If you are involved in an accident that leaves you with a long-term injury, you will likely experience significant changes in your life. That is why working with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Knoxville is important to secure damages to compensate you for your injuries. One of the most significant areas of concern that often comes with suffering a personal injury is how you will cover the cost of ongoing medical treatment for the foreseeable future. Your personal injury lawyer in Knoxville should consider that when putting together a settlement that will not only cover current expenses such as loss of earnings and medical expenses but also make provision for the future medical expenses you are likely to incur. Since nobody can actually see into the future, let's take a look at how these future medical expenses are calculated.
Why Are Future Medical Expenses Necessary?
Depending on what type of injury you have suffered due to your accident, you may need additional medical treatment for an extended period following the accident. It may even be that you will need ongoing treatment for the rest of your life. Some of the situations in which future medical expenses need to be requested by your personal injury lawyer in Knoxville might include the following:
- The necessary treatment involves multiple different stages carried out over a period of months or even years. A good example would be in the case of severe burns. The burns first need to be treated and allowed to heal before a doctor can consider skin grafts, requiring several surgeries performed in stages with healing periods between each.
- The injury suffered involves catastrophic wounds that create life-changing trauma. For example, the victim may be paralyzed and need 24/7 care for the rest of their life.
- Even if you have regained the maximum level of function that your medical team expects, they may still anticipate future treatment to maintain it or to address any future complications relating to the injury.
How Are Future Medical Expenses Calculated?
In an ideal world, your personal injury lawyer in Knoxville would have your doctor tell the court what procedures and treatment you will need in the future. However, in reality, the judge cannot have the defendant write a blank cheque to cover whatever medical expenses come up. Instead, your personal injury lawyer in Knoxville will have to convince the court which medical procedures you are expected to need, why they will be necessary, and how much they will likely cost. They can do this with the help of expert witnesses. This witness should not be expected to offer a guarantee that the procedures will definitely be needed. Still, they should demonstrate in good faith that, in their expert medical opinion, it is more likely than not that you will need them.
So, how can your personal injury lawyer in Knoxville determine the cost of your future medical expenses? One popular method is to put together a life care plan. This is commonly used when your medical team expects that you will have lifelong impairments that will need continuing treatment or care after the initial treatment and after reaching the expected maximum level of recovery.
Another method that can be used is to create an itemized list of specific treatments or procedures your doctor believes will be required in the future and add up the costs of each. This approach will usually be used if your doctor thinks you will eventually regain the level of function you had before the accident.
Other Personal Injury Damages
It is important to note that future medical expenses are only one part of the damages your personal injury lawyer in Knoxville will pursue on your behalf.
Personal injury damages refer to the financial compensation awarded to a person who has suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm due to another party's negligent or intentional actions. When someone is injured due to someone else's wrongdoing or negligence, they may be entitled to seek compensation for the losses and damages they have incurred.
Personal injury damages can be categorized into two main types:
- Compensatory Damages: These are intended to compensate the injured party for their actual losses and expenses incurred due to the injury. Compensatory damages can be further divided into:
- Special Damages: These cover specific economic losses and are relatively easy to calculate because they have a clear monetary value. They may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket costs directly related to the injury.
- General Damages: These compensate the injured person for non-economic losses that are harder to quantify, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and diminished quality of life. The value of general damages is often determined by considering the severity of the injury, the extent of suffering, and the long-term impact on the individual's life.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, a court may award punitive and compensatory damages to the injured party. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for their reckless, intentional, or grossly negligent actions and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. These damages are not always awarded and typically arise in cases where the defendant's actions were particularly egregious.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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