After being involved in an accident, you may suffer from emotional, physical, and financial losses. These may include unexpected medical expenses, weeks or even months of lost income, and non-economic damages, such as mental anguish and emotional distress. If another person is liable for your injuries, you could recover financial damages for these damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
During this process, it's imperative to understand which damages for future medical costs you qualify for. This will help you recover maximum financial compensation, increasing your odds of making a full recovery from your injuries. The experienced personal injury attorneys at CCAL have helped thousands of accident victims recover maximum compensation and we can help you, too. To schedule a no-cost case evaluation, contact our Chicago personal injury law firm today at (312) 300-2515.
Can I Sue For Future Medical Expenses?
You can recover monetary compensation for your future medical care expenses by negotiating a financial settlement or proving your case at trial.
In many cases, it's the insurance company of the at-fault party that has to pay for your present and future damages. This means you will negotiate with the insurance company to reach a financial settlement. Once you settle your case, you lose the right to make a future insurance claim. So, you must make sure that you're fully compensated for all medical costs.
To maximize your financial compensation for medical costs, you must provide medical records and medical bills showing the amount of financial damages you incurred. Also, you may need expert testimony on the future medical bills and costs that you'll need to pay in the future.
When negotiating a financial settlement, it's essential to realize that your health insurance company might be entitled to some of the settlement that you receive. If your insurance company pays out medical expenses, your health insurance company may place a lien on your monetary settlement or they might have a “subrogation clause” on your health insurance contract. This typically means that when you receive your compensation for medical treatment through a verdict or settlement, your health insurance provider may try to get the money back that you received to cover your medical bills.
An experienced personal injury attorney can work with your health insurance company and the insurance company of the person liable for your accident to make sure that your health insurance provider is paid back and that you still get a fair settlement once all money is paid out.
What Is Included in Compensation for Future Medical Care?
As a personal injury victim, you may recover financial compensation for all your present and future damages. Payment for future medical treatment covers:
- Future surgeries
- Follow up doctor visits
- Prescription medication
- Rehabilitation services
- Diagnostic tests
- Physical therapy
- Pain management expenses
- Assistive medical equipment
When determining the value of your personal injury claim, you must understand which factors an insurance company will consider. This includes your health at the time of the injury, your age, the severity of your injuries or disability, life expectancy, and the cost of the medical care you have already received.
How Do You Prove Future Medical Care Expenses in an Accident Injury Claim?
Future medical expenses haven’t been incurred yet, and you can prove these expenses using the medical bills that you have incurred. Future medical expenses are costs for medical treatment you'll receive after the litigation process, for medical treatment of bodily injuries that you suffered in the accident. To receive compensation for future medical costs, these damages need a different type of proof.
Typically, future medical expenses are an issue with chronic conditions, severe injuries, or long-term injuries that result from the physical injuries sustained in the accident. You can recover a financial settlement for future medical costs if you can prove that you'll need continued medical attention because of your bodily injuries. Often, future medical treatment expenses include necessary and reasonable medical care expenses that you'll spend in the treatment of personal injuries suffered because of another person’s negligence. Recovering such expenses requires you to prove that there's a “reasonable probability” the bodily injuries you suffered in the accident will require you to continue to incur medical treatment and pay for those medical expenses in the future.
In Illinois, injury plaintiffs may receive compensation for the future damages resulting from a bodily injury, including future medical expenses, as long as there is adequate evidence. Future medical care expenses can't be awarded if those costs are speculative. Proving future pain and medical care expenses often requires healthcare providers to testify about the medical treatment you'll need in the future because of your injuries. The evidence has to include sufficient detail to make it possible to have a rough estimate of what that future care will cost.
What is the Value of Future Medical Care Costs?
It's difficult to determine the financial value of future medical expenses. Most attorneys will wait until you have been discharged from the hospital and completed your initial medical treatment plan. Some lawyers may wait until you reach your maximum point of medical improvement to discuss the potential financial cost of future medical care.
Also, your accident lawyer may work with healthcare providers and medical professionals to determine the value of your future medical treatment expenses. Your treating physician can help you determine your future medical care needs, such as whether you'll need surgery and how long you'll have to take pain medication for chronic pain.
Likewise, injury rehab specialists can help you determine if you may need rehabilitation treatment to recover from a disabling injury. Based on this information, your injury lawyer will prepare a settlement demand that considers this information and requests full compensation for the financial damages you have sustained.
Some factors that may affect the value of your future medical expenses include:
- Whether there are alternative medical care options that are more affordable
- How effective current medical treatments have been and whether you will need additional medical treatment
- The likelihood that your injury will worsen after the settlement
- Expected inflation rates
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Accident Attorneys for Qualified Legal Representation
Estimating the value of future medical expenses is a daunting task. Thus, it's crucial to have professional legal help in making this determination. Trying to determine the value of your future medical expenses by yourself may cost you a lot in the long run if you don't include certain future expenses.
The personal injury attorneys at CCAL have decades of experience and can accurately estimate the value of your future medical expenses and other types of damages you deserve to make a full recovery after your injuries. Also, we can consult with expert witnesses to establish the value of your injury claim. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our Chicago injury law firm today at (312) 300-2515.