Calculating Compensations: Future Medical Care (5)
Updated on Thursday 21st December 2017
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The settlement value is calculated according to a number of parameters, which may vary in each case. While with some injuries, the immediate medical care is sufficient, in other situations the victim will have to go through a long and often expensive recovery period.
Injuries like those to the spinal cord, neck or brain usually have long-term consequences and require adequate medical care. Victims who require these types of extensive medical care may claim compensation for the future expenses associated with the treatment, in addition to what they have already spent on medical treatment up until the date of the trial or the negotiation.
Plaintiffs who work with one of the available Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can have a better chance at formulating their demands.
Calculating future medical expenses
When determining the value of your case the insurance claim adjuster and the defendant will look at your medical bills and oftentimes at your medical record. Insurance companies may try to undermine your claims for the medical treatment and procedures by stating that the injuries were not actually caused by the accident.
By using the medical records as evidence and a statement from your treating physician you can prove that the injuries were indeed caused by the accident and you should be compensated not only for the initial treatment but also for the future medical care. This is why it is important to follow the treatment, as prescribed by your treating physician: you can thus show that you have taken all of the steps toward recovery and incurred expenses for which you should be compensated for. You should be well aware of the fact that any pre-existing injuries will not be taken into consideration and it is advisable not to try and obtain compensation for something that cannot be directly linked to the accident: it may just do so because this may just harm your credibility and chances of obtaining just compensation.
As a plaintiff claiming compensation for medical expenses you only get one chance at formulating a demand that will cover all of the costs related to your treatment. One of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers is able to help you calculate this amount.
Our lawyers invite you to watch a short video on claiming these types of expenses:
Recovering due medical expenses
The initial medical expenses will always be included in the settlement amount, however, determining the total costs for the future medical care can be a little more complex. Talking to your treating physician and any other specialists you have been referred to is very important. They can give you an estimated cost, at least, so that you will be able to calculate a more precise value of the future medical care.
In practice, most personal injury lawyers wait until the plaintiffs have been discharged and have completed the initial medical care. While it is true that astatute of limitations applies in California, your lawyer can advise you to wait a little longer after the accident until the doctors have a clear image of the treatments you may require in the future.
Before the negotiation and the settlement, there are a few things you should take into consideration regarding your treatment:
- the existence of any alternative care options/less expensive ones;
- the effectiveness of the medical treatment and/or the need for additional treatment;
- the possibility that the condition worsens after the settlement;
- the calculation method for the future medical bills.
You and your lawyer can talk about a suitable way to determine how to include the future medical bills in the settlement; this too can be negotiated, if needed. You can increase the total value of the personal injury claim or determine a payment plan as the expenses arise. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed.
Before talking to a personal injury lawyer, you can also use a settlement calculator to find out how much you can claim after the accident.