New Jersey Attorneys for Current and Future Medical Expenses from Car Accidents
The amount of money you can recover after a car accident that wasn’t your fault depends on how badly you were injured, and the bills that need to be paid. Although you may have heard of accident victims recovering huge awards, you may wonder what exactly you are entitled to receive after an accident, and who must pay your expenses.
At Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers, our New Jersey car accident lawyers can answer all your questions and help you get the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, replace your lost income, and fix your damaged car. Contact us at (973) 364-8300 for any questions about your current and future medical expenses, and we can help you with your car accident case.
What Are Medical Expenses?
When most people think of their medical bills after a car accident, they usually think of the immediate cost of going to the hospital: the emergency room bills, x-rays, stitches, maybe even the ambulance ride. But “medical expenses” can cover much more than the ER visit.
Current medical expenses include everything being done to treat you at the time of the accident or immediately afterward, and cover not only the ER itself but anything related to your injury. This can mean things that you receive at the hospital that are billed to you, and things you must purchase yourself on doctor’s orders to treat your injury.
- Doctor’s bills. It often comes as a shock to people afterward, but doctors, particularly specialists like radiologists, bill their time separately from the ER.
- Follow-up care. Usually, you are discharged from the ER with instructions to see your own physician in three or four days. That follow-up care is part of the current expenses and should be included in your compensation.
- Medical devices or equipment. If you require crutches, a walker, or any assistive device, that is part of your current expenses.
- Medication prescribed for the injury. A recommendation for aspirin or Tylenol is not part of your bill since most people have that at home already. But if the doctor orders an over-the-counter medication that you do not routinely keep in the house, it can be considered an injury-related expense.
Proving Your Current Medical Expenses
When you contact an attorney about your accident, you should have at least some of your bills and doctor’s orders with you. If you don’t, your attorney will instruct you to collect them to build your case.
If you do not have these, your attorney will need you to get your medical records from the hospital that treated you. This is done by sending a request for documents to the hospital. One reason you need to engage an attorney as soon as possible after the accident is that gathering documents takes time, particularly if your injuries were significant and multiple health care providers were involved.
What Are Future Expenses?
If your injury is serious enough that you are likely to need care for many months or years to come, you can pursue compensation for future medical expenses. For instance, if you have suffered a back injury that will require multiple surgeries to correct, you are entitled to receive sufficient payment to cover all those surgeries.
As you might imagine, insurance companies do not like to pay for future expenses. It can be difficult to prove that you need this speculative future care. Some of the future expenses might be:
- Additional surgeries. Sometimes surgeries need to be carried out over a period of time, or injuries cannot be repaired at the time of the accident. If you are seriously injured, doctors may delay some operations until you are better stabilized, in some cases weeks or months.
- Extended rehabilitation. In cases of joint or back injury, rehabilitation may require lengthy physical therapy to fully heal.
- In-home care. If you have been seriously injured, the doctor may order home care services while you recover.
All these costs will begin after you have left the hospital, often many days or weeks after the injury occurred. You are entitled to a reasonable recovery from the insurance company for these costs as well.
Proving Your Future Costs
When your attorneys gather information for your future costs, they may ask for something called expert testimony. The experts will provide information describing whatever further treatment is needed and why, or the likely progression of your condition with and without the prescribed rehabilitation. If in-home care or other assistance is required, the experts will explain the need for such help, and why it should be carried out in the home versus in a nursing facility.
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic or life-altering injury in a crash that wasn’t your fault, such as full paralysis or traumatic brain injury leading to severe brain damage, you will need long-term intensive medical care. In the case of a catastrophic injury, proving the need for care is paramount.
Your first concern here is to keep accurate records of all costs associated with the care of the injured person. In the case of a catastrophic injury, any cost, even household bills and housekeeping items, may be included as part of the patient’s expenses.
In this case, you must have skilled legal assistance. You should never attempt to obtain recovery for a catastrophic injury by yourself.
How We Can Help
The details involved in obtaining financial recovery for current and future medical expenses are numerous. The other side will have aggressive attorneys to calculate exactly how little they think they should pay you. You will need to have attorneys just as skilled on your side to help you determine the correct value of the compensation you should be paid.
At Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers, we believe you should receive the just compensation you deserve. Contact our legal team at (973) 364-8300 for a confidential review of your case, and for a consultation about your medical expenses. We can discuss the potential value of your claim. Our legal team is standing by. Call now.