What is a reasonable compensation for pain and suffering following a car crash?

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What is a reasonable compensation for pain and suffering following a car crash?

I was injured in a car crash while at work in a company vehicle. A criminal fleeing from the police crashed into me causing lower back injuries which consisted of a bulged disc and sprained muscles including possible micro tears. I was off of work for over 6 weeks. I was in terrible, excruciating pain for

many days unable to even dress myself. My wife ended up taking several days off of work to take me to the doctor and to assist me. I was attended to by a doctor initially at a walk in clinic on the day of the

crash then by my personal physician a couple of times and finally ended up with several visits to a chiropractor for therapy and a remedy course. The bills were covered by workmen’s comp as were the wages. The insurer of the offending vehicle is contacting me with a settlement offer for pain and suffering offering less than $1000. I feel this is too low but I do not know how to value this.

Asked on August 22, 2017 under Personal Injury, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The settlement offer of less than one thousand is ridiculous and should be rejected.
There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  It just depends on the extent of your injuries as documented in the medical reports.
If you have fully recovered from your injuries, I would ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get that.  That would be a starting point in negotiations.  The insurance company will respond with a much lower offer and you can continue negotiating to try to get the insurance company to increase its offer.
If you have residual complaints of pain or other problems, it depends on the extent of those problems.  I would ask for at least quintuple the medical bills or possibly even policy limits for severe residual complaints as compensation , but again NOT expecting to get that.  This would be for negotiation purposes only.  The insurance company will respond with a much lower offer and you can continue negotiating to try to get the insurance company to increase its settlement offer. Does the medical report state that you will need future treatment and the estimated cost of that medical treatment? If so, that should be a factor for negotiating an increase in the insurance company's settlement offer for pain and suffering.
If you are dissatisifed with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.
Since the at-fault party is a criminal, before rejecting settlement offers, consider that the at-fault party probably does not have any assets and therefore, a lawsuit might not recover much of anything.
If the case is settled, NO lawsuit is filed.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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