Personal injury can be life-changing, whether you sustain it in a traffic accident, at a shopping mall, at a medical facility, or at your workplace. Only a few people are lucky enough to escape unscathed. Most victims end up with long medical bills and painful treatments. Statistics show that nearly 39.5 million personal injury cases require medical care in the US every year.
Patients struggle with immediate medical bills, failing to realize the burden of long-term care costs. These expenses can be more painful than you imagine. However, you can deal with the future medical costs with a proactive approach. A few strategies today will set you up with financial preparedness to address these unexpected costs in the long run.
Understanding Future Medical Costs
Future medical costs are the expenses you need to bear to address your injury for the long haul. Suppose you sustain a severe injury such as spinal cord damage or a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. Your treatment does not end with the initial diagnosis, medication, surgery, and hospitalization.
It includes several other elements to ensure maximum recovery and quality of life ahead, such as:
- Future medical expenses for a personal injury include:
- Long-term medication
- Follow-up care
- Repeat diagnostic testing
- Medical equipment
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Mental health treatment
- Home modifications such as wheelchair ramps
- Nursing and home-care expenses
You can imagine how much these costs can add to your overall bill. The good thing is that you can claim compensation for these future costs in your personal injury claim.
Claiming Compensation for Future Medical Costs
Future medical expenses can burn a hole in your wallet in the long run. Imagine the cost of a trained caregiver, home modifications, and repeat visits to a rehab center. You may end up spending thousands on them in addition to the initial treatment cost. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can help you add up these costs to your compensation claim value.
Consider the case of a multivehicle crash in Rogers, Arkansas, in February this year. The mishap halted traffic on SB I-49 and left several people struggling with injuries. A victim hiring a seasoned Rogers personal injury lawyer may have been in a better place than those settling the claim alone. Experienced attorneys work according to the local laws and ensure maximum compensation for their clients.
According to Keith Law Group, personal injury victims should claim for their medical bills, loss of income, property damage, and emotional distress. Besides the basics, the rightful compensation should cover future medical costs as well.
Who Can Claim Future Medical Expenses?
The eligibility for future medical expenses is subjective, depending on the severity of the injuries and potential recovery timelines. For example, you cannot claim them if you regain full functioning before resolving your personal injury claim.
Conversely, you deserve it if your treatment will likely continue even after the resolution of your claim. Some instances include the need for physical therapy for spinal cord damage and nursing care for traumatic brain injury. In some cases, you may not even know how long the treatment will continue.
Proving Future Medical Expenses
Whether your personal injury claim is resolved by settlement or trial, you will have to prove future medical expenses to negotiate for them. It requires more than a word-of-mouth narrative. Your lawyer will use one or more of these tactics to establish a valid claim for them:
Your Physician’s Word
Your physician’s word can be a savior when it comes to proving the validity of your claim for future medical costs. They understand the complexities of your case, so they can explain them better than anyone else. Additionally, they can share realistic estimates around the timeline for full recovery and the cost of continuing care you might need if recovery is not possible.
A professional medical expert witness can strengthen your claim by validating the causes, complications, and consequences of your condition. You may call a doctor who has not treated you directly to act as an expert witness. An outsider’s testimony can actually add extra weight to your claim.
Calculation of Claim Value
Just having medical experts stating the complications of your injuries is not enough to put a price tag on your future costs. Your lawyer does the rest by calculating the exact dollar figure of recovery or long-term care. You may face a lawyer trying to prove that a pre-existing injury is in the picture, but your legal expert can deal with the concern.
The Bottom Line
While future medical expenses add complexity to a claim, you don’t need to prove them beyond a reasonable doubt. Your expert witnesses only have to give their opinion regarding the need for ongoing care. An expert lawyer does the rest by creating a convincing case to prove that you deserve every dollar for your long-term care needs.