When a serious injury railroads your future plans and changes your entire life, it’s hard to know what your next step is. If someone else is responsible for your injuries, you have to consider your future needs when pursuing compensation. While a settlement covering current medical expenses might be enough for someone with a mild injury, it is unlikely to be enough to cover your future medical care.
That’s why you need to talk to a personal injury attorney before accepting any sort of settlement offer. Set up a consultation with Burns, Cunningham & Mackey now by calling us at 251-260-3815.
Considering the Kinds of Treatment You Need
Part of figuring out your future medical expenses is thinking about what types of treatment you are likely to need. In some ways, this is a guessing game. No one knows what the future of medical development will bring or how that may change your care plans, so all you can do is get feedback from your care providers and attorney. Your attorney will use varying types of evidence to estimate potential care costs, including treatment plans for patients with similar injuries, doctor input, and current expenses.
Some of the treatments and diagnostic tests you may need in the future include:
- MRIs, X-rays, CAT scans, and other types of screenings
- Transportation to and from appointments, especially if you are in a wheelchair
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Prosthetic devices and other adaptive equipment
- Surgery and recovery
- Mental health treatment
- Hospital stays
Calculating Lifestyle Expenses
If your injury requires you to completely change your lifestyle, your attorney may use that as a starting point for estimating your future care costs. This is commonly used when patients suffer paralysis, a severe traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or other major injuries. The assumption is that the victim’s care needs are so great that they will no longer be able to live independently, and as such their future medical expenses settlement should cover the broad range of care they are likely to need.
This approach is not typically used if your injury won’t permanently change your level of independence or lifestyle. For example, consider a leg bone that is broken in multiple ways and in multiple locations. This is an extremely complex injury that will undoubtedly require multiple follow-up surgeries, but it will not make you dependent on others for the rest of your life. In this situation, it is more appropriate to look at the specific costs associated with your current and predicted future medical care and come to a settlement amount based on that information.
Medical testimony is a crucial part of getting a fair settlement for a personal injury case. Your attorney may use two types of medical testimony to strengthen your case for future medical expenses. The first is your actual care team. Their knowledge of your injuries and the likely trajectory they’ll follow is invaluable, as it allows them to predict which surgeries or other types of treatment you may need in the future.
The second is recognized experts in the type of injuries you have sustained. They can draw on their knowledge of cases similar to yours to give insight about the type of care you may need in the future, how much care you may need, and how your injuries are likely to impact your life.
While it is unlikely that your personal injury case will make it to court, since most cases are settled before trial preparation begins, using this information makes it extremely difficult for the liable party to deny fair compensation. As a result, you stand a much better chance of getting a full and fair settlement with this level of preparation.
Find Out How Burns, Cunningham & Mackey Can Help You
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured, you deserve a settlement that fairly compensates you for your losses. That starts with the right legal representation. Our team is here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve, from medical bills and lost income to future medical expenses and pain and suffering. Get started now by calling Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-260-3815 or contacting us online.