How Do You Calculate Future Medical Expenses in a Car Accident Case?
How to Calculate Future Medical Expenses in a Car Accident Claim
Being in a car accident can be extremely stressful. This is especially true if you or a loved one sustained catastrophic or serious injuries. If you’ve been injured in a serious car accident due to the negligence of another driver, your injuries may require lengthy or expensive medical treatment. In these cases you may be wondering if compensation is available for future medical expenses, and how to calculate future medical expenses in a car accident claim or lawsuit. A car accident attorney can help.
In the aftermath of a car accident, your personal injury settlement may include compensation for various types of damages including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Future loss of income
It is important to remember that when you agree to settle your case, the insurance company is no longer obligated to pay for future expenses. Therefore, it is critical that your settlement fairly and accurately reflects the projected costs of your future medical treatment and other losses.
In this situation, our clients who have suffered serious injuries requiring long-term medical care often ask us, “How will my future medical expenses be calculated in my car accident settlement?”
In this article, we’ll review how to calculate future medical expenses, and why you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence.
What Are Future Medical Expenses?
Future medical expenses cover a wide variety of medical treatments and often depend on the severity of injuries sustained in an accident.
These future medical costs can include:
- Follow-up care with specialty providers
- Hospital costs
- Diagnostic tests
- Future surgeries
- Occupational or physical therapy
- Long term prescription medication
- Specialty medical supplies and mobility equipment
- Home modifications, including wheelchair ramps, widened hallways, and handicap-accessible showers
- Long-term caregiving or nursing services
At Riddle and Brantley, we understand the financial strain long-term medical treatment can cause. We want you to focus on your recovery, while we focus on getting you just compensation for both your current and future medical expenses.
Our experienced car accident attorneys work together with your doctors and other medical providers to make sure that your car accident settlement adequately reflects the costs associated with your future medical care.
For a FREE consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer to assist with your future medical costs, contact us today at 1-800-525-7111.
There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we recover compensation for you.
Two Approaches to Calculating Future Medical Expenses in a Car Accident Case
If another driver’s negligence, left you or a loved one with life-lasting injuries, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine what your future medical costs may be. While it can be difficult to estimate how much money you will need to cover the cost of your future medical care, we have an experienced team that has the resources to adequately evaluate your claim.
Determining the value of future medical expenses is challenging because it requires placing a value on medical treatments that have not yet occurred. Additionally, documentation will need to be provided to the insurance company to establish that future treatment is necessary.
With over 220 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have great experience in determining what future medical expenses will be associated with particular car accident injuries. We can help you recover the needed costs of your long-term medical care.
There are two main approaches to calculating future medical expenses in a car accident case: the Additional Expenses approach, and the Total Lifestyle approach.
“Additional Expenses” Approach
Car accidents often cause injuries ranging from minor soft-tissue damage to serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injuries may include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken or fractured bones
- Nerve damage
- Internal injuries
These injuries often require multiple forms of medical treatment for a prolonged period. If this occurs, your attorney may use the Additional Expenses approach to calculate your future medical costs. This approach estimates the specific medical costs associated with the treatment, thus ensuring that you will receive adequate compensation to cover your future medical expenses including:
- Surgical costs
- Medical equipment or supplies
- Long term care
- Transportation needs.
Even if your injuries are not permanent or life-altering, recovery time for your injuries may still take years. Therefore, having an experienced attorney on your side helps ensure your long-term care expenses are covered.
“Total Lifestyle” Approach
When car accident injuries are so severe and life-altering that the victim can no longer continue living independently, compensation may be calculated using the total lifestyle approach. After your initial treatment has concluded your doctor may indicate that you have reached the maximum medical improvement (MMI). This means that your recovery has plateaued. However, just because you reached MMI, does not mean that your treatment has stopped. If your injuries are severe, they may require ongoing medical care.
For example, accident victims who have sustained traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, or brain damage will often require specialized long-term care after an accident, including:
- Follow up doctor’s visits to monitor health conditions
- Additional hospital stays
- Rehabilitation or other therapies
- In-home caregiving
- Specialized medical equipment
- In-home modifications.
Long-term medical care can place an enormous financial strain on an injured individual and his or her loved ones. In these situations, Riddle and Brantley often ensures these expenses are reflected in a “life care plan.” We use life care plans to project future financial needs and expenses following a life-altering personal injury accident. These plans may include long-term medical expenses or daily cost of living based on the victim’s projected injuries and life expectancy.
In estimating these costs, your lawyer will likely work with experienced health care providers who can provide testimony as to the types of ongoing medical care that patients with similar medical conditions will require over the course of a lifetime.
By using a life care plan and the Total Lifestyle approach to calculate future medical costs, your attorney will help ensure that your settlement fairly and accurately compensates you for the medical expenses associated with your long-term injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a North Carolina Car Accident?
Car accidents are traumatic, stressful, and frightening. When you or a loved one is injured due to the fault of another, the primary concern will be recovering from the injuries. At Riddle and Brantley, we can help you secure adequate financial compensation for your current and future medical expenses. We understand how stressful worrying about medical expenses can be. We want you to focus on healing, while we deal with the insurance company.
“They made a hard time in my life easier to endure.”
–Melissa C., Riddle & Brantley client
For a FREE consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer who can help calculate future medical expenses for your potential settlement, please call 1-800-525-7111.
There is no obligation and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
Justice Counts for those injured in car accidents due to others’ negligence and we would love to help you if we can.
Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your claim.