Is $1000 enough for pain in suffering from an auto accident If Iwas hit from behind while stopped in rush hour traffic?

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Is $1000 enough for pain in suffering from an auto accident If Iwas hit from behind while stopped in rush hour traffic?

I have been to ER, doctor and I am in physical therapy for a neck problem.

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  it just depends on the facts of the case and the extent of the injury.  The figure you mentioned sounds low.  At this point, it would be premature to accept any settlement offers or agree to any amount on pain and suffering because you are still receiving medical treatment (the physical therapy for your neck injury). Compensation for pain and suffering won't be determined until your total medical bills are known.  When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the at-fault driver/registered owner's insurance company will consist of these items.  Compensation for medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering. 

I would ask for quadruple the medical bills as compensation for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get that.  This would be a starting point in negotiations with the insurance company.  The insurance company will respond with a much lower offer and you can continue negotiations.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver/registered owner (if the registered owner is someone other than the driver).  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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