What is a reasonable amount to ask for pain and suffering from an auto acciden?

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What is a reasonable amount to ask for pain and suffering from an auto acciden?

I suffered a broken foot, had 2 surgeries, was off work for 2 months and will need to be fit for orthodic inserts upon my final evaluation from my surgeon. My 5 year old has suffered no physical injuries but has had major emotional “setbacks”.

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Personal Injury, Oklahoma

Answers:

Leigh Anne Timiney / Timiney Law Firm

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are many factors that need to be considered when determining a fair settlement amount for a personal injury claim.  The law entitles you to be compensated for your medical bills and lost wages, both of which can be easier to determine.  These are "hard" damages, meaning they have a specific dollar amount.  What is more difficult to value is the pain and suffering portion of your claim, because there is no actual dollar amount you can attach to pain and suffering and it is all subjective.  Typically injuries where you have undergone surgery and extensive medical care are more valuable than bumps and bruises or whiplash type injuries.  To fully determine the value of your claim, an attorney would need to know much more information than you are able to give here.  It would be best for you to contact an attorney experienced in personal injury for assistance with this.  The insurance company is going to have a professional on their side evaluating your claim, so should you.  

 

Leigh Anne Timiney

Timiney Law Firm

602-789-8752

Nelson Abbott / Abbott & Associates

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

That's a tough question.  There are several ways to look at this. 

Legally you are entitled to medical expenses, lost income (both past and future) plus pain and suffering.

Insurance companies use a different method.  They categories your injury (broken foot with surgical repair) and then give a high and low range for that type of injury.  Depending on your lost income, amount of medical bills and other special factors, you'll be in the high or low end of their range.

Another way to look at it is 3 times medicals or 3 times medical bills and lost income combined.  This is a very rough rule of thumb and is often not applicable.

The real answer is "what would a jury give you?"  After discounting for not being forced to litigate the case, this is the fair amount to settle for.  So what will a jury give you?  That depends.  Some thihngs that come into play are: (1) how do you come across as a person and as a witness, (2) how skilled is your attorney, (3) how skilled is the defense attorney, and (4) do juries in your venue have a track record of giving high or low verdicts.

I know this answer does not give you a dollar anmount.  I hope that after reading this you can see why.  You never told me the amount of medical bills, you never stated the dollar amount of lost income.  You never told me what lingering effects you will have.  You never told me where you live.  Without this information, it is impossible to give a dollar amount.


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