can help you.

Calculating Economic Damages

A settlement is the most common outcome of a personal injury case in Missouri. A settlement means the insurance company agrees to give you a fair and just amount for your injuries, preventing the dispute from having to go to trial for a resolution. Most settlements consist of two different types of compensation: economic and noneconomic damages. An insurance company estimates economic damages by adding up all of the bills and receipts accumulated from the accident. These may include:

  • Medical bills (current and future)
  • Disability expenses
  • Lost wages and ability to earn
  • Lost employment benefits
  • Property damage repairs
  • Travel expenses
  • Rental car costs
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Legal fees
  • Burial expenses after wrongful death

You will have to provide proof of your economic losses in the form of receipts or statements from your hospital, as well as medical records, a letter from your employer and a letter from your doctor. These are all examples of evidence you can use to support your insurance claim and demand a fair amount in economic damages.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Next, the insurance company will determine how much to grant in pain and suffering damages, if any. This is a more subjective calculation, as it is based on intangible losses that are not supported by hard evidence, such as billing statements. Pain and suffering can refer to many different intangible losses, such as:


  • Physical pain or chronic pain
  • Disability or immobility
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Inconvenience or humiliation
  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost quality or enjoyment of life
  • Grieving or mourning the loss of a loved one


Evaluating a pain and suffering award typically involves analyzing the plaintiff’s injuries and determining how severely and for how long they will affect the victim. As a general rule, more severe injuries are granted more in pain and suffering damages. Your estimate will depend on many different factors that are specific to you.

Factors Involved

The value of your personal injury settlement is estimated based on hard evidence as well as how your injuries have impacted you on a nonfinancial level. An insurance company or jury will analyze many different factors in determining a fair amount, including:

  • The severity of the injury
  • Your age, income and overall health
  • Whether or not there is a disability
  • Any pre-existing injuries
  • Whether you share blame for the accident
  • The number of defendants involved
  • The amount of insurance coverage available
  • Whether you are eligible for punitive damages

There is no average settlement amount that will apply to every personal injury case in Missouri. The best way to understand the value of your case is by consulting with a Kansas City personal injury attorney.

Get an Honest Evaluation From a Trusted Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer

In most cases, insurance companies attempt to save money by devaluing an injured victim’s claim. They often do this by underestimating certain types of losses, such as future medical needs, or by denying a valid claim outright. This is why it is important to obtain legal representation.

Having a Kansas City personal injury lawyer represent you during insurance claim negotiations can prevent an insurance carrier from taking advantage of you. Your personal injury attorney will fight aggressively for an amount that is appropriate based on your unique circumstances. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney in Kansas City can take the defendant to trial instead.


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