Victims who have suffered a catastrophic injury or one that has left them with long-term or permanent disabilities often face years of recovery and ongoing medical treatments. These victims are often able to collect future damages in their personal injury claim. These future losses include medical expenses, loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering. Each type of future damage is calculated differently.
Future Damages are for expenses the victim may suffer because of the injury. Future damages cannot only cover these future medical expenses, but they can also cover the loss of future income the victim will suffer because they are no longer able to work at their old job or they may be physically unable to work at all. Many victims are also able to collect future damages for the pain and suffering, scarring, or disfigurement they will endure for the rest of their lives.
Calculating future damages can be complex and requires the skill and experience of a professional accident attorney, who will work with an accountant or other financial experts to project what those future medical expenses and lost income will be, as well as the financial value of pain and suffering.
Catastrophic or permanent injuries often leave the victim facing years of recovery and the need for future treatment, surgeries, therapy, and other types of medical treatment. There is no maximum cap on the amount of medical expenses a victim is allowed to be reimbursed in personal injury cases. Either the insurance companies or the courts – if the case ends up being litigated – makes that determination based on the circumstances of the case.
Just as all past medical expenses may be included in a personal injury settlement, all future medical expenses may be too. These expenses can include:
- All future hospital stays and expenses associated with those stays;
- All future surgery expenses. These costs are usually estimated;
- All diagnostic testing;
- All medication you will need for the rest of your life;
- All rehabilitative and therapy costs, including mental health, occupational, physical, and vocational therapy;
- All medical devices and equipment;
- Any necessary modifications to the victim’s home, such as wheelchair ramps, widened hallways and doorways, counter height modifications, bathroom retrofitting, and medical equipment installation.
When a personal injury attorney calculates a victim’s future earnings loss, it is not based on the income the victim was earning at the time of the accident. Instead, the attorney examines the ability the victim has to earn a living starting with what that earning capacity was before the injury and then comparing that to the reduction in the victim’s current earning capacity now that he or she is disabled. The difference between those two amounts is what the court considers the lost earnings.
Every case is different, and every victim has different circumstances their injuries will cause them. Damages under this category can be for chronic pain, depression, loss of quality of life, and other physical and emotional struggles.