How much in pain and suffering should I ask for if I suffered a permanent and disfiguring injury?

UPDATED: Jan 18, 2011

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How much in pain and suffering should I ask for if I suffered a permanent and disfiguring injury?

I had 2 fingers torn off on my father-in-laws boat because of his negligence. 1 finger was re-attached but I will probably have random pain for the rest of my life. It was my dominant hand. There is scarring and disfigurement as well. I was in the hospital for 4 days, and have been going in for follow ups for the last 6 months, as well as physical therapy. I was able to return to work after a month but I have some pain in my hand after typing for a while and it’s embarrassing when clients see my hand. Medical bills have totalled $70,000 so far. My father-in-law’s policy has a $300,000 limit. Should I speak with a personal injury attorney? In LaCrosse County, WI.

Asked on January 18, 2011 under Personal Injury, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

DEFINITELY speak with a personal injury attorney--valuing injuries like this is an art, not a science, and you want professional advice--and an aggressive advocate to get you as much as possible. To give you some idea, before you go into speak with the lawyer, a common rule of thumb is that permanent serious injuries could commonly result in pain and suffering rewards of 1 - 3 times the medical costs, so, in this case, another $70k to $210k. Also be sure to look to recover projected future medical costs; any loss of income to date; and also any projected future dimunition of income (e.g. if you can't work at the same job or level any more). Good luck.

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.

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