When someone is seriously injured in an accident, there are usually substantial medical expenses involved. Medical expenses in a personal injury case generally includes all the necessary and reasonable medical-related costs the injured victim incurred. If the defendant is found liable for causing the injuries, they will have to pay for the injured party’s medical expenses – both past expenses as well as future medical costs. Some of the typical medical expenses which are included in a personal injury lawsuit include:
Current Medical Damages
A personal injury damages award almost always includes the cost of medical care associated with the accident. In other words, you will be reimbursed for the treatment you’ve already received or are currently receiving which may include emergency room care, prescription drug expenses, doctor visit costs, diagnostic testing fees, etc. This is why it’s important to keep all bills and receipts related to your medical expenses such as doctor and hospital bills, pharmacy bills and any other bills you’ve incurred because of your accident. Your personal injury attorney will need this documentation in order to prove you have current medical expenses to pay which are directly related to the injuries you suffered.
Primary Care Doctor Costs
If you are covered by medical insurance, it’s best to follow your insurance provider’s standard procedures related to what doctor you should seek treatment from. Many people with health insurance are required to seek treatment from their primary care doctors in order to obtain referrals before being sent to specialists. Be sure to tell your doctor that your injuries are a result of the accident you were involved in. This is important because the insurance company of the person or entity who caused your injuries will demand proof that your injuries were caused by the accident. You should continue to see your doctor until he or she releases you from treatment. Otherwise, you risk weakening your personal injury claim as the insurance company may argue that you failed to follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
Some personal injuries that seem minor at first linger on or worsen with time. Many car accident victims who suffer neck and back injuries are often referred to chiropractors by their primary care doctors. Other accident victims choose to see chiropractors as they simply find that their primary care physicians cannot provide them with the relief they need. You have the right under law to have your chiropractic bills paid by the liable party who is to blame for your injuries so remember to give these bills to your personal injury attorney.
Physical Therapy Costs
Many automobile accidents, slip and falls and workplace accidents result in injuries which require care from physical therapists. If you are referred to a physical therapist, be sure to describe the accident and all of your injuries in detail to the physical therapist. Even if something is not hurting you that much at the time, it’s important to mention it so the therapist makes note of it in their report. It’s also important to keep all recommended appointments and to do what you’re told. If you are told you are unable to work or take part in any types of activities, make sure you get this in writing.
Personal injuries sustained in an accident of some sort such as a truck accident are often traumatic and can sometimes go undetected during initial physical examinations. Often times, accident victims fail to recover fully even after physical therapy or chiropractic care because symptoms were missed immediately following the accident or they simply manifested themselves later. When this happens, diagnostic testing is often required to detect injuries such as misaligned vertebrae which can press nerves to cause severe pain. Under law, you have the right to be reimbursed for diagnostic testing you need following your personal injury accident.
MRIs, X-rays, CT Scans Costs
Because direct proof of an injury can be difficult to establish and because some plaintiffs exaggerate the extent of their injuries, doctors make use of radiological imaging technology like X-rays to document injuries for both insurance claims and potential lawsuits. While X-rays can clearly prove that injuries such as broken or dislocated bones are present, an X-ray may not be enough to see other types of injuries such as closed head injuries. Computerized tomography or CT scans provide very detailed images of different parts of the body. A CT scan may be ordered to check for a variety of injuries including head and neck injuries, spinal injuries and injuries sustained to internal organs.
Medical resonance imaging or MRI is a diagnostic medical test that allows a doctor to closely examine the body’s internal structures. MRIs are often used to determine the severity of certain types of injuries. If for instance, you have a suspected neck injury from an automobile accident you were involved in, your doctor may order an MRI so he/she can determine how severe your injury is and whether or not it is a result of the accident.
Future Medical Damages
Future medical damages represent the amount of money your doctor projects will be necessary to cover all future medical treatment you require. This amount is based on several factors including the nature of your injuries, your age and the type of treatment needed. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident wherein you will need future medical care and treatment, you have the right to include these projected medical expenses in your personal injury claim.
In some cases, plaintiffs are allowed to include medical monitoring costs in their personal injury claims. For example, a plaintiff can seek damages for the costs associated with monitoring him/her for the possible development of a condition or illness related to their claimed exposure to a hazardous product or substance. Medical monitoring may be necessary in a premises liability a workplace accident claim.