Personal Injury Claim: Calculating Future Medical Expenses

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Personal Injury Claim: Calculating Future Medical Expenses

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Permanent injuries are those injuries that are unlikely to become better over time. To demonstrate that a particular injury is permanent, a medical provider will need to establish – to a reasonable degree of medical probability – that the injury will likely cause the accident victim to suffer ongoing pain and symptoms for the rest of their life. 

If you suffer a significant injury in an accident that was not your fault, it is likely that you will incur high medical expenses. These costs can stretch into the future, in the event you need a future medical procedure (such as surgery), injections, medical equipment, or long-term care at a nursing facility or care center.

There are a variety of factors to consider when estimating the cost of future medical expenses following an accident. If you have suffered one or more injuries in an accident that you did not cause, an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney at Malman Law may be able to assist. Our knowledgeable legal team will review all of your medical records and bills, as well as physician’s reports, and can make a claim for future medical expenses and damages on your behalf.

How to Prove that You Will Likely Incur Future Medical Expenses

In order to prove that you will likely incur medical expenses in the future, you will need to have an experienced healthcare provider on board in your case. The doctor will need to have treated you and examined you. He or she can then review all of your medical treatment records and make a determination about the following:

  • The likelihood that you will need medical treatment at some point in the future
  • The type of medical treatment and/or procedures that you may require, such as surgeries or injections
  • The approximate cost of your future medical treatment or procedures
  • The causal relationship between the need for future medical care and treatment and your accident

Your medical provider may then reduce their conclusions to writing, such as in a comprehensive medical report or permanency evaluation. Moreover, they may be able to testify on your behalf at a deposition or provide live testimony in court at your jury trial. 

Our experienced legal team can help you retain the necessary experts to testify in support of your case.

Factors Used to Calculate Future Medical Costs

When determining the approximate cost of future medical care, healthcare providers will look at a variety of factors. First and foremost, they will look to the extent and severity of the injuries which you suffered in your accident. Generally speaking, the more significant your injuries, the higher the likelihood (and the higher the cost) of any future medical treatment.

Common injuries that require ongoing medical care and treatment include broken bones, traumatic head and brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries that cause full or partial paralysis.

In addition, healthcare providers will look to the types of medical treatment that you will likely need. Surgeries and injections, for example, can be extremely expensive medical procedures. The anticipated costs of these future medical procedures also depend upon the geographical area where you are treating. 

Also, when arriving at this calculation, a healthcare provider will determine if your injuries are so serious that you may require lifetime treatment and care at a nursing home or long-term care facility. Years of residence or treatment at a nursing home or long-term care facility can rack up a large medical bill. Once a healthcare provider arrives at a monetary figure for your future medical expenses, he or she will typically put that number in writing, along with a justification for this anticipated medical treatment. 

Negotiating with the At-fault Person’s Insurance Company

When the at-fault person’s insurance company adjuster is reviewing the claim, he or she may (and should) include the amounts of these anticipated future medical costs in all settlement offer calculations.

Realistically, however, most insurance companies and their adjusters do not make favorable settlement offers right off the bat. Rather, an accident victim’s lawyer will usually need to negotiate with the adjuster several times before they increase their settlement offer meaningfully. After all, insurance companies are big businesses and want to save themselves as much money as possible. They do this by offering accident victims as little money as possible to settle their claims initially. 

If the adjuster does not increase their offer to account for future medical expenses, the accident victim’s lawyer could threaten the adjuster with litigation. If a more favorable offer is not forthcoming, the accident victim’s lawyer could file a lawsuit in the court system and litigate the case. 

Just because a personal injury attorney files a lawsuit does not mean that settlement negotiations in the case must stop. Rather, negotiations may continue – and the case may still settle – up until the time of trial. The majority of personal injury cases, including those where the accident victim claims permanent injuries and ongoing medical treatment, settle long before trial.

Taking Your Personal Injury Case to Trial

Filing a lawsuit begins the litigation stage of a personal injury case. During this stage, the parties will typically exchange documents and answer one another’s written questions, called interrogatories. Moreover, the defense attorney may take the accident victim’s discovery deposition to learn more about:

  • The accident victim’s claimed permanent injuries
  • The accident victim’s medical treatment to date
  • The nature of the accident victim’s ongoing symptoms, including pain complaints
  • The accident victim’s ongoing medical treatment

The defense attorney may also take discovery depositions of the accident victim’s medical providers – including those who claim the accident victim suffered a permanent injury that requires additional treatment. Following these depositions, the insurance company adjuster may be willing to increase their most recent settlement offer.

If your personal injury case does not settle by the end of litigation, you have the option of taking your case to a civil jury trial. Similarly, if your case goes to trial, your lawyer will likely present evidence to the jury of your need for future medical care and treatment – and the anticipated cost thereof. They may call one or more healthcare providers to the witness stand to testify on your behalf or introduce various medical records and bills into evidence. The jury may then consider all of this evidence when deliberating and deciding your case.

Talk to a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Today

The legal team at Malman Law can assist you with pursuing a damage claim for future medical expenses. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a skilled Chicago personal injury lawyer, please call us today at (312) 629-0099 or contact us online. 

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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