What is the Value of Future Medical Care in an Injury Claim?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Nov 29, 2019 in Personal Injury
Some injuries are so severe they result in permanent damage and require ongoing medical care, even after an injured party reaches the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point where the victim has finished treatment and the injury is unlikely to heal further.
The high cost of medical care can place an enormous financial strain on the injured party and his or her loved ones. They may be able to pursue compensation for these expenses in an injury claim.
Below, learn more about the factors that go into calculating the cost of future medical treatment.
Examples of Future Treatment Costs
There are many examples of future treatment costs from an injury caused by another’s negligence, such as:
- Hospital costs
- Follow-up visits with your doctors
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Prescription medication
- Medical equipment and home modifications (wheelchair, wheelchair ramp, widened hallways, etc.)
- In-house caregivers
- Diagnostic testing
There are several other factors besides the types of future treatment that must be considered, including:
- Age and life expectancy
- Overall health at the time of the injury
- Level of recovery achieved
- Cost of completed treatments
- Extent of your disability or injury
- How much medical costs could increase in the future and whether the injured party will require an increasing amount of care and assistance
Total Lifestyle vs. Additional Expenses
Determining the value of future medical treatments is complicated because you are attempting to place a value on something that has not yet happened. It is also complicated because you need to prove what treatment is needed.
This is one of the reasons you should consider working with an experienced personal injury attorney who has done this before.
Generally, your attorney may calculate the costs of your future medical care in one of two ways:
The total lifestyle approach may be used when an accident victim has suffered severe, life-changing injuries and can no longer continue living an independent lifestyle. This is often the case with accident victims who sustained:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain damage
This approach will likely require the testimony of experienced health care providers who are familiar with the types of ongoing medical care that similar patients need to receive.
This method requires your attorney to examine only the specific costs associated with your injuries. This means the compensation you receive will be for current and future medical bills, medical equipment, future surgeries, medical transportation, etc.
You attorney may use this approach for a victim who requires multiple surgeries over a period of months to repair serious injuries, including:
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal damage
- Nerve damage
While these injuries might not affect the rest of your life, they will require a significant amount of medical treatment in the future.
How Experts May be Able to Help
Your attorney’s ability to recover maximum compensation may depend on the testimony of medical experts.
Your treating physicians may provide insight about your injuries, the treatment you have already received and the ongoing medical care you will require in the future. Other experts, such as life-care planning professionals, can provide an estimate of the costs associated with your future medical treatment, taking inflation into account.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact an Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you sustained serious injuries in an accident and may require ongoing medical care for the foreseeable future, it is in your best interest to speak to a knowledgeable South Bend personal injury attorney.
At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we are dedicated to protecting the interests of our clients. We are prepared to review the circumstances of your claim in a free consultation.
You are not obligated to hire us after this free review, but it is an opportunity for you to get some answers to your legal questions. If you have a case and we represent you, there are no costs while we represent you. We only get paid if we are successful in recovering compensation for your damages.
Call today to get started. Ph: (844) 678-1800