Settling A Personal Injury Claim? How Your Future Medical Expenses Are Calculated

Posted on: 22 December 2015

When you are involved in a personal injury accident, you are entitled to compensation for a variety of factors. Some of these factors are easy to calculate, such as compensation for the time you missed from work due to your injuries and the amount you currently owe in medical expenses as a result of the accident. Other factors, such as pain and suffering and future medical expenses, are not so easy to calculate. Many elements come into play and negotiating is key. Here are some of the elements that determine how your future medical expenses are calculated after you have been injured in a car accident.

What Your Future Medical Needs Are

One of the most important factors that plays into how much compensation you can receive if you file a personal injury claim for a car accident is what your expected future medical needs are expected to be. There is no way a doctor, attorney or insurance company can predict exactly how many times a year you will need to see a doctor, take part in physical therapy or change medications because of your injuries. However, a doctor can give their opinion of what they think your needs are, based on their experience working with other patients.

They will submit a report to your attorney when you reach a permanent and stationary status. Permanent and stationary means that the doctor doesn't think your condition will improve any further at this point in time. They will then recommend that you continue on with your current plan of action that has stabilized your condition, as well as list any treatment they feel you may need in the future to keep your condition stable.

Predictions for Inflation and Rising Medical Costs

Estimating the costs of medical care is extremely difficult, as the prices for doctor visits, medications and treatment can change and rise. As such, it is important to account for inflation and rising medical costs when determining how much you may be entitled to for future medical expenses following a car crash. Typically, attorneys will look at the medical care your doctor has stated you will likely need in the future and look at the pricing history for that care. They will then determine how much it increases yearly and account for inflation to come up with an amount that they think is fair for that specific treatment recommendation. If you have treatments and medications that are needed, it can take a bit of time to try to place a value on the amount that your future medical needs could amount to. 

What Your Expected Lifespan is  

The last factor that is used when determining how much your future medical expenses may be for a personal injury claim is what your expected lifespan is. There are many factors that are used to determine what your expected lifespan is including your sex, medical conditions, occupation, and health hazards, such as smoking or being obese. Your expected lifespan is plays an important role because most doctors will state in their final report that they anticipate you will need follow-up care for certain conditions for the rest of your life, and you may need medications to manage symptoms or pain for the rest of your life. However, since no one knows how long the rest of your life will be, they have to estimate to come up with a fair value based on what your expected lifespan is.

No one knows exactly how much medical care you will need in the future for injuries you sustained in a car accident, nor can anyone predict exactly how much that care will cost. A car accident lawyer will err on the side of caution and use the highest possible predictions to help ensure the compensation you receive is as fair and accurate as can possibly be predicted. They will then negotiate with the insurance company, pointing out any error in their calculations, to get you the maximum amount of money for your future medical expenses.

For more information, contact a firm like Master Weinstein Shatz Moyer, P.C.