Car Accident Multiplier: Estimating Your Settlement


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It is often difficult for the average person to understand how settlement amounts are calculated when a claim for an accident is processed. One aspect of determining a settlement amount is using a car accident multiplier. This is simply a number that is assigned to designate the dollar amount of pain and suffering associated with the provable damages that occur in an accident. It is part of a formula, known as the BASE formula, which allows adjusters to evaluate the dollar amount of your claim.

What is the BASE Formula Calculation?

The BASE formula, developed by Dan Baldyga, is a standardized way to assess the settlement in any type of accident insurance claims. BASE stands for Baldyga Auto Accident Settlement Evaluation, and has been in use in the insurance industry since 2001. It does not take into consideration the property damages; rather it uses the actual provable damages from your medical and related expenses due to the accident to assess pain and suffering values. The provable costs can include:

  • Ambulance services
  • Medial treatment (x-rays, hospital stays, emergency room, etc)
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Lost wages
  • Prescription costs
  • Out of pocket expenses related to medical issues

These form a category of damages known as special damages. They have to be provable, which means receipts or other documentation as to the costs must be available.

The Multipliers

To estimate your settlement going into a negotiation add up all your provable special damages. This total is then multiplied by 2, 3, 3.4 and 4 to obtain the low (2), core (3), mean (3.5) and premium (4) values. To these amounts add the property damages which typically include car repair, replacement of personal items damaged and other expenses related to the accident. This range of amounts is typically where the offer from the insurance company will fall, and also provides information on a reasonable settlement amount.

Legal Support

While car accident multiplier values do allow you to anticipate the range of your settlement, the negotiation with the insurance provider is just as important. Knowing how to discuss moving the value from a low of 2 to a premium value of 4 means a huge increase in your possible settlement benefit plus additional variables or factors are also included in determining an end settlement amount. An attorney that is experienced in personal injury cases is essential in getting you the maximum value for your pain and suffering based on the injuries sustained in the crash.

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