How much for pain and suffering compensation?

by Charlotte

A man ran a stop sign, causing me to T-bone him. His statement on the police report clearly states he is at fault. I shattered both ankles, had four surgeries to repair them, and was between the hospital and rehab facility for two and a half months before going home. Claims will be well over $500k when all is said and done.

I'm just beginning to be weight bearing on both feet, with use of a walker. This accident took place February 2016. How do you figure pain and suffering in a case like this? What multiplier should I use? What else should I know about handling a case like this? Thank you for any direction you can provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "How much for pain and suffering compensation?":

Charlotte (Texas):

In short, you need an experienced personal injury attorney.

There are some injury claims which can be adequately handled by an injured party without the need for legal representation. These claims involve "soft-tissue" injuries, which can include muscle, tendon and ligament sprains and strains, minor cuts, abrasions, whiplash, and similar minor injuries.

Because of the relatively straightforward nature of these claims, filing a lawsuit is seldom required. In soft tissue injury claims, insurance companies seldom offer a settlement much more than the amount of medical and therapy bills. But there is a caveat...

Insurance companies know the amount of medical and chiropractic treatment that's appropriate in soft tissue claims. As a result, when an injured party seeks chiropractic treatment that the insurance company believes is excessive, the injured party can be surprised to learn the settlement offer is barely enough to cover those medical and chiropractic bills.

In more serious "hard injury" cases, such as multiple fractures, surgery, head trauma, 3rd degree bills, and other serious injuries, an attorney is almost always required.

It's important to know, without an attorney you are basically at the mercy of the insurance company. While the insurance adjuster may lead you to believe you are a "top-notch" negotiator, in reality the adjuster already knows the maximum amount he or she will offer.

Without an attorney you will be able to negotiate only so far. Once the insurance company claims adjuster says...."That's my final offer," or words to that effect, you can either take it or leave it. You can argue until the cows come home, but the claims adjuster knows there is nothing you can do about it.

There is just too much to lose in a serious injury claim like yours. When dealing with an attorney, the adjuster knows if the amount offered is not fair, the attorney will file a lawsuit. Lawsuits are expensive, protracted, and cost insurance companies millions of dollars each year.

There's a much greater chance that in a serious injury claim having an attorney will result in a much higher settlement for the client, even after costs and attorney's fees are deducted.

Giving you an answer about what multiplier to use in your claim would be a disservice to you. Instead, seek the advice and counsel of several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most will not charge any amount for an initial office consultation.

Bring along your medical and chiropractic bills and records, along with receipts for out of pocket expenses, certification of lost wages, and any other documents related to your injury claim.

Once the attorneys review the material they will be able to give you a general overview of the strength of your claim, the probability of settlement, whether the case will require filing a lawsuit, and the approximate amount your claim may be worth.

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

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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