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Medical Expenses in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

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What Are the Medical Expenses in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Medical expenses in a personal injury lawsuit generally include all of the necessary and reasonable medical expenses that the victim of the injuries incurred. If the defendant is found to be liable for causing the plaintiff’s injuries, they will generally have to pay for the injured party’s medical expenses as part of the overall damages award. 

Medical expenses typically include both past expenses that were already paid for in connection with the personal injury lawsuit, as well as future medical costs. However, future medical costs must result from the injury; they cannot be so far removed from the cause of the original injury so as to be considered unreasonable. Medical expenses are usually listed under compensatory damages, which are intended to compensate the injured for their losses. 

People also ask about: Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Claim 

What Are Some Examples of Medical Expenses in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Some typical medical expenses that are included in a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • Hospital bills
  • Diagnostic testing expenses (laboratory fees)
  • Surgery costs
  • Therapy and rehabilitation costs
  • Costs of prescription medicines
  • Insurance-related costs (in some cases)
  • Pain and suffering management

Medical expenses can therefore be very extensive, especially if the injured party has to continue treatment for recurring medical problems. For this reason, it’s important to be very thorough when documenting injuries for the purposes of filing a lawsuit so that it is possible to calculate damages to account for future problems. 

It is also important to attend all medical appointments or therapy sessions. Many states have a rule that only medical services received will be compensated. This means that failure to attend all medical appointments or sessions may result in a lower damage award.

How Are Medical Expenses Proven?

Proving these expenses may require the help of an expert medical professional as well as a personal injury lawyer. Usually, thorough documentation is required in order to calculate the total costs of medical treatment. These may include the presentation of various items of evidence in court, such as:

  • Hospital bills;
  • Chiropractor or medical therapy costs;
  • Medical treatment receipts;
  • Pharmaceutical bills; or
  • Any other documents showing the costs of the medical expenses

Can I Still Recover Medical Expenses If I Have Insurance?

Yes, if a person filing a lawsuit wants to recover medical expenses and those medical expenses were paid through health insurance or some type of other insurance plan can still recover medical expenses. 

Most health insurance policies have a “subrogation clause.” These clauses state that the health insurance company will pay for any medical expenses that its customers suffered as a result of an accident.  However, if the customer makes a recovery against a third-party in a settlement or lawsuit, then the customer has to use the proceeds to compensate the insurance company back the amount the insurance company paid out to the customer. So a plaintiff who suffered damages can try to recover the medical expenses, but then the victim may have to use the proceeds to pay the health insurance company back.

To avoid this from happening, it’s important to let your insurance company know that you have filed a claim or want to file a claim. It will give the insurance company a chance to file a suit or join your suit against the person who caused your injury. 

What Are the Maximum Amount of Medical Expenses Paid?

Medical expenses have no minimum or maximum amount. Every personal injury case is different in terms of strengths and weaknesses, and the amount of damages the plaintiff suffered. The amount of a medical expenses settlement in a personal injury case depends on how much the plaintiff suffered in damages and/or how much medical care they would need in the future. Sometimes these amounts cannot be predicted, so there is no cap in medical expense or medical care needs for plaintiff.

Should I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Medical expenses often form the bulk of a person’s damages award in a personal injury lawsuit. You may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer if you need assistance filing for damages for a personal injury. Your attorney can provide you with expert advice regarding the medical expenses that you may be compensated. In addition, your lawyer can represent and guide you during the formal court processes.

Photo of page author Ki Akhbari

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 07-21-2017 02:28 PM PDT

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