What would be fair pain and suffering for a 8 year old hit by a car while waiting for the bus?

UPDATED: Jan 6, 2012

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What would be fair pain and suffering for a 8 year old hit by a car while waiting for the bus?

The injuries are severe bruised ribs and scared to even go to the bus stop. She is still hurting but there is nothing else the doctors can do for her. The police report states she was not in the roadway and her father was out there as well. The medical bills come out to about $2000-$2500. I have received a offer, but I think it is way too low.

Asked on January 6, 2012 under Personal Injury, Arkansas


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There isn't  any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  The medical reports which document the nature and extent of the injury are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.

Do the medical reports estimate the cost of future treatment for flare-ups of pain from the bruised ribs?  If so, that estimated cost should be included in a determination of pain and suffering.  Also, the fact that there are residual problems, the pain from the bruised ribs, psychological problems regarding the bus stop, etc. should also be a factor in determining compensation for pain and suffering.

Prior to settling the case, it may be advisable for the child to see a psychiatrist or psychologist to overcome her fear of going to the bus stop.  That would result in additional medical bills which would warrant additional compensation and an additional amount for pain and suffering. 

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

I would usually ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering. but not expecting to get that.  In this particular case, I would probably ask for more; perhaps, fifteen to twenty thousand, but not expecting to get that, considering the psychological problems and the physical pain both of which would be much worse for an eight year old to tolerate than for an adult.  Fifteen to twenty thousand would be a starting point in the negotiations.  I would agree to a settlement of about ten to twelve thousand.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, you can reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver/registered owner of the vehicle if someone other than the driver.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your child since she is a minor.

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 the lawsuit for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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