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After a car crash, dealing with present injuries can seem all-consuming. But what about future medical expenses after a car crash? Can you get compensation for the costs of all the medical help you will need in the future, even years and years ahead? Our Albuquerque car accident lawyers help with this kind of need all the time. Here’s what you need to know:
What are “Future Medical Expenses?”
People with more severe injuries sometimes need additional surgery, physical therapy, additional health care, pain management and more for years into their future. For example, somebody with a damaged knee might need to have their joint replaced, but will have to plan on that joint replacement being re-done after a few decades. Similarly, it is possible that the results of the treatment for the injuries could lead to additional treatment for other problems long into the future. An example of this need is when a person has a limb removed they often need chiropractic services for the rest of their lives.
Although these kinds of expenses and conditions were not directly caused by the accident, they are caused by the injury that the victim would not have had to deal with had there not been an accident. That means these future medical expenses must be taken into account when considering what compensation is fair after a car accident.
Future Medical Expense Examples
The conditions, amount, and expense of treatment a car crash victim may need varies from case to case, but some of the things we may take into account might be:
- A bedridden patient may suffer sores, muscle weakness, bone density issues, etc.
- In-hospital stays
- Home modifications to accommodate wheelchairs or beds
- Assisted living costs
- Vehicle modification costs
- Pain management
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Diagnostic testing
- Transportation needs
- In-home nursing
- Family training
As you can see, future medical expenses of a car crash can easily pile up to be even more than the cost of the emergency room! So how do you prove you’ll need help paying for these expenses?
Proving Your Need for Future Medical Help
First you have to prove that you’re going to need those medical services. The insurance company and the judge won’t just trust that if you had a surgery that you’ll need additional surgeries in a few years, or that a joint will eventually wear out and need replacing. Nor can we just guess that ongoing treatment will be needed or guestimate how much it will cost. We will need experts to weigh in with clear explanations of what is going to be needed to keep you out of pain and functioning as normally as possible.
Our job as accident lawyers is to find the experts who can explain your need to the insurance companies and the courts and ensure you get adequate financial help to meet those needs. So how do we calculate how much those future expenses will cost?
Calculating Future Expense Needs
There are two basic ways to think of future medical expenses. First: the direct expenses of things like physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, or surgeries. Second: the expenses that affect lifestyle such as the need for full-time care, transportation, home equipment, etc. It is important to make a total plan that includes not only physicians but rehab specialists, therapists, and life-care planners. These expert medical, psychiatric, and therapy providers can give a true expected cost of your future medical expenses