Visitor Question

How do I determine a settlement for missing school and losing my job?

Submitted By: Sammy (Silver Spring, MD)

I am in the process of trying to reach a settlement for my car accident. The insurance company has asked me to give a dollar value that I would put on my case. I am having difficulty determining how to get a value before they offer anything.

In October 2015, I was rear ended on the interstate. The person that hit was herself uninsured, but her vehicle was insured under her mother’s insurance. There was $1200 in damages to my car and I when I went to the doctor I was diagnosed with a sprained back and began going to chiropractic treatment.

I was unable to work and eventually lost my job as a result. I am a college student and had to withdraw from one of my classes in the middle of the semester from doctor’s appointments and symptoms that I learned were from Post-Concussion Syndrome.

I had to go inactive in my sorority and move out of the house, finding new living accommodations. I haven’t been able to do internships these past two semesters. I have had to withdraw from another course this semester because of post concussive symptoms and will have to take summer classes or even an extra semester if I am not able to take the necessary courses then.

My lost wages total approximately $1200, before I was fired for my inability to work. My medical bills were upwards of $7800 from chiropractor and neurologist appointments. It would cost me $8,800 with housing to take classes over the summer and if I am unable to take my 15 credit course load this fall and spring (my senior year in college), I will have to take an extra semester which would be another $9,200.

Would I just add up all of these damages to get the number for the settlement? How do I calculate how the accident has disrupted my daily life? Any tips or information you can give would be greatly appreciated. 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 Sammy,

Insurance companies are businesses. The claims adjuster you have been dealing with, no matter how apparently sympathetic, is an employee of the company. The adjuster’s job is to settle your injury claim for as little as possible. It’s just good business.

Moreover, insurance companies do not increase settlement offers based on anything but reasonable medical and chiropractic treatment, out of pocket expenses (such as medications, slings, crutches, etc.), lost wages, and a relative amount for pain and suffering.

You list the following as reasons to increase your settlement demand:

– Having to withdraw from one of your classes

– Inability to remain active in your sorority

– Inability to do internships

– Necessity of withdrawing from another course

– Having to take summer classes or even an extra semester

– $8,800 for housing to take classes over the summer

The amount of $7800 for chiropractic and neurologist appointments will be considered by the insurance company as a basis for settlement. However, the company will closely scrutinize your chiropractic bills.

Insurance companies are hesitant to pay for extended chiropractic treatment. In many cases, these companies believe extended chiropractic treatment is unnecessary, and is nothing more than glorified massage.

A reasonable settlement demand would be a multiple of your medical and chiropractic bills. A reasonable multiple to start would be 3 to 4. Don’t be surprised if the insurance company offers anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 times. You’d be well advised to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney.

Learn more here: Calculating Pain and Suffering Costs

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “How do I determine a settlement for missing school and losing my job?

  1. James says:

    I was in an accident in August of 2017. The police officer showed up after the accident so the at fault driver already moved her car away from mine. She was in a left hand only stop light and proceeded to go right into my thru lane at a red light. The officer was new and cited me for traveling too close even after I explained what happened. It took two and a half months to Beat It in Magistrate Court after showing the pictures to the judge and the preceding officer. He shrugged his shoulders and said sorry he’s a rookie I came to find out the at fault driver had a revoked license and was caught for the second time.

    I beat the citation and was found not responsible, but I lost almost 3 months of work. I almost lost my house. I had no car to get to a new job even after I got the ok. I’m a union laborer and my back needs to last another 30 years. I was so close to losing everything. I worked three weeks until I couldn’t and I had to continue to go to the chiropractor and physical therapy to this day.

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