What Percent of Medical Costs is Typical for Pain and Suffering?
by Bill (Thomaston, Maine)
I'd like to know what a typical pain and suffering percentage is won, based on medical costs. I've heard 3 to 4 times, I've also heard 10 times. I've never heard 67% which is what was offered. Are they trying to lowball me?
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ANSWER for "What Percent of Medical Costs is Typical for Pain and Suffering?":
It sounds like the figure you are quoting is actually what you would receive after your attorney takes his or her fee. The standard contingency fee is 33.3% which would then leave you with 67%.
In terms of a settlement figure, it is usually 2.5 to three times your medical bills plus out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages. This is not to say that all insurance companies start off at this figure.
When a party is unrepresented, many insurance companies will actually "low ball" to use your term, in hopes that a lay person will not know any better. At the same time, it often takes a skilled attorney to get the figure to the top dollar you are entitled to... which then gets you to that magic 67%.
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