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If you are contemplating an accident settlement from your insurance company, you may have heard there's a formula involving accident settlement and double medical costs. This premise is based on the idea of a pain multiplier- a shortcut that some insurance companies use to determine how much to award for pain and suffering. When a pain multiplier is used, essentially this means that your actual economic losses- like medical bills and lost wages - are added up. The actual costs that you have are then multiplied by whatever the pain multiplier is (usually a number between 1.5 and 5) to determine how much you are entitled to for pain and suffering.
This is one popular way to get an amount for pain and suffering, and it might be the right way. However, it is difficult to say whether it is or is not the proper way to arrive at damages for pain and suffering. Every case is different, every person suffers a different amount of pain and handles pain differently. This is what makes it so hard to put a number on pain and suffering, and what makes it so hard to decide if double the medical costs is a fair way to arrive at settlement damages.
Ultimately, the only way to decide whether double the medical costs is right is to consider your situation. Do you believe that the amount you are being offered is enough to compensate you for what you went through? Do you believe that a jury might award you a larger number in court? Can you prove that your injuries should entitle you to more? The answers to all of these questions will help you to determine if accepting double the medical costs for pain and suffering is right or not.
A lawyer can also help. Your attorney can evaluate your situation and let you know, in his professional opinion, if what you are being offered is fair or not in light of your situation.