When our personal injury attorneys in Charlotte first meet with a client, they are usually feeling overwhelmed. Dealing with the insurance carrier can be very taxing. Not only do you need them to take care of your existing bills, but you may believe you’ll need more treatment in the future.
If your Charlotte injury lawyer can prove that you’ll need future medical care, they can demand that the other party pay for it.
When Can You Demand Damages for Future Medical Care?
Our Charlotte injury lawyers handle all kinds of cases. Some of them are simple. A client gets hurt in a car accident and breaks their arm. It costs them $10,000 to get their car fixed and they have $5,000 in medical bills.
They missed about a month from work but can still do the same kind of work they did prior to the accident. Therefore, their only damages are for the medical bills and damage to their vehicle. Of course, our personal injury attorneys in Charlotte will demand that they receive damages for pain and suffering.
There are other cases where our clients are seriously injured. They will need at least three or four surgeries. They’ll probably need long-term physical therapy as well.
These are the cases where you can claim damages for future medical care costs.
It May Take Years for You to Fully Recover from Your Injuries
In some of the cases our personal injury attorneys in Charlotte handle, it will take at least five years for our clients to fully recover. There is no way to know for sure exactly what their medical care will cost.
This is why the law allows you to demand damages for future medical care. Your Charlotte injury lawyer can hire an actuary to determine exactly what it will cost for you to receive the medical care you need going forward.
They will then account for present value and inflation and come up with a fair amount to demand from the defendant.
You May Need Multiple Surgeries and Physical Therapy
You may be wondering why it would take so long for you to fully recover. This is because there are some injuries that require gradual medical treatment.
Imagine that you’re involved in a car accident and suffer terrible burn injuries. You may need several skin grafts and surgeries. It could take anywhere from two to ten years for this to be completed.
You May Be Left Permanently Disabled After Your Accident
While some of our clients do eventually recover, there are others who are left permanently disabled. Some disabilities will require ongoing medical care and treatment. If this is the case, your Charlotte injury lawyer will demand compensation for your future medical care costs.
Your lawyer can also demand compensation for lost earning capacity. The way this works is your personal injury attorney in Charlotte will demand the difference between what you would’ve earned prior to the accident and what you’ll receive on disability.
Your Personal Injury Attorney in Charlotte Will Need to Prove That You Need Future Treatment
Just because your attorney says you need future medical care, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to prove it. Your doctor, surgeon, and physical therapists can all sign affidavits that confirm what your future care will involve.
Your Charlotte injury lawyer will also demand pain and suffering related to your future medical care. For example, in the burn injuries example above, you will suffer a great deal of pain and suffering. This will last for years.
Your attorney will include this in their initial demand. They will also raise this issue when they negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
How Does Your Charlotte Injury Lawyer Determine Damages for Future Medical Bills?
The problem is that you only have a limited time to file your lawsuit. According to North Carolina General Statute §1-52-16, you only have three (3) years to file suit for personal injury. The three years will start on the date of your accident.
There’s a good chance that you won’t know how expensive your future medical care will be until long after the two years have expired.
We understand that the idea of future medical bills sounds quite vague. This is true. There’s a reason for this. If the courts were too specific, it would rule out your ability to demand certain types of damages.
Your personal injury attorney in Charlotte will work hard to determine what kind of medical treatment you’ll need. Once they determine this, they’ll have a much better idea of what it will cost. Medical professionals can provide expert witness testimony concerning the expected costs of future treatment.
What if Your Lawyer Underestimates the Cost of Your Future Medical Care?
Your personal injury attorney in Charlotte will do their best to determine the value of your future medical care. However, nobody can tell the future. Your lawyer will negotiate a settlement that covers a fair amount designated for your future medical care.
Once you sign the settlement agreement, you cannot come back and ask for more money later on. There are very few situations in which the defendant will be willing to leave this open-ended.
Don’t Wait Too Long to Meet With an Experienced Charlotte Injury Lawyer
One of the problems a lot of accident victims make is waiting too long to talk to an experienced Charlotte injury lawyer. By the time they call our office, their insurance claim has been denied. In the meantime, they’re accruing thousands of dollars in medical bills they have no way of paying.
If somebody caused your accident, they need to be held accountable. This includes both losses you’ve already suffered. It also includes any expenses you’ll incur in the future. As long as your personal injury attorney in Charlotte can prove these expenses are related to the accident, they’ll demand that you be compensated.
When it comes to compensation for future medical bills, it can be a bit tricky to prove. That’s why we suggest you meet with a seasoned Charlotte injury lawyer sooner rather than later. They’ll make sure you get the money you deserve. Since we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, you have nothing to lose.