Visitor Question

What’s a pain and suffering award for $250,000 in medical bills?

Submitted By: Andrew (Georgetown, TX USA)

My wife was a pedestrian crossing a street 11/10/2009 and hit by a truck turning left at the intersection. This resulted in helicopter flight to a trauma center. She had two breaks in left femur, one break in left tibia, six broken ribs, broken left elbow, extensive laceration on back of head and numerous bruises and scrapes.

She spent 5 days in the Intensive Care Unit and 16 days in a rehab hospital. During the past year, as a patient she experienced 3 surgeries resulting in final surgeon release on 11/10/2010 with full recovery for a 75 year old person. The total medical bills were in the $250,000 range with Medicare paying about $40,000. The driver’s liability insurance covered $80,000.

His total liability insurance was limited at $100,000 and has been paid.

Based on the above info please provide some indication of the pain and suffering amount which can be offered by our insurance company under the “Underinsured Motorist” provision? Thanks.

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 Andrew,

First and foremost, you may want to find out the limits of your UIM policy. From the sound of things, the $250,000 in medical bills were covered, in part, by insurance leaving a balance of $210,000. The other party then paid out $100,000 leaving a balance of $110,000.

The pain and suffering on a case such as this is probably in the range of $1 million, but when you look at the out-of-pocket loss it’s only $110,000. If you look at the limits on your UIM policy and ask for that, you should be able to pay the medical expenses (with standard requests for reductions, of course) and also have a settlement for your wife that takes all her injuries into consideration.

Even if your UIM policy is high, asking for the maximum is fair given the gravity of her injuries. You can also pursue the driver personally.

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: December 14, 2010

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