Personal Injury

Medical Expenses

Personal injury future medical expenses can be a critical component of your eventual settlement. You are entitled to the present day value (adjusted for inflation and rising health costs) of your expected future medical care. A treating physician will typically testify as to the likely future treatments required to care for your injuries. These future expenses might include physical therapy, rehabilitation, prosthetics, prescriptions and surgery. These costs can easily exceed a million dollars or more for some injuries.

Insurance companies are quick to sign away your right to these entitlements. A personal injury lawyer is well suited to help you receive the full value of this benefit.

If you have been injured as the result of the negligence of another, you may be interested in understanding which medical costs are recoverable by their insurer or from them directly. To begin, the general rule of medical care reimbursement, for example in California, is that compensation is available to cover reasonable losses or harm to persons or property. These costs of care are limited to those actually paid for services, meaning reimbursement is available for only those bills paid in satisfaction of services rendered, rather than the typically higher amount billed by the service provider. In effect, if your medical bills amount to $100,000 according to the hospital bill, but your health insurer paid a reduced fee of $55,000 to the hospital to settle the debt, the injured party is only able to recover the $55,000 actually spent on recovery.

In broad terms, you are entitled to compensation for all reasonable medical expenses resulting from the negligence of another. Your recovery of these exact bills will be dependent on the actual amount owed and paid however, and not the retail prices of the medical care not actually billed. Additionally the settled and paid prior medical expenses, rather than the full retail price billed, is used to determine the value of future medical care for the injured. In effect these limitations provide for the medical care of the injured, without concern for retail pricing. In the meantime, all paid costs of care will be fully reimbursable. So continue getting better, and allow your personal injury attorney to maximize your financial recovery while you get better.

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