When settleing a car accident without a lawyer can you ask for pain and suffering as part of your settlement?

Asked about 5 years ago - Scottsdale, AZ

I was injured in an accident and the other party admits fault and was ticketed. I have been in therapy for about 8 months. I immediately contacted a lawyer after the accident and he advised me to try to settle the case on my own. I wish I never would have taken that advice. Anyway, can you ask/get the other person's insurance company to pay you pain and suffering without sueing them? If so, how much is usually a fair amount?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Gil Shuga

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Is not too late to hire a lawyer to handle this for you. Insurance companies never treat unrepresented claimants the same way they treat those who have lawyers.

    Of course you are entitled to payment for pain and suffering, or "general damages" as they are more properly called. There is no set formula to determine this amount. The insurance company will only pay you what it thinks it can get away with, not a penny more. Keep in mind that the insurance adjusters do this all day, every day. You probably do not. They clearly have the upper hand and will do everything possible to convince you to settle for the lowest amount possible.

    Determining a fair amount is based on many factors including, the type of collision, the extent of your injuries, the cost of your medical treatment, the duration of their medical treatment, any permanent or lingering injuries, lost wages, and a variety of other factors. Unfortunately, this is a lot more complicated than most people realize.

    Good luck.

    Gil Shuga
    Law Office of Gil Shuga
    Mesa, AZ

  2. Ross Adam Jurewitz


    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Yes, you can. Pain and suffering varies. Try asking for 3x the meds.

  3. Lars A. Lundeen


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . As I am not licensed in your state, only offer you generally advice. You may wish to review some of the Legal Guides which I have published on Avvo.com, one of which deals with the many elements of damages to which you may be entitled.

    Given that you had been in therapy for 8 months and, I assume, have some substantial medical bills after 8 months, you may wish to contact another personal injury attorney in your area who may be able to assist you. Trying to deal with the adverse insurance company on your own can be a big mistake. Remember, the adverse insurance carrier is not your friend, nor your good neighbor. The sole goal of an insurance company is to pay you nothing or as little as possible on your claim.

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