Estimating the value of a settlement for personal injury and damages, depending on the severity, after a car accident can become quite complicated. You may recover quickly, and be able to resume your normal life, or you may require an extended and possible unforeseen period of time for recovery that can incur compounding medical costs and lost wages. In the event of sustaining a more serious or permanent injury you will most likely experience a complete change of life, and have to adapt to living with a disability that could possibly prevent you from earning an income and will require the need for greater compensation.
These financial needs that your recovery will require are crucial to consider before a settlement is accepted or, if your case goes to trial, a decision is made in court. Once this happens, the claim will be considered closed, you will be unable to pursue further damages and be responsible to pay future costs on your own. An experienced attorney will make sure your needs are taken care of and guide you through the process of how to calculate future medical expenses after a car accident in Tampa.
Who Pays for Future Medical Expenses After an Accident?
Florida is a no-fault state, all insured drivers in Florida have a minimum personal injury protection (PIP) of $10,000, this means medical expenses up to at least this amount are covered by your own insurance provider. If medical expenses and property damage costs exceed $10,000 then you will need to file a claim with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver.
Disputes against these claims are not uncommon, insurance providers will try to deny additional medical compensation if they think there is no reasonable need for it. At this point hiring a qualified Tampa car accident attorney to provide legal counsel and obtain professional medical advice, including expert medical witnesses to support the reasonable damages of your claim in court, will be necessary for you to receive a fair settlement that will cover future medical expenses.
Examples of Future Medical Expenses
Recovery from an injury or injuries, after a car accident can cause an incredible financial strain on you and your family. Ongoing therapies, treatments and the possibility of long-term care need to be considered when calculating the compensation you will require to meet your and your family’s needs. The following are examples of future medical expenses you can incur after injury from a car accident.
- Hospital room costs
- Medical and surgical procedures
- Diagnostic testing
- MRI’s X-rays and CT scans
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Prosthetic devices
- Home care providers
- Ambulance services
- Doctor appointments
- Travel expenses for medical and therapy appointments
- Medical equipment to assist mobility
- Home modifications to assist mobility
Your primary care or treating physician will help determine which future expenses will be needed for a full recovery or continuing medical care. Your attorney’s responsibility is to prove your need for them, they will gather expert witnesses to provide professional medical testimony, or depositions to support your claim ensuring a settlement with the value you deserve.
How to Determine the Value of Future Medical Expenses
Evaluating something that hasn’t happened yet can be very difficult. Unforeseen complications from your injury can prolong recovery and increase expenses, an experienced attorney skilled at estimating the value of reasonable future medical costs can make all the difference. They will work with your primary care physician who understands the nature of your injury and the care you will require to move forward with your life.
Seeking the opinions of secondary care professionals such as vocational and physical therapists can contribute additional insight to your injury. They can help your attorney determine the time your recovery will take, when or if you’ll be able to return to work and any limitations to your job performance you may encounter. Other considerations medical professionals will account for to determine the value of future medical expenses are as follows:
- Medical treatment you have already received.
- The amount of treatment necessary for recovery based on your injury or injuries.
- The effectiveness of that treatment, if you will recover completely or require more surgeries.
- Your age and your health prior to the accident, as well as your life expectancy after.
- The severity of injury or injuries you sustained.
- The quality of life expected after your injury or injuries.
- If there are effective alternative treatments that may be more affordable.
- Projected appreciation of medical care costs due to inflation.
Methods Used to Calculate Future Medical Expenses
Your attorney will use one of two methods to help determine how future medical expenses are calculated, the Additional Expense Approach, or the Total Lifestyle Approach. The decision of which method to use depends on your medical condition and how long recovery will take or the extent of care you will require for the future.
The Additional Expense Approach
This method will be used to calculate future medical expenses if your situation is temporary and in time, after making a complete or almost complete recovery from your injuries, you are able to return back to your normal life the way it was before the accident. If this is the case, you will most likely be able to claim compensation for the following future expenses:
- Hospital care
- Physical therapy sessions
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Medical equipment needed for mobility
- In-home therapy
- Lost wages
The Total Lifestyle Approach
This method will be used if the accident was severe enough to cause you permanent damage or disability resulting in a loss of independence preventing you from resuming your former lifestyle. Your attorney will calculate future medical expenses that will allow you to maintain an expected quality of life and that provide compensation for the following possibilities:
- Full-time care
- On-going medical expenses
- Doctor and therapy appointments
- Transportation for doctor and therapy appointments
- Medical equipment for monitoring and mobility
- Modifications to your home to accommodate disability
- Lost wages
- Potential earning loses
- Pain and suffering
Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Today
Getting you the compensation you deserve for your recovery after being injured in a car accident is our top priority. If you require future medical expenses for either temporary or long term care we can help navigate the calculation process. We will gather the proper professional testimony to support your claim and deal with any resistance from insurance companies that might prevent a fair value for your settlement.
Our highly skilled and knowledgeable Tampa personal injury attorneys will personalize your needs to recover from an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. We will provide you with the strongest legal representation possible to minimize your stress and make sure you are financially secure for your recovery or future care. Contact us today for a free consultation.