What is the Value of Future Medical Care in a Personal Injury Claim?
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Aug 31, 2020 in Personal Injury
Medical expenses often account for much of a personal injury settlement or compensation award from a jury. This is often because the victim needs ongoing medical care, even after the conclusion of his or her insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
This raises a question: How do lawyers determine the value of future medical care? All you need to do to calculate the value of past medical care is look at receipts.
Answering this question is very difficult without the help of a licensed attorney. That is why many injury victims choose to be represented by an attorney with a proven track record who has managed cases like theirs.
If you cannot determine an accurate value of your future medical care, you may not be able to afford all the treatment you need. This could result in pain and other physical limitations that may affect your ability to work and enjoy your life.
What Types of Future Treatment Might You Need?
The answer depends on the injury suffered, its severity and other details of your diagnosis. For example, someone with a spinal cord injury may need prescription medications for pain. He or she may also require physical therapy and durable medical equipment, such as a wheelchair or crutches.
Other examples of future treatment might include:
- Testing, such as MRIs and X-rays
- Cost to hire a caregiver if you need help with daily activities
- Visits with doctors
- Transportation to treatment
- Mental health counseling
- Cost of staying at the hospital
- Prosthetic devices
While ongoing care may not result in a complete recovery, it can be crucial for managing symptoms and helping people function at a high level, even with a significant injury.
Ways to Calculate Future Medical Costs
Typically, Phoenix personal injury lawyers wait until the victim has reached maximum medical improvement before attempting to evaluate future treatment needs. Maximum medical improvement means the condition is unlikely to get any better, even with additional medical care. However, more treatment may help reduce pain and make other symptoms more manageable.
Your attorney may consult your doctor, medical specialists, physical therapists and other experts to determine treatments that may help you and how much they may cost.
Some of the factors that often need to be considered when attempting to assess the value of future treatment include:
- Life expectancy
- Treatment goals
- Your health prior to this injury, including other medical issues
- Your level of disability
- Estimated cost for complete treatment of someone with your injury
- The expected increase in medical costs in the future
- Whether you may need more care in the future
- Alternative care options that are more affordable
- Inflation rates
- Effectiveness of possible treatments
There are different methods for determining what your future medical care may be worth. One of the benefits of working with an experienced attorney is that he or she can determine what method may be right for your claim.
For example, if you have a permanent disability, such as a spinal cord injury or brain damage, your lawyer will need to consider how this affects your total lifestyle. In other words, your lawyer will look to determine what it would cost to maintain a quality of life that is close to what you enjoyed before your accident.
Your lawyer will likely need testimony from medical experts to justify the cost of your treatment. You may also need help from a life care planning expert.
Another approach your lawyer may use to determine the value of your future medical care is to calculate the additional costs created by your injuries. This method is often used with injuries that may not affect you for the rest of your life. One example is an injury that may require multiple surgeries over an extended time period.
Need Help with Your Claim? Call Today for Answers to Your Questions
Phillips Law Group has been helping personal injury victims recover compensation for medical bills and other damages for nearly 30 years. We have recovered more than $750 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.
The initial consultation is 100 percent free of charge and comes with no obligation to take legal action. That means no risk to you in calling to find out how we may be able to help.
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