How much to ask for pain and suffering in a settlement?

My husband was injured in a hotel room. A piece of the bed frame cut his leg open requiring stitches. We are preparing the medical bills to send copies to them, plus the pictures of his leg, bed frame and the incident report they filled out at the time.

Asked on May 11, 2016 under Personal Injury, Missouri


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  It just depends on the facts of each case. 
If your husband has fully recovered and does not have any residual complaints, I would ask for quadruple the medical bills as compensation for pain and suffering, but NOT EXPECTING TO GET THAT.  This would be a starting point in negotiations with the hotel's insurance company.  The insurance company will respond with a much lower offer and you can continue negotiating to try to get them to increase their offer.
If your husband has residual complaints, pain, scars, etc., that would be worth more compensation for pain and suffering than someone who had fully recovered.
The settlement should include compensation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering and if applicable, compensation for wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If your husband is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the hotel's insurance company, he can reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the hotel.
If the case is settled with the hotel's insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.
If the case is NOT settled with the hotel's insurance company, your husband's lawsuit for negligence against the hotel must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your husband will lose his rights in the matter forever.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.