Can You Preemptively Sue for the Risk of Future Injuries After an Accident
Being injured in an accident is never enjoyable, especially if you aren’t to blame. The pain and suffering which come with injuries may seem like they will last forever, and in some instances, they might. However, what can be done to help those hurt deal with medical expenses from accident injuries and medical treatments that haven’t even happened yet? Can you sue for the risk of future injuries after an accident?
Personal Injury Claims Must Be Finalized
Unlike workers’ compensation claims, personal injury compensation claims cannot be “left open”. What this means is that despite the probability of future medical expenses existing, a personal injury claim can’t wait until those costs arise before attempting to seek compensation. This is true, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. If you want to protect yourself from the burden of unforeseen medical expenses, you must prove that future medical costs are probable, as well as how expensive they are likely to be.
Proving Future Medical Costs
The problem with future medical costs is that they are in the future. Because of this, it may be difficult to prove exactly what a person’s future medical needs may be. “Future medical costs” refer to the expenses for medical care that an injured party will require once all litigation is complete.
To receive compensation for any potential future medical costs associated with an injury, first, it must be proven that continued medical care will be required as a result of any injury. Recovering these costs requires proof of the “reasonable probability” that the injuries sustained will require medical treatment well into the future.
Proving the probability of future medical costs usually requires expert testimony from physicians and other health care personnel concerning the nature of any injuries and the further care they likely will require. This testimony must also include enough detail to provide a rough estimate as to what these future costs might be. Damages generally are not awarded if future expenses are purely speculative.
Determining Future Medical Costs
When calculating any future medical costs that may be expected, a treating doctor will likely calculate the future care based upon the following information:
- Likelihood of the need for future care.
- Description of the extent and type of medical care needed.
- An estimated cost of the projected future care, including how long it may take.
Thomas J. Henry – Determined Accident Attorneys
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