You have the right to include future medical damages when pursuing an accident claim. Below are three things you may need to prove to get future medical damages.
1. Prove Long-Term or Permanent Injuries
You must convince the adjuster or court of your need for future medical care. You do this by proving that you have long-term or permanent injuries that still require medical care.
You can use your medical prognosis for proof. Say you had a spinal injury that has not healed as expected, and your doctors expect several months of treatments for the injury. Your medical records will contain the information, and you can use it as proof. Other examples of permanent or long-term injuries include:
- Chronic issues
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
You can also use proof of your maximum medical improvement (MMI) to prove permanent injuries. The MMI is the point at which doctors don't expect significant medical improvement, even with further medical care, in the future.
You may need future medical care if you have reached your MMI, but you still have some disabilities. For example, say you have reached your MMI after a back injury, but you still cannot walk. You may need further medical expenses, for example, for the purchase of assistive devices.
2. Prove the Treatment Costs
An injury demand letter must include the dollar values of damages. You must also justify the costs. For example, if you want $5,000 for future medical care, you must explain how you came up with the figure. Below are two approaches you can take.
1. Explain Your Treatment Plan
Depending on your medical problem, your doctor can provide a treatment plan for the near future. The treatment plan can include things like:
- Physical therapy visits
- Long-term prescription drugs
- Planned surgeries
- Necessary assistive devices
Remember to include costs for each element of your plan.
2. Provide Expert Testimony
You may also need expert testimony to help you justify the costs. For example, you may need expert testimony on the cost of medical procedures, drugs, and devices. You may also need expert testimony on future changes in medical care costs or the effect of inflation on medical care costs. Medical and financial experts can provide relevant expert testimony.
3. Prove the Necessity of Treatments
Once you prove the existence of long-term or permanent injuries, you also need to prove the necessity of the expected treatments. For example, you should not just claim you need surgery or back pain — you must prove why the surgery is necessary. You can prove this in several ways — below are a couple of examples.
1. Prove the Success Rate
Most medical procedures have statistics that prove their success rates. The higher the success rate, the stronger your claim will be for the medical procedure.
For example, spinal fusion (for connecting two or more vertebrae) has a success rate of between 70% and 95%, depending on different factors. Such a high success rate can help you prove the necessity of the surgery if you have a spinal injury, such as a herniated disc.
2. Prove the Unsatisfactory Nature of the Alternatives
Most medical issues have multiple treatments that can help. For example, treatment options for a fracture include:
All these options have their pros and cons. Thus, if you include the cost of surgery in your claim, you must prove why you have not opted for the other alternatives. Such a move is especially useful if the defendant is arguing for cheaper alternatives.
Palmetto Injury Lawyers LLC has extensive experience with accident cases. We promise to devote our resources to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free initial consultation to evaluate your case and determine the way forward.