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Evaluating the Need for Future Medical Treatment for Injury Victims

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Jan 07, 2022

physical therapist stretching legsOne of the most important questions to answer during an injury claim is: How severe are the victim’s injuries?

This is not only important from the standpoint of medical treatment, but also from the standpoint of the value of the claim. Your attorney needs to know how severe your injuries are and how long they affect you to calculate the value of your medical expenses and the value of non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Some injuries may never fully heal, and even if the victim is not left with significant limitations, he or she may need ongoing treatment. For example, the victim may need to meet with doctors multiple times each year for physical therapy or to discuss how prescription medication is helping him or her in everyday life. Injury victims may need to undergo ongoing medical testing.

Below, our experienced Maryland personal injury lawyers discuss future medical treatment and how it impacts the value of a claim. You need to be sure a settlement provides all the compensation you need to pay for medical treatment. When victims cannot pay for treatment, they might skip it, and this could cause their injuries to get worse and hurt their quality of life.

Why Some Injury Victims Need Ongoing Treatment

Sometimes an accident causes someone to be permanently disabled. For example, someone could suffer a spinal cord injury that results in permanent paralysis. Some victims suffer traumatic brain injuries that leave them with permanent cognitive and/or physical limitations.

It is important to note future treatment is only referring to treatment after a settlement offer has been signed and compensation has been paid out. Some injury victims may need treatment for the rest of their lives, while some may only need treatment for a few months or years after settling the claim.

If doctors recommend ongoing treatment, you want to make sure it is included in your demand for compensation, otherwise you will need to pay for it out of your own pocket. Many people cannot afford ongoing treatment, even if they have health insurance. There is also no telling what will and will not be covered by insurance.

This is one of the reasons it is so important to discuss your claim with a licensed attorney. The insurance company’s initial offer is likely going to be far below the full value of your claim. Insurers are much more likely to make a better offer if your attorney negotiates on your behalf.

Examples of Ongoing Treatment

There are many examples of ongoing medical treatment for those injured by another’s negligence. For example, victims may need surgical procedures to correct problems that arise. If the injury affects the victim’s mobility, he or she may compensate for that, putting a strain on another body part and causing it to break down.

Victims may need to take one or more prescription medications to help manage pain or other symptoms caused by their injury. They may also need to attend numerous follow-up appointments with their doctors. For example, doctors often want to meet with patients for updates on how they are responding or not responding to medications or another form of treatment.

Victims may need physical or occupational therapy to help them improve mobility, regain strength or learn new ways of doing things.

Ongoing treatment may also include the use of durable medical equipment, such as a wheelchair, crutches, cane, brace, and more.

Other examples of ongoing treatment expenses include:

  • Stays in the hospital
  • Medical testing (MRIs, X-rays, blood tests, etc.)
  • Modifications to your home
  • Modifications to your vehicle
  • Cost of transportation to and from doctor’s appointments
  • In-home care and/or assistance
  • Hiring a caregiver
  • And more

Your future treatment needs should be determined by your doctors. Our attorneys have many years of combined experience assessing victims’ future treatment needs. We can also consult medical and economic experts to help us.

Determining the Cost of Future Medical Treatment

There are many factors your lawyer may need to consider when determining how much your future medical care may be worth, such as your age. If you are permanently disabled and in your 20s or 30s, your claim may be more valuable than a claim for someone who is elderly or close to retirement age and has a long-term disability.

Other factors that may need to be considered include:

  • How effective recommended treatment may be
  • Your life expectancy
  • Estimate of the cost of treatment for someone with the same injury
  • Alternative care options that may be more affordable
  • Inflation
  • Your state of health before your injury
  • Preexisting injuries that may make your new injury worse
  • The goals of your medical treatment
  • And more

Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Claim for Compensation

Compensation cannot change what happened, but recovering compensation is a vital step in moving forward after an unexpected accident. Compensation allows you to pay for the medical treatment your doctors recommend. Compensation can also help you avoid a financial crisis if your injury has impacted your ability to work in the same capacity as before.

The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl has been securing compensation for injury victims for decades. Our goal is to secure all the compensation you need.

Working with the insurance company on your own is often a bad idea as they will be looking for any reason to deny or undervalue your claim. Our attorneys work on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees and no risks.

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.

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