How to Calculate Future Medical Expenses in a Personal Injury Settlement

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Experiencing a personal injury is an incredibly challenging ordeal, with one pressing concern being future medical costs. As California personal injury attorneys, we know just how vital it is to understand how these costs are calculated in a settlement. 

This post aims to simplify the complexities surrounding personal injury settlements and future medical expenses. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge needed to secure a just settlement that appropriately accounts for your future needs. 

Why an Injured Person Might Need Future Medical Intervention

A person might need additional medical services after a severe injury for one of these reasons:

  • Their prescribed regimen of treatment might involve multiple stages that take many months. An example of this might be a person who suffers extensive, severe burns in an accident. Their wounds need to heal before they can accept skin grafts, which might have to be performed in stages, allowing several months between surgeries.
  • A person who suffered catastrophic wounds, like life-changing head trauma, might not regain consciousness. A person in a persistent vegetative state will need around-the-clock care for the rest of their life.

Even when you have regained as much function as your doctor expects you to achieve, your doctors might reasonably anticipate that you will need future medical treatment for your wounds or complications.

How to Calculate Future Medical Costs

You cannot merely tell the judge and jury that your doctor expects you to need additional medical procedures. The court cannot require the defendant to write a blank check for you to use if and when you need it.

You will have to convince the court through the testimony of expert witnesses what medical procedures you will need, why you will need the treatment, and how much it will cost. Your experts will not have to testify that you definitely will need the treatment, but they must estimate these things in good faith and show that their allegations are more likely than not to be true.

One method of determining the cost of your future medical needs is to create a life care plan. This approach gets used when the plaintiff’s experts reasonably expect the plaintiff to live with permanent impairments from the injuries after completing the initial treatments and reaching their maximum level of medical improvement.

Another method to calculate future medical bills is to itemize the specific procedures your doctor thinks you will need and add up those costs. This approach can be appropriate if your doctor expects you to eventually regain the level of functioning that you had before the accident.

Getting Help for Your Personal Injury Case That Involves Future Medical Expenses

Cases that involve future medical costs are challenging. You will need to work with expert witnesses, like medical experts, life care plan experts, and vocational rehabilitation experts. You could miss out on significant compensation if you try to handle your personal injury claim on your own.

You can talk to a California personal injury attorney at no charge. Simply reach out to us for your free initial consultation. For help with your case, reach out to our office today.

author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.