Calculating damages for victims of personal injury due to the negligence of another party can be very complicated. This includes many elements that only an experienced personal injury attorney could address. These damages are also based on categories set by the court.

What is Cost of future care?

The “cost of future care” is defined as the total estimated cost of medical care and treatment required to restore the victim of personal injury to a state of complete well-being before the accident happened. These are specific to each client or based on the circumstances surrounding the case. What makes it more complicated is that each of these elements should be according to those stipulated in the law.  Please note that cost of future care is different from loss of future earning capacity.

What type of treatment is included in these costs?

The first requirement when calculating for the cost of future care or any type of medical cost is that these should be directly related to the accident. Some of the things that should be considered include:

  • Medications and drugs used during the course of treatment
  • Professional fees for medical and non-medical personnel directly involved in the care and rehabilitation of the victim
  • Special medical equipment used to assist the person in performing daily activities
  • Hospital, transportation and housing costs
  • All expenses related to lifestyle changes resulting from injury (installation of wheelchair ramps in the home, special driving equipment and modifications)

Future costs include all financial expenses related to restoring the victim of personal injury to their physical state before the accident. In cases of long term disability, cost of future care covers all medical expenses involved in helping the person recover from injury.

Other cases of personal injury may have special circumstances that are not included in the list above. In some cases when the client is fully recovered no future damage can be collected.

What makes a claim for cost of future care justified?

Determining the cost of future care as being justified does not only mean that it should be related to medical expenses but should also be medically necessary. There are certain guidelines and sometimes a medical expert is consulted to determine if the type of medical treatment is necessary. An example of this would be a leg amputee who may require crutches but not a round the clock health supervision.

However, in other cases where a personal injury victim is bedridden, a health care attendant may be deemed as necessary. We must understand that not all claims have similar circumstances and should be assessed on a case by case basis. Final assessment depends on the court as some future costs require predicting. This is where the expertise of a medical expert is invaluable.  Once a medical expert opines about future care needs, our attorneys at work with the medical experts in calculating your expected cost of future care.

How far into the future are costs determined?

The period covered for future costs includes all the time when the court passes judgment until the client’s death. Compensation for damages from the time of injury until the court’s decision is covered by other damages. Future damages only cover all expenses until the time when the personal injury victim fully recovers from injury. For long term or permanent disabilities higher compensation is expected. This is because these injuries prevent the client from fully recovering or returning to their normal lives.

However, injured persons are also expected to everything in their part to recover from injury. This is also referred to as mitigating the costs. The court takes into consideration the possibility of the client’s fully recovering from the injury.