When is an injured person entitoed to damages for pain and suffering?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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When is an injured person entitoed to damages for pain and suffering?

I fell through a temporary railing constructed by my landlord’s contractor. Accident occured on 5-1-2017. Injuries sustained were concussion and thorasic strain. I am still in pain, able to work, but not without pain. I’ve received an offer from the insurance company handling my injury claim. The offer covers the expenses and lost wages to the penny. However, shouldn’t I get pain suffering money in addition to medical expenses?

Asked on June 21, 2017 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Remember: unless you sue the at-fault party (e.g. the contractor) and win, getting a judgment in your favor, any offers made by them or their insurer are purely voluntary: you are not entitled to anything  until you sue and win. The at-fault party and/or their insurer will typically offer you less as a settlement than you might get if you win at trial--that is their incentive to settle after all: to pay less. There is no reason for them to offer you the most you could potential get, since there is no advantage to them in doing so.
If you are in pain and suffered a concussion, but are not so impaired or disabled as to not to be able to work, then you would typically only--if you sued and won--get a small amount for pain and suffering; large amounts are reserved for when you suffer significant disability or life impairment. Therefore, you might only get a few hundred dollars--maybe a $1,000 or so. If you are being offered your expenses and lost wages, you need to decide if the *chance* (since winning, or getting everything you want, is never certain in a trial) to maybe get a few hundred dollars or so more is worth the time, cost, expense, and effort of a lawsuit, not to mention delaying getting money for (probably) a year to two years or more, until the case is over.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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