What is “pain and suffering” worth when you’ve been in a potentially life-threatening accident?

UPDATED: Sep 24, 2010

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What is “pain and suffering” worth when you’ve been in a potentially life-threatening accident?

My father was in an accident last January, totaling his car. He had to get chiropractic care from his doctor. It totaled for about 30 visits in the past 6 months. He had been without a car for those 5-6 month. He had to use his’42 pickup. The car he was hit by was owned by a big company. The claims agent he spoke to said my dad will get money for both doctor visits and pain and suffering, and asked what my dad would like. My dad said about $4500. The agent said his “P&S” is not worth that and said they are willing to pay $1000. Did we ask too much?

Asked on September 24, 2010 under Accident Law, Indiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Ok so you are trying to settle the matter yourself.  May I suggest that you go and seek legal consultation in your area on the matter before you make a mistake that may be irreversible on the settlement of your claim.  The consultation should be free.  What you are asking - about pain and suffering - there is really no good answer.  "Pain and suffering" is a subjective thing and they are basing it on objective factors: the amount of chiropracticvisits probably.  They are trying t figure out how much the intangible element is worth here.  Say your Dad had a low tolerance for pain because of another condition then his pain and suffering would be greater than "average."  There is a statement that you "take your plaintiff as you find them" so if you find a plaintiff that pains easily too bad on you.  Seek consultation and get an idea at least of what the case is worth before settlement.  Good luck.

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