What Are Future Medical Expenses and How Are They Determined
If you sustained a serious injury, the chances are that it will take some time to make a full recovery. In fact, you may need some level of medical care for the rest of your life. You might feel worried about how you will afford continuous medical treatment, especially if you are no longer able to work or have limitations on the work you can do.
Fortunately, part of the overall value of a personal injury case includes your future medical expenses. Unlike past medical expenses, where you have invoices with specific dollar amounts, calculating future medical expenses can be more complicated since no one can predict exactly what medical care you will need. However, experienced attorneys can use various tools to estimate your future medical expenses to help you pursue a settlement that will cover what you’ll need moving forward.
Examples of Future Medical Expenses
Your future medical expenses will vary greatly depending on the type of injury you sustained and the severity. Some common examples include:
- Hospital stays
- Specialist visits
- Mental health treatment
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Nursing home expenses
- Medical equipment
- Assistive devices (hearing aids, wheelchair, prosthetic limbs, etc.)
- Home modifications
Your attorney can work closely with medical professionals to develop an accurate picture of what your future medical expenses may include.
Methods For Calculating Future Medical Expenses
There are multiple ways to calculate future medical expenses, depending on the nature of your injuries. Two of the most common methods include:
- The Total Lifestyle Approach – If doctors do not expect you to make a full recovery, this method involves developing a life care plan that will cover the expenses necessary to maintain a good quality of life for as long as you live.
- The Additional Expense Method – When your injuries are temporary, your attorney will itemize your upcoming expenses to develop a total. You should only use this method if you expect to make a full recovery. If you rely on this method to cover life-long expenses, you will most likely run out of money within a short time.
Insurance companies prefer to base their settlements on facts rather than speculations, so future expenses can often be a point of contention.
Tips For Proving Your Case
Since insurance companies typically try to avoid paying out large settlements, you and your attorney must work hard to build a strong case for your future medical expenses. Some ways to do this include:
- Follow through with treatment – When you keep doctors’ appointments and follow through with prescribed treatment, it helps you recover and also builds strong evidence in your medical records that demonstrates that you are doing what you can to improve your condition.
- Keep personal records – Keep a journal or planner with your symptoms and note how they impact your day-to-day life. This document can serve as evidence of the severity of your condition and the need for continued treatment.
- Involve expert testimony – Your doctor understands the medical details of your condition and can help explain the timeline for recovery, your needs if you do not fully recover, and the dollar amount that will come with future treatment. An additional medical expert witness aside from your physician can address potential causes, complications, and consequences of your injury.
Insurance companies do not want to lose a court case, so they may be more likely to provide a generous settlement if they feel your case is especially strong to avoid going to trial.
Contact a New York Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The weeks and months following an accident can be incredibly stressful, and beginning the legal process may feel daunting. Calculating future medical expenses can be difficult, but the attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm have the experience necessary to support you through even the most complicated of cases. Contact us today online or by phone at (646) 770-3868 for a free consultation.