What is a reasonable pain /suffering settlement for a personal injury?

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What is a reasonable pain /suffering settlement for a personal injury?

My husband was injured in a park by a falling tree branch. He had multiple stitches, bruises, etc. He was in the hospital overnight in the trauma center. The city has already said they are not charging for the paramedics/ambulance, will pay all medical bills, lost pay, personal property loss and a “reasonable” pain and suffering settlement. We have heard 3 times the medical for P&S is rule of thumb, so far the medical bill is up to $15,000 but we are sure that it will increase because not all the bills are in (this just happened a couple of days ago). We really do not want to sue, we want to be reasonable. $45K seems excessive to us. Should we speak with a personal injury attorney? In San Diego, CA.

Asked on July 6, 2011 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you definitely should speak to a personal injury attorney. Every case is different and depends on its own unique facts, but as a general rule of thumb, for serious injuries (scarring, disabled, loss of function, or significant medical costs), is that pain and suffering is usually between 1 and 3 times the medical. In the example you give, that would be $15k to $45k. Usually, the more loss of function, the more inability to do the routines of daily life, the more serious provably pain, the bigger the number...and conversely, without significant medically provable pain, loss of function, or inabilty to do the normal routines of life, the award is generally smaller. That said, since every case is unique, you should speak with a personal injury attorney to understant what is appropriate here.


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