Determining the Value of a Car Accident Claim

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When Redmond drivers suffer major car accidents, they usually submit car accident claims to cover their damages. Most will file with the at-fault driver's liability insurance company. Many different factors affect the settlement offer liability insurance companies produce after an accident; talk to your attorney about estimating the claim's value yourself so you can evaluate whether an offer is fair.

What factors impact my car accident claim?

Your car insurance settlement should reflect the economic and noneconomic damages you suffered as a result of the accident.

Below are some examples of economic and non-economic damages which your car accident claim should address:

  • Economic - Medical expenses, lost wages, property damages and lost earning capacity.
  • Non-economic - Pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement.

Are there formulas for calculating accident claim value?

One formula is called Baldyga Auto Accident Settlement Evaluation (BASE). The equation uses low, core, mean and premium multipliers with corresponding 2x, 3x, 3.5x and 4x multiplier values, respectively. All the medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity are added together to form the quantifiable damages figure. Then, you look at the extent of the non-economic damages to determine the BASE level. 

Accidents given low multipliers have little to no:

  • pain;
  • suffering; and
  • disfigurement.


More painful accidents have mean or premium multipliers. The BASE level and quantifiable damages are multiplied together to get the settlement amount.

Some insurance companies use a software program called Colossus to determine the settlement offer. Colossus is an algorithm that modifies the quantifiable damages according to different variables in the case. It assigns severity points to injuries.

Some of the variables that might determine claim value include:

  • type of injury;
  • hospitalization time;
  • treatments;
  • length of treatment; and
  • physical therapy.


Talk to your attorney about whether either of these methods might be applicable to your case, or if another method might be more appropriate.

Negotiating a Settlement for a Car Accident

After filing a claim with the insurance company, the company assigns an adjuster to the claim to investigate the policyholder's liability. When the investigation is complete, the adjuster will offer you a settlement.

Figure out the lowest settlement you'll accept and determine what you believe is a fair settlement. Work with your attorney to determine these numbers, and then your lawyer will help you negotiate with the insurance company. If you do not receive a fair settlement offer, it may require filing a lawsuit.

What to do if I Run Into Trouble

If you suffered serious injuries and significant damages, talk to your attorney before accepting an insurance company's settlement. If the settlement offer is not fair, your attorney may continue negotiations with the insurer. Your attorney can also help you decide when to file a lawsuit.

Max Meyers Law helps Redmond accident victims pursue appropriate settlements for car accident claims and lawsuits. Contact our office at 425-399-7000 to schedule a free consultation about your accident today.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.