What is an appropriate amount for pain and suffering in a personal injury? 30 Answers as of February 21, 2012

I went to the emergency room on 5/4/2011 (the day of the accident) as my neck and back was hurting. They checked me out and said everything looked ok but that I should expect to be sore for 2-3 days. The doctor wrote me a prescription for muscle relaxers and pain. After about 4-5 days I was completely back to normal. The ladies insurance is paying for the emergency room visit and my prescriptions and the repair of my truck of course. They wanted to give me $300 for pain and suffering which I told them was not enough so they increased it to $500. My question is; Is that an appropriate amount? I asked for $1000 but they said $500 was as high as they could go. They won't pay me for lost work time as I am unemployed at present. Please advice Thanks

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Dearbonn Law Offices
Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
Depends on the extent of your injuries and its effect on your employment hospital visits etc.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/1/2011
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
$500 is a bit on the low side, but if your injuries healed within less than a week, the number would not be too big. If you disagree with the $500, you can sue the driver in small claims court for up to $7,500, including your medical bills, pain & suffering. As for the loss of earnings, if you were prevented from looking for work, or if you had any work lined up that you could not go to because you were hurting, may entitle you to some compensation for loss of earning capacity. I suggest you call the adjuster and tell him/her that you are going to sue the driver in small claims court and ask if they will accept service of process of the lawsuit, but let them know you would take $1,000 in pain and suffering to avoid that. That might change their tune. You might even consider going online and preparing the complaint and send a copy (even if not filed yet) to the adjuster with your demand for $1,000.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/31/2011
Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
You need to high a personal injury attorney. Cases settle for a lot more than $500.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/27/2011
Dawson and Dawson
Dawson and Dawson | Ben Michael Larson
There's really no such thing as "pain and suffering". In Oregon, you can receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are the subjective monetary compensation for a variety of things, included in that is the suffering you endured as a result of the accident. The amount is determined on an individual basis. It's unlikely that the insurance company is going to pay you anymore so you would probably have to get a lawyer if you think you deserve more, but factor in a lawyer would take a third of the settlement.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/27/2011
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
Unless you can find an attorney who's willing to take on this minor claim, it will be hard to receive more than their $500 offer.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/27/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    If you are not working you are not entitled to lost wages. You can only collect for actual damages. Suggest you just file suit in small claims.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    There is no precise answer for how much a case is worth. It is worth what a jury would end up paying you after you filed a lawsuit. In a case like yours the insurance company is not likely to offer more than about $500 because you had minimal pain and suffering. They also know that you are unlikely to get more out of a jury and that an attorney is unlikely to take your case on a contingency fee because the attorney also knows a jury is unlikely to award more than $500. One thing you should be aware of is that you should wait a little while before you decide to settle with the insurance company for any amount. In cases where someone feels fine 2 to 3 days later they can sometimes feel pain from their injury even months later. You want to be sure that you are medically stationary before you settle with the insurance company because once you sign their release there is no going back. Your original question was whether $500 was an appropriate amount. The short answer is yes, if you are medically stationary.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    the correct amount is from 1k to 2k if they wont settle, sue in small claims court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Paul Vames
    The appropriate amount is the amount that a jury would award if the case were tried. Non-economic damages such as inconvenience, pain, trauma, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life are based on the severity and the duration of your injury. Based on your description, you had a very minor injury with a very short duration. If you were sitting on the jury, given the facts as you've described them (a minor injury which resolved within five days), how much would you award for non-economic damages?
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    The amount your case is worth depends upon many factors, including the jurisdiction where you were injured. I recommend that you consult with a personal injury attorney in your local area. Most provide free initial consultations.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Take the $500 and get on with your life. Juries are giving next to nothing for small cases like yours and lawyer do not want to take them. Get you a lawyer when you have a larger claim with more real injury.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    I would ask for two times what they paid in medical expense.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    I suggest that you contact an attorney to discuss all of your questions & concerns to get a better idea of where you stand.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Anderson & Bliven P.C.
