What shouldI ask for regarding my pain and suffering from a car accident?

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What shouldI ask for regarding my pain and suffering from a car accident?

I was rear-ended about 3 months ago while stopped at a red light. The person that hit me is liable and is insured under her parent’s policy. I was taken to the emergency room and am currently going to physical therapy for my back and neck pain, as well as the numbness I am feeling in my ring finger. I didn’t have broken bones, etc.So far my medical bills are $9500. Should i speak with a person injury attorney? In Los Angeles, CA.

Asked on August 17, 2011 California

Answers:

Richard Weaver / The Weaver Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Feel free to visit www.WeaverLawyers.com for information about personal injury situations.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

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 all of your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Until you complete your medical treatment, it would be premature to try to settle the case because once the case is settled, you won't be able to get additional compensation.  That is why you should have all of the bills, medical reports, and wage loss documentation.  Compensation for the 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.

There isn't any mathematical formula for determining 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 negotiating with them to try to obtain a larger amount.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject their offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the driver who caused the accident.  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 against the other driver prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  In CA, there is a two year statute of limitations in personal injury cases.  You would need to file your lawsuit prior to the two year anniversary of the auto accident.  It would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney. 


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