Injury Claims

How PainWorth Automatically Calculates What You Could be Owed in a Personal Injury Settlement

Justin Macfayden, JD
Law and Claims Analyst

PainWorth helps you determine a fair value for your personal injury claim using common industry methods to help you research, benchmark, and calculate the potential court value of your injury case. This is an overview of most of the calculations we perform with each assessment.

Injury Calculator

The injury calculator calculates the value of the impact of the injury on your loss of quality of life and loss of ability to enjoy life. Two identical injuries in two different people may have different valuations, because the impact on the quality of each of their lives is different. Severity is the measure of the impact on the loss of ability to enjoy life and thus personal lifestyle differences may mean different severities for the same injuries.

PainWorth delivers an estimate of the value of your injury (aka pain and suffering / general damages, or non-pecuniary Damages) by combining the value awarded in personal injury cases which have gone to court with similar injuries. Then, it plots those cases on a bell curve. The severity of your injury is matched to a corresponding percentile on the bell curve.  

All case data is pulled from our database of court case data. The referenced cases from Canada are publicly viewable on the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) and can be accessed through their publicly available website here: Canadian Legal Information Institute | CanLII.

To learn more about what kind of compensation you may be entitled to for your personal injury, click here.

Cost of Care Calculator – Past and Future

Treatment and care needed to manage, and lifestyle changes related to an injury generally qualify for compensation. Examples include costs related to medical, paramedical, pharmaceutical, rehabilitation, housing modifications, support workers, vehicle modifications, vocational retraining/rehab, and associated management fees.

We determine the past cost of treatment and care by multiplying the per visit (or per treatment) cost by the total number of visits (or treatments) to date. Any distance travelled to and from the treatments is subject to a mileage expense calculator, and the value is added to the total cost of past treatment.  

We determine future Cost of Care by taking the expected number of future treatments and multiplying that by the known current cost per treatment visit. Any expected distance needed to travel to and from the treatments are subjected to a mileage expense calculator, and that value is added to the total cost of future treatment.  

Present value and inflation rate are applied to past and future damages respectively.

Loss of Income Calculator – Past and Future

Loss of Income includes any wages, revenues, contract values, royalties, or other earnings that you have lost due to your injuries. Income also consists of any fringe benefits, like vacation, sick days, pension, etc.  

We determine the present and future Loss of Income damages by taking the amount of income earned per pay period multiplied by the lost earning capacity (as a percentage). We then multiply the lost income per period value by the number of periods effected.  

Present value and inflation rate are applied to past and future damages respectively.

Loss of Housekeeping Calculator – Past and Future

We start by determining an average hourly rate for housework, based on provincial statistics. These figures are reported by Statistics Canada’s ‘Estimates of Average Weekly Earnings and Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours’, which is updated yearly.  

We then determine the number of hours of lost housekeeping by multiplying the percent loss of housekeeping capacity, by the average weekly hours of housekeeping the claimant did before the injury

Present value and inflation rate are applied to past and future damages respectively.

Additional Expenses

We add up the costs (including taxes) incurred by the claimant which do not fit into other categories. We then deduct any amounts which have been reimbursed. Future expected expenses are deduced for expected frequency and duration. The sum of future expected costs is then adjusted to present value.

Liability Deduction

We ask for an assignment of liability (0-100%) applicable to the claimant. The selected percentage is multiplied by the total value of the claim, and the resulting number is deducted from the total value of the claim.

Background Calculators

These are just some of the calculations being applied in the background, in addition to the user facing calculators above.  

Milage Expense Calculator

Based on user input on the number of kilometres they drive to and from appointments, retail locations, and services related to their injury, we apply a provincial milage rate as determined yearly by the Canadian federal and provincial governments. The milage rates are applied according to the province in which the user is a resident. Meal and vehicle rates used to calculate travel expenses for 2021 and previous years - Canada.ca

Present Value Calculator (Discount Rate)

We apply a present value calculation to all damages which are will occur in the future, to determine the value of those damages if the Claimant were paid the entire value of their future claims today. This means reducing total future loss of housekeeping, future lost earnings, and future cost of care by a percentage, determined by both provincial case law and statute. Most provinces set a legal “real” discount rate, and where a discount rate hasn’t been set, we use the average standard of 2.5%.

Inflation

We apply inflation to all past damages, or damages which have already occurred to determine the value of those damages if the Claimant were paid the entire value of their claim today. This is done because inflation has a negative effect of the value of currency, so we add a percentage to each past damage. We use the Canadian, Federal Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) Rates, which are retrieved yearly from StatsCan.

Pre-judgment Interest and Post-judgment Interest

Pre and post judgment interest rates, compounded yearly, are applied to all specific damages outlined by legislation which are assumed before and after the end of trial, respectively. Pre and post judgment interest rates are retrieved yearly from StatsCan, and provincial government websites which list updates to their pre and post judgment interest rates yearly.  

Some provinces have specific rules for when prejudgment interest can be applied (for example, only after filing a statement of claim, Alberta 2021).

Legal Costs  

We use an industry average of 30% of the total value of the claim value. This represents a potential contingency fee of 30%, which is the most common payment structure and percentage used in personal injury cases. Your lawyer, if you choose to hire one, may charge a higher or lower contingency fee. We then add the jurisdictional tax rate which would be applied to those legal costs and payable to a lawyer.

Court Costs and Disbursements

We deduct 3% for disbursements, court costs, and other miscellaneous legal fees related to your case. Disbursements and court costs can vary greatly depending on the Claimants jurisdiction, case length, and complexity. We then add the jurisdictional tax rate which would be applied to those costs.  

Tax Rate

Many services are subject to sales tax. Accordingly, we apply a provincial tax rate to the subtotal of the Claimants estimated costs. There are Federal and provincial sales tax rates (GST, HST, PST, QST).  

This is a broad overview of the way we calculate our estimates of what you may be owed in your case. There are a variety of provincial or local rules which are accounted for on the back end of each calculation. And which can affect the outcome of your calculation.  Finally, remember that your estimate will only be as accurate as your inputs, so remember to keep track of all the costs related to your claim and keep good evidence.  

PainWorth is an innovative platform that uses machine learning to automate the bodily injury claims settlement process. PainWorth is the easiest way for personal injury claimants and insurance industry professionals to calculate the value of bodily injuries and settle claims faster.  

To learn more about what your bodily injury claim might be worth, try PainWorth for free today!

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