Settling your case is the goal for every client who pursues a personal injury case. One crucial factor in determining settlement value and negotiating with the insurance company is the cost of your medical treatment. If your treatment is effective and is finished within a few months, there is usually no problem in waiting until treatment is complete before settling. But what if your treatment is taking longer than expected?
Settling Before Treatment is Complete
If you decide to settle before completing your treatment, you will need documentation from your doctor outlining the medical necessity of the treatment, when it will take place, and how much the treatment will cost. You will also need to show your anticipated recovery time and the time you will miss from work due to the upcoming procedures.
Once you have this information verified by your treating physician, you can include the cost of this future treatment in the settlement value. However, there are some risks involved with going this route. The cost, length and effectiveness of future treatment are all just an estimate—there is no way around this. No doctor can tell you with certainty how your body will respond to a certain surgery, drug or therapy.
Suppose you have included the cost of one future surgery in your settlement value. The insurance company agrees, and you settle the case. Then, six months later, you have the surgery, and it is not effective. You now have to undergo a different procedure, the cost of which was not included in your settlement. A personal injury case that has been settled cannot be reopened, so you will have to absorb the cost of the additional treatment yourself.
Waiting to Settle Until Treatment is Complete
If you can wait until your treatment is completed to settle your case, it is easier for your personal injury attorney to request an amount that accurately reflects the damages you incurred from the accident. Of course, this is not always possible. If your injuries are very extensive and will require ongoing treatment for many years or for the rest of life, you will need to settle the case before your treatment is complete. Your personal injury attorney will be able to determine which option is best for your unique case.
“Having an accurate assessment of medical costs from your accident is vital to determining the value of your case,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.
Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at (760) 777-7777 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.
DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.
Our firm has been handling a variety of personal injury cases throughout the California High Desert communities for over 30 years. Here you will find a personal injury attorney who can help protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.