Does Medical Treatment Increase the Settlement Value of My Personal Injury Claim?
Since a personal injury claim can result in reimbursement for your medical expenses, it is indeed possible for medical treatment to increase the settlement value of your claim. The best way to assess how much your claim might be worth it to meet with a personal injury lawyer. At Ellis Injury Law, we provide comprehensive initial consultations free of charge. The initial consultation allows our personal injury team to get to know you, review your case, consider questions of liability, and estimate the potential settlement value of your claim.
How much is my personal injury claim worth?
As a general rule of thumb, the more severe a person’s injuries are, the greater the value of the claim. More severe injuries also go hand-in-hand with increased expenses for medical treatments. Although every case involves unique factors, your claim could be worth at least as much as the following:
- The total of your accident-related medical expenses, including ongoing medical costs
- The total of your lost wages if you missed time at work due to the accident
- The dollar value of your property damage, if applicable (e.g. damage to your vehicle or other personal possessions)
In addition, some injury victims suffer from partial or total permanent disabilities. These may prevent you from working in the future, even with medical treatment. If this is the case, Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can also request compensation for your loss of future earning capacity.
Can I sue for non-economic damages?
Your medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages are all considered to be economic damages. That is, they are objectively calculable. In some cases, a personal injury claim may also pursue non-economic damages, which are subjective in nature and difficult to calculate. For example, you may request compensation for the pain and suffering that arose from your injuries. If your injuries affected the quality of your marriage, you might also request compensation for loss of consortium.
An individual who only suffered from minor, temporary injuries will have a more difficult time securing non-economic damages. On the other hand, if your injuries were severe and/or resulted in permanent disability or disfigurement, there is a greater likelihood of securing non-economic damages. This is another way that requiring a great deal of medical treatment can enhance the settlement value of your claim.
Keeping track of your accident-related expenditures
One important thing that every personal injury plaintiff should know is the necessity of proving your losses. It isn’t sufficient to simply state that you spent X amount on your medical treatment; your lawyer must be able to prove it. The proof is in the documentation. For example, your lawyer will need access to your medical records in order to substantiate your claim.
In addition, you must keep careful records of your losses, injuries, symptoms, and treatments starting from your first post-accident medical evaluation. During your initial exam at the emergency room, you should make a note of each provider you see, as well as your diagnoses. Write notes about the symptoms you’re experiencing and, as time passes, the extent to which those symptoms interfere with your ability to work and perform the daily activities of living. In addition, be sure to make and keep all recommended follow-up visits, and follow your discharge instructions carefully.
You will need to keep each medical bill (get an itemized copy of each) and your receipts, including pharmacy co-pays. Keep track of your physical or occupational therapy expenses, as well as all other expenditures that are accident-related. Along these lines, you’ll also need to keep track of your lost wages and get written estimates for your property damage. With solid documentation of your losses, your personal injury attorney can pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Request a free consult with a personal injury lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a serious accident that may have been someone else’s fault, you need legal guidance you can count on from qualified professionals who have litigated countless claims. At Ellis Injury Law, we’ve recovered more than $350 million for our injured clients throughout Southern California. You can request a free, no-obligation consultation with personal injury attorneys to discuss your case.