Understanding Future Medical Expenses in Personal Injury
Every person who is injured in an accident and who pursues compensation from the party responsible for the accident should make sure that future medical expenses are included in the amount of settlement. This is because after an accident victim accepts a settlement, the individual cannot request an additional amount of compensation at a later date even if the compensation awarded runs out before medical bills do. This article reviews some of the important details that you should understand as an accident victim about how medical expenses are calculated.
Why You Need Compensation for Future Medical Costs
You will likely need continued medical treatment after you are discharged from the hospital or doctor’s office following an accident. You might even need continued treatment after you resolve your accident claim. If these future costs are not adequately accounted for in your settlement because you only requested enough to cover immediate medical costs, you might be left to pay for these future costs associated with your accident from your own pocket. Some of the most common types of future medical expenses that must be paid by accident victims include:
- Assistive equipment including wheelchairs
- Follow-up appointments with your medical provider
- In-home care
- Modifications made to homes and vehicles to incorporate new injuries
- Prescription costs
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Surgeries and medical procedures
- Transportation to medical providers
If you are injured as the result of someone else’s carelessness, you have the right as an accident victim to receive compensation for all these costs.
How Future Medical Costs are Calculated
Due to the difficulty in determining the cost of future medical expenses, many legal professionals recommend waiting to resolve a claim until an accident victim has either fully recovered or recovered as much as they can. Understandably, it is much more difficult to decide on the cost of future medical expenses when the accident victim is likely to never return to the level of health that he or she was at before the accident.
It is impossible to predict exactly how much money you will need for all of your future medical costs as well as pain associated with your injury. Due to their experience helping out previous clients who have faced similar injuries, a skilled personal injury attorney, however, can help you assess how much money you should ask.
An attorney will often work with your physician who can estimate in regards to how much and what kinds of medical treatment you will likely need as well as how long the treatment will take. In situations that require compensation for future medical costs, your attorney might be able to retain witnesses including medical professionals or economic experts to testify in regards to the amount of compensation that is necessary.
Calculating what medical costs you need is a notoriously difficult process. Some of the factors that will be assessed when deciding on the amount of future medical expenses that an accident victim should request include:
- The effectiveness of the medical treatment
- Whether additional medical treatment is required to care for an accident victim
- Whether alternative treatment options exist that are effective but more affordable
- How much the cost of medical treatment might increase over time as the result of inflation
- How much treatment the injury victim might need over the course of their lifetime as the result of age, life expectancy, or health
Accident victims have a right to future medical expenses following an injury that is not their fault. Insurance carriers, however, frequently rely on the fact that accident victims do not know this. This means that insurance carriers can offer you less than what you deserve following an accident. After all, insurance carriers are businesses and like all businesses are interested in paying out as little as possible to keep profits high. You should do everything possible to avoid letting insurance providers get away with denying the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve.
The amount of compensation that you need will ultimately be determined by the one-of-a-kind factors involved in your case. You will also likely need to speak to an attorney about how much you should request in future medical costs if you plan on pursuing an injury claim.
Calculating Future Physical Pain
Insurance carriers have the perspective that the longer a person suffers from an injury, the more that victim deserves to receive damages for pain and suffering. A person’s medical records reveal how long that individual will suffer from an injury. Often, this serves as an accident victim’s estimated recovery time.
For example, a physician might estimate that you will recover in six months, but other times an injury could lead to much more long-term issues. A traumatic brain injury for example might leave a person facing injuries that last for years, or even the rest of their life.
Pain and suffering are one of the most contested types of compensation. Insurance carriers often argue against claims for pain and suffering, particularly if a person has chronic pain from what might be otherwise viewed as a “minor” accident.
While you can receive damages for pain and suffering, you often must establish that your pain and suffering justifies the amount of compensation that you seek. Fortunately, a medical testimony explaining pain and suffering caused by an accident is often enough to use as evidence to establish this point. When a medical provider or multiple medical providers testify about recovery time and the severity of an injury and its associated pain, this can also help a person receive compensation for pain and suffering.
Contact an Experienced Long Island Personal Injury Attorney
When accidents occur, victims can find themselves facing challenges that last for the rest of their lives. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, one of the best things that you can do is speak with an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney who can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP today for assistance. Free consultations. 516-358-6900.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900