How do I determine the pain and suffering settlement amount for low impact car accidents?


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Question:

How do I determine the pain and suffering settlement amount for low impact car accidents?

Answer:

The pain and suffering settlement amount in any car accident case should never be based on the speeds or perceived severity of the impact. In reality, even relatively minor collisions can cause extensive damages to passengers and drivers, depending on the placement of their body at the time of the crash. In short, valuing a personal injury claim involving pain and suffering will require an in-depth look into the specific nature of the injuries causing the pain and suffering, and based on the value and extent of these injuries, a general estimate of the value of pain and suffering can be made. Without the insight and advice of legal counsel, however, any attempted valuation of a claims case is essentially erroneous.

Other considerations factoring into the valuation of pain and suffering include the following:

  • Essentially, liable parties will be willing to payout any amount for pain and suffering less than the potential losses realized should a case proceed to trial and result in an unfavorable judgment against the defendant. In short, any settlement figure offered will be an attempt by a liable party (most likely an insurance company) to prevent future losses at trial by offering compensation beforehand.
  • In any settlement process, a general figure may be offered to a victim. As a victim, ask for a breakdown of these figures, questioning how much of the proposed compensation will be allocated for which losses and other damages.
  • Documenting claims cases from the outset can greatly bolster any attempt to recover compensation in the future. Seeking medical treatment, or at least an initial medical evaluation following the accident is essential. While claims for pain and suffering can proceed without documentation in a limited number of cases, the reality is that if a claimant has medical documentation supporting the existence of injuries, indicative of pain and suffering, his or her claim will fare much better.

For more information and insight into you own auto accident claims settlement, consult with an auto accident lawyer to gather case-specific determinations, including estimates on the value of your damages, including the value of pain and suffering in your case.

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