Visitor Question

How is lost income figured in the calculation of a settlement?

Submitted By: Harry (Roanoke, VA, USA)

I have seen several legal question and answer sites say that you add your income to your final settlement demand AFTER you use a multiplier for your Dr. bills, medical bills, etc. On this site, Injury Claim Coach, it says you use the lost income as part of your multiplier.

Which is it? I’m confused. This would be in the state of VA. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Harry,

There isn’t a specific rule or law which determines which amounts are factored into a final settlement demand offer. Many attorneys use the multiplier rule incorporating medical, chiropractic, therapy, or even dental bills.

For “soft tissue” injuries, such as sprains and strains to muscles, tendons, or ligaments, minor burns, cuts and abrasions, whiplash, and other relatively minor injuries, a multiplier of 2x to 3x is usually used.

For “hard injuries,” such as fractures, serious burns, head trauma, damage to internal organs, and similar serious injuries, a multiplier of anywhere from 4x – 5x, and even higher is commonly applied.

By using this multiplier method, the settlement demand is meant to cover all related expenses, including, but not limited to lost income, and pain and suffering.

You can use either multiplier method, with or without adding lost income. These are just general frameworks, meant to give a very rough estimate of a fair settlement demand. Be sure your final settlement demand reflects the amount you believe is fair compensation for your injuries and related expenses.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 28, 2014

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