    Anderson & Bliven P.C. | Scott Anderson
    Rather than asking how much is my pain and suffering worth, you should be asking should I settle now? The answer is no. The accident happened less than a month ago. What do you have to gain from settling quickly? At this point you're not working and don't know if the accident and the injuries you suffered will affect you when you work. Contact an attorney to advise you of your rights in your state and how long you can have a claim open without filing suit.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    Hard to judge since I have not looked at the medicals but if there is no long term issues I would say what you settle for it up to you. I would advise that if you do settle for a small amount you cannot later come back to seek more. If you are unsure do not sign anything and seek a consultation with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    It may be too soon to settle your case - it hasn't even been a month yet. Also, in Utah, there is no cause of action for personal injury against an insured driver unless your medical bills exceed $3,000. If they do exceed that amount then the offer from the other side is too low. An attorney could help you with these issues; even with the attorney fee, if you have a viable case you will recover more with an attorney than you would have without. I'd be happy to help with this case.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    Only a jury can tell you what a claim is worth. But generally, your claim could be worth between 500 to 1500, so your demand of $1000 is reasonable. However, you have to file suit to get same. Lost wages should also be paid if at the time of the accident you were working.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Take it and run. In Florida, unless you have suffered a permanent injury, permanent impairment or permanent scarring, you cannot recover for noneconomic damages (pain & suffering). They are only making the offer they are to be able to get you to sign a release and close out the file. $500 is not bad, but that's all you're going to get if you're back to normal.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    This is a question about pain and suffering which you should discuss with your own personal injury attorney. Generally, insurance companies will no longer voluntarily give as much for pain and suffering as in the past. You and your personal injury attorney will have to decide whether or not it is worth the expense and risks of going to court, after looking at all the facts. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    if you are completely healed after less than a week then I doubt you will be getting more from the insurance company; but you probably are not completely healed
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    For only a visit to the ER with no follow up treatment at physical therapy, chiropractic, etc. and you were fine in a few days $500 is about all you will get. The case is just not worth more than this unless you have some residual effects that may need treatment down the road. If you were unemployed and did not lose any work then they will not pay for lost wages. Documentation is required for lost wages.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    The dollar value of pain and suffering damages is extremely subjective. It can depend on a lot of factors, including how you were hurt, how much pain you felt, whether you will continue to feel pain and have disability for an extended period, and other considerations. I ordinarily look to jury verdicts in the area where a case would be filed (your local area), to determine what jurors have awarded in the past in similar cases. That is at least a base line to work from. A lawyer in your area should be able to help you determine the value of your case. Keep in mind that if you accept money from the insurance company, you will be made to sign a Release which will foreclose any future attempt to seek recovery from the same person/people. Your best course of action would be to talk to a lawyer in your area and give him or her all of the details of your case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    I'll forward you the response I just sent someone in a similar situation: All of your medical and pharmacy bills, lost wages, mileage to/from doctors' visits, and money for pain and suffering. I've heard people cite statistics that, if you get a lawyer your settlement doubles, but of course then you have to give a third to the lawyer. I think you still come out ahead. Worth thinking about.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    Because a jury ultimately determines the appropriate amount for pain and suffering, an educated estimate is as good as you will get. Some of the factors to evaluate pain and suffering and emotional distress are the duration, frequency, and level of both treatment and pain. In a case with a year's worth of treatment on a weekly basis, $15-20,000 in "general damages" might be reasonable. If you do the math per week, $500 may be reasonable, especially without treatment other than the ER. However, a lawyer would need all the facts in order to really advise you. Most will give you a free consult. You should also consider that if you have to hire a lawyer, subtract 1/3 for fees and at least $1,500 in litigation costs.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    This type of claim is my favorite type because the client doesn't have a permanent injury to affect work, activities with family, etc. It doesn't make for much of a legal fee to pay for my staff and other overhead, but it's one less life permanently affected by someone's carelessness. They are correct in not offering anything for lost wages, because you don't have any. If they are paying for all of your out-of-pocket expenses, being your property damage and medical bills, then I would recommend taking the $500 for your temporary injury and be glad you're healed.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    You may want to wait a bit longer to be sure you are ok. This case has very little value unless your injuries become chronic. The problem with settling too early is that once you have signed the release you are finished. There is no hurry here. Based on your statement, they will probably not go higher than $500; perhaps $750. At least your injuries were not severe; you have healed. My PI clients with long term injuries would gladly give back every dollar they received if they could have their pre accident health back. If you were unemployed then you will not get wages for something that you did not lose.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    There is no set amount. The fact finder, either judge or jury, sets the amount. The law says the amount is to be based on the extent and duration of injury. You do need to consider subrogation if you had health or medical coverage that paid some of the bills. They would be entitled to be repaid by the at fault party's coverage. Since you state her coverage is paying, maybe that is not a concern in your case. You could wait a while to make sure you don't have any flare ups or continuing problems before settling. There is a two year statute of limitations. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/26/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney