Everyone who is injured in an accident and who needs compensation for medical expenses should make sure their future medical expenses are included in their settlement. This is because once you accept a settlement, you legally cannot request more money later, even if the compensation runs out before your medical bills do.
Why You Need Compensation for Future Medical Expenses
It is likely that you will need more medical care than just the treatment you get at the hospital immediately following your car crash or other injury-causing accident. You may still need continuing treatment even after you’ve settled your claim.
If these future expenses aren’t accounted for in your settlement because you only asked for enough to cover your upfront medical expenses, you may be left paying for these future costs related to your crash out of your own pocket.
Some common ongoing or future medical expenses include:
- Prescription medication
- Assistive equipment such as crutches or wheelchairs
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Follow-up appointments with your doctor to check on the progress of your recovery
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Ongoing in-home care
- Modifications to home and vehicle, such as a wheelchair ramp or lift
When your injuries are because of someone else’s carelessness, you deserve to be compensated for all of these costs.
How to Calculate Future Medical Expenses
Because of the difficulty in calculating future medical expenses, many attorneys will recommend waiting to settle a claim until after the injury victim has completely recovered. However, this isn’t always possible, especially when the victim may never get back to the level of physical health they were at before the accident.
There is no way to know precisely how much money you will need for all your future medical costs and pain related to your injury, but an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine how much money to ask for based on their work with previous clients who suffered similar injuries to yours.
Your lawyer will typically work with your doctor, who can make an estimate for how much and what kinds of treatment they think you will need and how long that treatment will take. In cases that require compensation for future medical expenses, your legal team may also hire expert witnesses, including medical professionals and/or economic experts, to testify on how much money you will need.
Some factors that may be taken into consideration when calculating your future medical expenses will likely include:
- The effectiveness of treatment and whether additional treatment will be required (for example, a common injury for car crash victims is a torn ACL, which requires reconstructive surgery to treat. The surgery has a roughly 90% success rate, so there is a 1 in 10 chance that it will fail and you will need revision surgery)
- Whether there are alternative treatment options that are as effective but more affordable
- How much the cost of treatment may increase over time due to inflation
- How much treatment the injury victim may need over the course of their lifetime based on their age, life expectancy, and general health before the accident
You are entitled to future medical expenses after an injury that wasn’t your fault, but insurance companies count on the fact that you don’t know that. That means they can offer you less money than you deserve and keep their own profits high. Don’t let them get away with denying you the full compensation you need and deserve.
Because the amount of compensation you need will likely be unique to you, you will need to speak to a lawyer about how much you should ask for in future medical expenses if you plan to pursue an injury claim. Call Joye Law Firm today for a completely free case evaluation.
When You’re Been Injured Through Someone Else’s Negligence, Call Joye Law Firm
After a serious injury that’s left you in pain and unable to do the things you normally do, the last thing you want is the headache of arguing with insurance companies and dealing with bills. That’s why you need an experienced lawyer on your side, and we want to be the ones to help.
We’ll carefully review all the facts related to your injury and the ways it’s affected your life, including the amount of pain it’s caused you, and help determine fair compensation. And we won’t settle for anything less.
Contact us today so our South Carolina injury lawyers can start fighting for you.