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Who pays for a car accident victim's future medical expenses, such as surgical procedures, after a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey?

 

A:

A concern many of our clients involved in serious car accidents in Pennsylvania has is who pays for their future medical expenses.  A client may tell us that his treating doctor told him that he will need years of treatment for his injuries and probably will need additional surgical procedures years down the road.  In addition, he may not be able to return to work.  Because he gets his health insurance through his employer, the client worries about how he will pay for the medical expenses in the future.

One of the most important aspects of our jobs as personal injury attorneys is to determine what our client's future medical needs will be as a result of a car or truck accident, and how much that will cost. This requires us to work carefully with the client's treating physicians and, very often, with specially retained experts who are able to gauge what the client's future needs will be based upon the nature of the injuries and the condition of the client at the time of the evaluation.

Related: PA Car Accident & Insurance Law - Who Is Eligible To Receive PIP Or Medical Benefits?

Working With Your Treating Physicians

We will need to obtain reports from medical doctors, which discuss our client's future prognosis.  For example, if a driver suffers multiple fractures in their leg as a result of a car accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, he will need surgery.  As a result, hardware, such as screws and plates, are placed in the driver's leg.  The driver's orthopedic doctor tells him that he will likely need future surgery to change/remove the hardware. 

In this case, we would obtain a medical report from the orthopedic doctor detailing our client's injuries and the fact that he is likely to need future surgery.

Working With Specially Retained Experts

After we have the expert medical reports, we may retain an expert to review the medical expert reports and assess the future medical costs based on those reports.  If the victim needs future surgery, the life care plan expert will calculate the cost of the surgery and the medical equipment needed after the surgery.

The cost of additional future treatment is also included in the expert evaluation. These costs include such things as future therapy, future surgical procedures, all future medication that may be needed, hospitalizations, nursing home care, alterations to one's home, the purchase of special vehicles for the client, etc. This information then becomes a part of the evidence which we present in the case on behalf of our client. Properly developing and documenting future medical needs is a vital part of what we do.

These costs of future treatment will then be presented in the lawsuit as part of the damages.  Therefore, future medical costs will be recovered as part of the lawsuit.

FREE consultations - Call Daniel J. O'Brien, an experienced PA and NJ car accident lawyer to schedule a consultation. 877.944.8396


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