Visitor Question

Utility Trailer Came Lose and Struck My Car While Driving…

Submitted By: Cheryl (Portland, Oregon)

I was traveling as a passenger in a family van.

The van was hit head-on at front right by a utility trailer that came off of a pickup truck traveling toward us. The trailer was not correctly connected to the truck – no pin in hitch and no safety chains.

The driver was cited for illegal operation/unsafe operation of a vehicle/trailer.

I was injured – whiplash, reverse in curvature of neck, pain in hip/pelvis (ligament injury). The chiropractor says I’ll need 4-6 months of rehab and treatment, minimum.

This also messed up the last four weeks of summer vacation (I am a teacher).

I also missed the wedding we were traveling to on the day of accident. Due to these injuries I was miserable sitting at four day conference in Virginia due to pain, a visit to DC was painful, and the flight home unbearable, so I stood the whole way.

Can I get pain and suffering compensation for all the problems and pain I’ve been having? What can I do?

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.


Dear Cheryl,

You are absolutely entitled to pain and suffering and from the sounds of things, you will likely get it.

The way attorneys and insurance adjusters view pain and suffering is by using the medical bills as a baseline and multiplying that figure by anywhere from 2x to 4x.

They do so because it is not always easy to put a dollar figure on “discomfort.” Further, some events such as missing a wedding in your case may be actually priceless to you.

Yet, in order to value a claim, there must be a figure attached that compensates the injured party for their pain, suffering, losses, discomfort, etc.

Once you know what your current and future medical bills are, your case can be more thoroughly evaluated.

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: August 21, 2010

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