Once a settlement for a car accident claim has been finalized, it is too late to get medical compensation, or any other form. This is why it’s critical that an agreement is not reached until all damages have been properly evaluated.
Settling a Car Accident Claim
There are oftentimes two factors at play when it comes to a settlement for a car accident claim. The first is that the injured person is ready to take what’s offered and move on. The second is that the insurer would like to settle quickly and for as little as possible.
As a result, the claimant can end up receiving much less than what he/she was entitled to recover. And the settlement may not take into consideration future financial losses.
Future Medical Costs: Compensation in a Car Accident Claim
One of the largest forms of compensation in a car accident claim is the medical expenses. The more serious the injuries, the higher these will be.
Although recovering damages for initial medical care is important (such as ambulatory services, treatment in an emergency room and hospitalization), if there will be ongoing care it’s important to make sure these additional costs are also addressed in the settlement for the car accident claim.
It could be that a second or subsequent surgery will be necessary later. Or it may be that the injured person has to go through a few weeks of physical therapy. If the injuries are severe, the person might need to spend extended time in a rehabilitation center.
Settling a claim before fully understanding future medical care that may be required will prevent the injured person from being compensated. But it’s not just those expenses that need to be considered, there is also the issue of missed time from work.
Missed Time from Work in a Car Accident Settlement
Even if a person is able to temporarily return to his/her job, it might be at a reduced capacity. For example, the patient may be working fewer hours or taking less pay because of limitations in the type of work that can be done.
Figuring the lost income from these circumstances is important. But if future medical care will result in weeks or possibly even months of being out of work, those earnings should also be included in a claim.
While it may be difficult to know the exact amount of time one will spend recovering and the precise amount of his/her medical bills, a doctor’s opinion can help provide an estimate. It’s important that this is considered before settling a claim.
How an Attorney Can Help Determine a Fair Settlement for a Car Accident
It’s not always in the forefront of someone’s mind, that future medical care may be required after an accident. But by seeking legal advice, an attorney can ensure that no settlement is made without considering these and other potential losses that may be recoverable.
An attorney also understands the various tactics that insurance companies will use to try to get a claim settled as quickly as possible. They aren’t looking out for the injured person’s best interests. The insurer wants to pay out as little as they can.
D.J. Banovitz is an attorney who handles personal injury cases and can assist clients hoping to file an injury claim to address medical compensation, both current and future.