Rear Ended by a driver who fell asleep and car was totaled

While driving to work, in the State of MASS, I was rear ended by a driver who
fell asleep. My car was totaled and i was taken to the ER by ambulance for
concussion and neck pain. I missed 4 days from work that my PIP carrier did not
pay. The Insureds carrier offered me 6,500 pain and suffering. I just thought
given the nature of the accident, it would have been more of a settlement?


Asked on March 7, 2016 under Accident Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

"Pain and suffering" awards are to compensate for long-lasting or permanent disability and life impairment--the nature of the accident and the degree of liability or fault has nothing to do with the amount of pain and suffering compensation, which is based solely on the extent and duration of disability or life impairment. If you only had headaches for a few weeks, that is comparatively minor as pain and suffering goes (major pain and suffering would be lifetime mental impairment from a concussion, or lifetime significant neck pain and loss of neck movement, or lifetime nerve damage). A $6,500 pain and suffering award for the sort of injury you describe may be quite reasonable.

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