Injured man filing a personal injury claim

How Are Future Medical Expenses Calculated in an Injury Claim?

A personal injury lawsuit is filed when one person is harmed by another. These can sometimes be intentional injuries, but they are more often the result of negligence. Personal injury claims are commonly filed due to medical negligence, a car accident, slip and falls, and product liability.

The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions. This is normally done by requiring the at-fault party to pay monetary damages. 

These damages are not intended only to punish the guilty party; they are also intended to protect the livelihood and future of the person who was injured. As such, future medical expenses must be considered when determining the amount of your claim.

Future Medical Expenses

Future medical expenses are estimated costs of medical care that are likely to be needed in the future. They are a necessary detail when calculating your compensable damages. 

You may need to include many considerations in the list of future medical expenses that arise as a result of your injuries, including:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Medication and medical equipment
  • Rehab and physical therapy
  • Home modifications

Your personal injury attorney at Hewitt & Salvatore will know how to help calculate these future expenses. By consulting with a lawyer, you make sure that you are not left responsible for paying these out of your own pocket.

Proving Future Medical Costs

The best strategy to avoid a trial in your personal injury case is to prepare as if you’re going to have one. This means that you and your attorney will be thorough in your approach to every aspect of estimating appropriate compensation for your injuries, including your future medical expenses. 

Some of the items you may need to prepare are described below.

Expert Testimony

You may need to utilize testimony from an expert witness who is familiar with your kind of injury. This witness can testify about the consequences of your injuries and potential complications. This person does not have to have treated you for your injuries.

Testimony from Your Doctor

Each injury is unique. Your doctor understands the details of your case better than anyone else. In addition, your doctor can more accurately estimate the time needed for recovery and the kind of care you’ll need.

Working out the Financial Details

Your attorney may also use an expert with experience in calculating the costs of medical recovery. When it can be established that these costs are a direct result of your injuries, attaching a dollar amount is crucial.

Determining Future Medical Expenses

An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to estimate future medical expenses. Much of these costs depend on the particulars of your injuries and the kind of medical care you will require. 

The following are two of the most common ways of determining future medical expenses.

Total Lifestyle Method

This method assumes that even after your injuries have healed, you will not reach your pre-accident levels of functioning. In conjunction with your doctor, your attorney will develop a care plan. Then they will calculate the costs of allowing you to maximize your lifestyle over the rest of your expected life.

Additional Expense Method

If it is determined that you will be able to recover your former lifestyle, your attorney may use the additional expense method. This method assumes that medical expenses will be temporary. 

Using information provided by your doctor and possibly other medical experts, your attorney will itemize additional expenditures to arrive at a dollar amount that should cover future expenses.

It is important to get in contact with an experienced personal injury attorney who will be able to make a good determination about whether you’ll achieve the same lifestyle you had prior to your injury. If you don’t, you may not get the compensation you need.