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How much is a fair amount for my pain and suffering, given my circumstances?

I drive a 96 BMW 328is, and I was in a front end collision with an SUV that was turning out of a driveway while I was going 20 mph at the time of impact and the other driver was basically stationary when we collided. It ended up causing about $3000 worth of damage to my car (possibly more if I can prove that damage I found after getting my car back is accident related), and the car was not drivable afterwards. During the accident, I was jerked pretty hard and slammed up against my dash, but there wasn’t any noticeable immediate pain. For the first 24 hours or so I felt fine, and I told the adjuster that when I talked to her (not trying to rip anyone off here, just trying to get what’s owed to me). However, the night after the accident, I started feeling pretty bad pain in my lower/mid back, neck and knees. I don’t have much experience with hospitals aside from 2 ER visits when I was very young, so I really did not know what to do regarding this pain. At the time I did not know that this kind of pain is something I would go to the ER for, and I really didn’t want to just go get some painkillers from a doctor because I have had bad experiences with them making me sick. I decided that I would consult a chiropractor after the weekend. On Monday (the accident happened on the Thursday prior to this Monday), my pain had heightened as the weekend went on, and I started getting calls from solicitors very early in the morning and pretty much ignored all of them. Then, I got a call from a chiropractor in a medical center nearby my house, and decided to make an appointment there, since I don’t have a doctor I regularly see. He took x-rays and diagnosed me with soft tissue damage, and he started treatment right away as he could tell that I was in pain. Not only have I had to go to these hour long therapy sessions once or twice a week on top of working full time, but the accident has had other adverse effects on my life as well. I work as an Engineering Co-op, and there are times where I may have to lift heavy things or do a job in an uncomfortable position. Lifting anything heavy has been out of the question ever since the accident, and one project I had was to tape a layout of a welding station we are installing in our plant. Because I was taping it on the floor, it required me to hunch over for long periods of time, and a project that should have taken me two work days (absolute maximum), took me a week because of the stress on my lower back and knees. Also, whenever I was not on the factory floor, I was in extreme discomfort sitting in my office chair every single day for the past six weeks. Then, when I was on the floor I had to walk around in steel toe boots, which caused me to experience extreme discomfort in my knees, so I was pretty much in pain the entire work day, every single day. Also, when I tried to sleep, that is when the pain has been at its worst. My lower back has been hurting very bad when I try to sleep, and I feel like I have been sleep deprived for the last month or so because of it. My quality of life has also been affected by the accident. It has been the main thought in my head ever since it happened, and it has been the most stressful six weeks I have had in a LONG time, especially since the auto insurance claim has not been going smoothly at all. I also haven’t been able to go to the gym or do any real exercise at all since the accident. It has now been about six weeks (eight visits) since I started treatment, and the pain has finally settled down and the chiropractor plans on releasing me within the next week or two. I have racked up about $1000 in medical bills, and my insurance has medpay coverage. How much could I be entitled to? Are there any other factors I might want to take in to consideration or other points I should try to make to the insurance company?

Asked By: Paul - 12/7/2012
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Get a lawyer who will work on a contingency fee, meaning he gets paid when you get paid. Don't try to fight the insurance company yourself. Remember they are NOT your friend. You need a lawyer and don't go cheap. Find someone reliable, and ask questions about his/her success rate in insurance litigation
Answered By: edco - 12/7/2012
Additional Answers (1)
I understand your pain, really. I hired a personal injury lawyer this week and in a few days, I meet with him in person to go over all my paperwork. I originally was going to deal with the insurance company myself because I figured I could negotiate just fine. I was so wrong.. before it got too bad, I asked around at... More
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Answered By: Nicole - 12/7/2012
 
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