Visitor Question

Cell Phone Rear End Collision…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I was stopped at a red light when I was rear ended, causing me to hit the car in front of me. My car was totaled. The driver who hit us was talking on her cell phone and was not aware of the red light or stopped cars.

I suffered a neck injury, with pain for a month any time I turned my neck.

My son hit his head in the accident and had headaches for a few weeks. My daughter was afraid to ride in a car for several weeks afterwards. She now has nightmares and jumps anytime she hears loud noises.

My question is, what would be a reasonable amount for me to ask for pain and suffering for myself and my two children?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Pain and suffering is normally a determinate of a combination of medical bills. Assessing fair compensation for pain and suffering is a subjective matter. There isn’t any exact way to calculate an amount.

Traditionally pain and suffering are amounts reached by multiplying medical bills by anywhere from 1x to 5x, or just about any higher number.

In your case and that of your children your injuries are considered “soft tissue”. That means there were no broken bones, torn tendons or ligaments, and certainly no organ damage.

The claim of headaches and anxiety really isn’t something you can rely upon when determining pain and suffering. Although the insurance adjuster may listen to those complaints, you can be assured she will barely, if at all, include those claims as part of the settlement.

As you can imagine many people who are in auto collisions claim headaches, anxiety and the like.

Unless those headaches can be medically documented such as with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, your chances of resting your claim upon those items will not be successful.

Take the total amount of your medical bills and that of your children and multiply them by three. That is a traditional starting place for settling personal injury cases.

If there were no medical bills don’t be surprised if the insurance claims adjuster offers you a total of $500 dollars each… and even that may be a high estimate. Your options are limited. If you don’t agree, you can always file a small claims lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Because you didn’t let us know what state you live in we are unable to say for certain if you are in a no-fault insurance state. Likewise, without medical bills it is very unlikely any attorney will accept the case. Any personal injury attorney with any experience will quickly realize there isn’t any case without medical documentation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 5, 2011

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