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pain and suffering | How much should we settle for?

by Pam
(Central, Illinois, USA)

My fiance was in an auto accident 9/24/09. He was driving a tractor/trailer, when a mini-van ran through a light, and hit the fuel tank on the passenger side of the semi. No fuel leaked- thank goodness.

A whitness that was driving behind the mini-van said that the driver of the van had sped up to make it through the yellow light, then hit the semi.

He also stated to the officers on scene that she was going so fast and hit so hard that the rear end tires of the van came about 2 feet off the ground at the time of impact..Needless to say, she admitted fault to the officers and everyone else around.

Mean while, my fiance was off work from 9/24/09 to 1/6/10. He only had soft tissue injuries in his back, which I know are some of the hardest to prove.

For most of the time he was off work, he had to jump through hoops for workmans comp- since it was the company truck he was driving- and got most of his pay. When the accident first happened, he developed a slight swelling in his lower back, which is still there.

The doctor ordered an MRI, but it showed nothing, then the IME who says in his report that the pain isnt actually there. Now he goes back to work, able to perform his job, but not as efficiently as before.

Most people know that when you pull or stretch something in your back, it will have a tendency to hurt off and on forever. What should he expect in the lines of Pain and Suffering, Future Pain and Suffering, and loss of wages since he only got around 80% of his actual pay, and being a Union truck driver, his contract says that anything over 8 hours a day is over time, and his typical day is 12-14 hours.

What amount should we ask for, or make sure that his attorney goes for or close to? And if it helps, we are from Central Illinois--as I know things are different from state to state..


Hello Pam,

I am sorry to hear about your fianceeā€™s issues. You should be able to get the other 20% of wage loss that he was not paid by workers compensation.

Other than that, the permanent damages and the possible pain and suffering must be shown by objective evidence (medical records). You have to look at the medical records and see what they say about permanent or residual damage.

You are better off talking to a lawyer (locally) and see what they thing about the value of the claim.

Good Luck,

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