When you file a personal injury lawsuit, the damages you typically seek go towards your medical expenses and the bills you could not pay because you were out of work. But, what if you need ongoing treatment for your injuries? Once you settle a case, you will receive a lump sum and will no longer be able to request more money. Therefore, when calculating a settlement, you must include both current and future medical expenses to cover your needs.
If you’ve been injured due to another’s carelessness, let our Chicago personal injury lawyers help. We can assess your case during our free and confidential consultation. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900.
How to Calculate a Settlement Offer
When presenting a settlement figure, you will need to have a precise breakdown of costs. An offer that simply says “medical expenses” or “annual treatments” will not be accepted. Instead, you should list out everything involved in your recuperation and give a corresponding dollar figure. For example, you will want to include:
- Lost wages. This figure takes into consideration how much time you have taken off work, and should also include any future time you will miss. The monetary amount is based on your salary.
- Medical bills. Even if some of your medical bills were covered by your personal insurance, you need to list them here. These bills cover not only visits to the doctor, but also pharmaceuticals, treatments from physical therapists or other specialists, and medical devices including crutches or a bedpan.
- Property damage. This item is for personal injury claims stemming from an automobile accident. You need to include the cost to repair your car, any personal items that were inside, and damages from the accident. This category could include things like a laptop or briefcase.
- Future medical expenses. Your settlement must provide reimbursement for what you’ve paid so far, but it must also cover what you expect to pay in the future. If you will need continuing physical therapy or your doctor has recommended surgery, you should include these factors.
- General damages. There are two types of damages: special and general. Special damages are anything that have a definite cost, such as a medical bill or car repair estimate you’ve received. General damages do not come with a specific amount, but they are just as important. These damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment or quality of life, or mental stress. When recovering from a serious accident, taking care of your mental health is just as crucial as healing your body.
How Do I Determine Future Expenses?
Calculating future medical expenses can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. When it comes to medical costs, you may need to rely on the opinion of your medical professionals. Your doctor may be able to determine how much treatment you need, whether you’re headed for surgery, or how long your pain will be controlled through medication. A physical therapist might indicate the length of time you will need to work on injuries.
General damages could be tougher because it is hard to put a number on the length of time your mind takes to heal. When considering these damages, you could go two routes:
- Multiplying damages. Multiply the total of your special damages by a number. This number could be 1.5 up to 5, depending on a number of factors.
- Per diem. The per diem, or daily rate, is another option. In this case, you could figure out a certain daily rate and charge it for every day that you have pain and suffering. Again, these figures depend on a variety of factors, but they can be a good starting point.
Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
Arriving at a figure for future medical expenses is not easy, and it can be overwhelming to calculate them when you’re trying to recover from your injuries. Thus, it may be a good idea to contact a Chicago personal injury attorney for help. Our attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. have a great deal of experience helping clients decide on a figure that best represents their future medical needs.