If you are injured in an auto accident will you have to sue to recover pain and suffering damages?

State laws on the recovery of damages for pain and suffering vary greatly. In lieu of a lawsuit, I recommend mediation (I happen to be a certified mediator--doesn't work with insurance companies) or arbitration (which can be binding or non-binding). However, a lawsuit will likely be the only way you will be able to collect pain and suffering if you are battling an insurance company. A personal injury lawyer in your area can give a free consultation (see the yellow pages) and inform you of your state's laws on damages for pain and suffering, as well as any alternative dispute resolution forums in your area.