If you have been in an auto accident and sustained injuries, you are entitled to receive compensation for your medical expenses. And when the injuries are severe, life-altering, or catastrophic, ongoing future medical care may be needed. These future medical expenses and other associated costs for your recovery are also covered.
Florida requires that all drivers must have an auto insurance policy with personal injury protection coverage of at least $10,000. Medical expenses that are reasonable and necessary are covered under this insurance policy – regardless of who caused the accident. Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, you would first file a claim with your insurance company for payment of any reasonable and necessary medical expenses. When your injuries and damages total more than $10,000 you can submit a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance provider. However, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider may try to deny your claim for medical expenses if they think that these expenses are not reasonable or medically necessary.
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Future Medical Expenses
Medical care is costly. The financial burden on you and your family can be extraordinary. And if long-term care is required, you should be compensated for those future expenses. Future expenses that you expect as a result of an injury caused by another’s negligent behavior, and should be considered are:
- Hospital stays
- Surgical procedures
- Ambulance services
- Prosthetic devices
- Diagnostic testing
- MRi’s and X-Ray’s
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Ongoing in-home caregivers
- Medical or assistive equipment, such as crutches or wheelchairs
- Follow-up doctor appointments to check on the progress of your recovery
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Modifications to home and vehicle, such as a wheelchair ramp or lift
Since the burden of proving your future medical expenses are reasonable falls on you and your attorney, it is critical that your treating physician can provide a clear understanding of what ongoing medical care you will need and how that care relates to your injuries. If a medical expert is called to testify, they only need to state that the care is “more likely than not” to be needed. The compensation you are able to recover will depend greatly on this testimony.
Determining Value of Future Medical Care
Calculating the cost of future medical care can be difficult and complicated. Several factors should be considered when determining your future medical expenses, such as:
- the amount of treatment and care expected based on your injuries
- the effectiveness of that treatment (70% recover completely, 30% require additional surgeries)
- your age, your health prior to the accident, as well as your life expectancy
- where you are in the recovery process, and how quickly you are recovering
- what alternative treatment options are available that are effective but more affordable
- projected inflation of medical care costs over time
There are two different ways to approach calculating future medical expenses, and your attorney can help to determine which approach should be taken: the Additional Expense Approach, or the Total Lifestyle Approach.
Additional Expense Approach
When your injuries are such that you are expected to make a full or nearly full recovery and return to your former lifestyle, the additional expense approach should be used. In this situation, you may be able to recover compensation for damages such as:
- Physical therapy
- Attendant care
- Massage care
- Medical equipment
- Chiropractic treatments
Total Lifestyle Approach
When your injuries are severe, life-altering, and impact your ability to live independently, the total lifestyle approach should be used. This approach considers all the costs related to maintaining a quality of life comparable to what you enjoyed prior to the accident. For example, this allows for compensation for full-time care and special transportation to and from appointments, as well as compensation to remodel a home so it can accommodate any disability caused by the injury.
Contact Us Today
Having a knowledgeable, trusted personal injury attorney working for you can make the difference in ensuring you get full compensation for your injuries and damages. Your attorney will know where to find the evidence you need to support your claim.
At Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., we listen to you and want to hear your story!
When you contact us, we will take the time to get to know you and understand all the ways your life has been affected by your accident. We pride ourselves on being empathetic, compassionate, and caring. This is just one of the reasons we are Florida’s top-rated personal injury attorneys – providing personalized legal advice addressed to meet your individual needs.
From the first call, you will know that we will be there with you, helping you to navigate through what can be a complex, difficult, and emotionally challenging time. We strive to provide you with all the information and resources you need. We are dedicated to making your life easier. From start to finish, we will promptly answer all your questions and provide the best legal advice, so you can make informed decisions about your future.
We build trust through open, timely communication, and straightforward legal advice. We are an award-winning, established personal injury law firm, that have been fighting for our clients for over 60 years.
Contact us today and we will fight to get the results you deserve.