When you are injured in an accident or through the negligent actions of another person, you are owed compensation for the full breadth of your financial losses. This includes all medical expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
But while you may know that you are entitled to compensation for past and current medical bills, you may still be unsure whether you can claim future medical expenses in a personal injury lawsuit. The short answer is yes, future medical expenses are compensable in a personal injury claim.
Knowing how much you are entitled to for future medical expenses is a much more complicated question to answer, though.
What Are Future Medical Expenses?
Future medical expenses are the expenses you are expected to incur for your medical care over the lifetime of your injury. In a personal injury case, your future medical expenses are special damages awarded as a portion of your total financial settlement. These are the expenses you are expected to incur for your medical care after settling your injury claim.
The type of medical care you need in the coming weeks, months, and years will be dependent upon the type and severity of your injuries. Below are some of the common forms of future medical care for which we seek compensation in personal injury claims:
- Physical and rehabilitative therapy
- Prescription medications
- Assistive or adaptive devices, including wheelchairs and crutches
- In-home nursing services
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Therapy or psychiatric services
- Follow-up appointments with your physician or specialists
The above is far from an extensive list of all possible medical care that you may require in the future. You should work closely with your doctors and medical team to create a treatment plan for your injuries. Be sure to follow all of their advice, including attending follow-up appointments, taking medications as prescribed, and performing at-home stretches and exercises as instructed.
Adhering to your doctor’s current instructions will be instrumental in proving your personal injury claim. Any failure to do so can give the insurance company an opportunity to claim that your injuries are not all that serious, subsequently lowering your overall award.
When Can You Claim Future Medical Expenses?
You can claim future medical expenses in your personal injury claim when your condition is expected to take time to improve, remain the same, or worsen over time. For example, future medical expenses may be appropriately claimed in an injury case involving something relatively minor (like a broken arm) as well as something more serious, like a traumatic brain injury.
So long as medical care has not concluded prior to the settling of a personal injury claim, it is possible to pursue compensation for future medical expenses that you are expected to incur.
What Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits Call for Future Medical Expenses?
Future medical expenses play a role in a wide range of accident and injury cases. At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, our lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and expertise to pursue future medical costs in cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites
- Slip and falls
No matter what type of accident you’ve been involved in or injury you’ve suffered, if you were harmed by the negligent or reckless actions of another person, you may be owed compensation for your past, current, and future medical bills.
If you’re unsure whether your accident qualifies for compensation, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with our West Virginia law office. We provide these no-cost, no-obligation consultations to injury victims and their families in Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Parkersburg, and elsewhere in West Virginia.
How Are Future Medical Expenses Calculated?
Accurately calculating the cost of future medical expenses requires the expertise of a professional who is well-versed in personal injury civil law. Knowledgeable attorneys will often work alongside experts in the medical field as they work to correctly evaluate the costs of projected medical needs.
The amount of time you have to look in the future when calculating future medical expenses will differ based on your type of injury and its expected longevity. A broken arm and leg may heal in similar amounts of time, but someone with a broken leg will likely need additional time after healing is complete to attend physical therapy. Some injuries, including those that affect the spinal cord or brain, have lifelong medical needs.
In some cases, future medical expenses can be correctly and accurately valued using a simple formula. In other situations, more in-depth investigation and review is necessary.
Why Is It Important To Correctly Value Future Medical Expenses?
There is no room for error when it comes to determining the cost of your medical care in the future. For example, a single traumatic brain injury could involve lifetime medical costs of as much as $1,870,000. Depending on where it occurs, a single fracture could cost as much as $12,923 in immediate medical costs, not including expenses related to physical therapy as part of ongoing recovery.
The reality is that medical care in West Virginia is far from affordable. If you fail to correctly determine how much you will need to cover the cost of your future medical care, you will be left to shoulder the burden of someone else’s negligent actions all on your own.
Don’t Leave Compensation You’re Entitled to on the Table
You deserve to be fully and fairly compensated for your injuries. This includes the costs you are anticipated to incur in the future, long after your personal injury claim has already been settled.
Don’t risk losing out on compensation for future medical expenses in your personal injury lawsuit. Contact DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC today to claim your free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.