When you suffer catastrophic injuries in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, Louisiana state law gives you the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by these injuries. When calculating these damages, it’s essential to take into consideration not only your current medical expenses but also your ongoing and anticipated medical expenses as well. In some instances, the future medical expenses resulting from a catastrophic accident injury can add up to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in care and treatment.
Why is it so important to consider future medical expenses? Once you agree to a settlement with the negligent party’s insurance company, your case is over. You won’t be able to file another claim for subsequent damages like additional surgeries, hospitalizations, etc. If you don’t include your anticipated medical expenses in the settlement amount, you’ll be stuck having to pay for any future medical bills out of your own pocket.
What Are Catastrophic Injuries?
Catastrophic injuries are among the most severe types of accident injuries. Catastrophic injuries are defined as injuries that have a long-term physical and emotional impact on the victim’s life. Examples of catastrophic accident injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Birth injuries
- Nerve damage
- Vision or hearing loss
- Crush injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Internal organ injuries
What Types of Accidents Can Result In Catastrophic Injuries?
In Louisiana, catastrophic injuries can result from a wide range of accidents, including:
- On-the-job accidents
- Sports accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Defective drugs or products
- Assault and other violent crimes
- Exposure to toxic substances
Examples of Future Medical Expenses Related To Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries often require long-term, ongoing medical treatment, and care. A victim may never fully recover from their accident.
What are some of the future expenses you can expect from a catastrophic injury? Here are a few examples:
- Follow-up care
- Physical rehabilitation and therapy
- Mental health counseling and treatment
- Diagnostic testing
- Medical devices
- Home modifications, such as wheelchair ramps
- Home care
- Nursing home expenses
Calculating Future Medical Expenses
Many people recommend that you speak to a personal injury attorney after an accident. This is a good idea for many reasons. One is that an attorney will be able to help you accurately identify and calculate the future medical expenses and other damages that will likely result from your catastrophic injuries.
To help calculate these expenses, your attorney will examine your medical records, speak with your physician, and consult with medical experts who have a background in treating your type of injuries.
Medical expenses may not be the only damages you experience as a result of your catastrophic accident injuries. For instance, you may not be able to work again, or you may be forced to take a job that pays less than your pre-accident occupation. Pain and suffering are often associated with catastrophic injuries. Your injuries may also affect your social relationships, and prevent you from enjoying the hobbies and activities you engaged in before the accident.
Two Approaches To Calculating Future Medical Expenses
Attorneys generally use two methods to determine future medical expenses depending on the extent of their client’s injuries. If the client is expected to recover from their injuries, the attorney will use what is called the “additional expense” approach to calculate future expenses. In this approach, the attorney will incorporate any additional future medical expenses as part of the total medical damages.
The other method is the “total lifestyle” approach. This approach is used in situations where victims experience permanent, life-changing injuries and are no longer able to live an independent lifestyle. The total lifestyle approach addresses future medical bills as well as any expenses caused by the lifestyle changes forced by their injuries.
Get The Compensation You Deserve For Your Catastrophic Injuries
You deserve to get the total compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of someone else’s careless actions. This includes your current damages as well as any anticipated damages, such as future medical expenses. The New Orleans law firm of Lambert Zainey Smith & Soso is here to protect your rights to ensure you get the full amount of compensation you are owed for your catastrophic injuries and other accident-related damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
You only have a year from the date of your accident in which to file a personal injury claim in Louisiana. The sooner you seek legal representation, the better. Call the law offices of Lambert Zainey Smith & Soso today at (800) 521-1750 or contact us through our website to schedule a free initial consultation with a leading New Orleans personal injury attorney.