Do North Carolina Personal Injury Claims Include Future Medical Expenses?
If you were recently injured in a car accident in North Carolina due to the negligence of another motorist, you might need extensive medical treatment in the future.
A personal injury settlement usually includes the compensation for the medical bills you’ve already incurred and bills you could not pay while you were out of work. North Carolina law limits your recovery to what you owe or paid plus what your health insurance paid. Once you receive your settlement, you cannot request more funds. Thus, it is essential to include future medical expenses in the settlement cost to ensure you do not end up paying out of pocket down the road. A physician must be willing to testify that you will probably need the future care. Future medical bills are not limited by what you and your insurance company will have to pay.
Feeling a little overwhelmed? Don’t stress. Our team of legal professionals are here to help. Here is an overview, if you should find yourself in this situation.
What Are Future Medical Expenses?
According to North Carolina law, those involved in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence can request future medical expenses in their insurance settlement. Future medical expenses can cover a variety of treatments and procedures to treat your injuries. Future medical expenses can include:
- Hospital stays
- Follow-up appointments with doctors
- Diagnostic tests
- Surgical procedures
- Physical therapy or occupational therapy
- Long-term care facility costs
- Medical supplies
- Prescription medications
Certain insurance providers may also allow you to include mental health treatments and home modifications, such as wheelchair ramps and other necessary safety related materials, into future medical cost projections.
Proving Future Medical Expenses
In some states, you must prove that you have an undeniable need for compensation for future medical expenses. However, under North Carolina law, there is no need to prove this need. Instead, you must only show a likelihood you will require medical care in the future.
Calculating Future Expense Needs
Future medical expenses are typically based on the extent of your injuries. You must calculate your future costs and submit them with your claim. There are two methods to calculate these future expenses: the additional costs approach and the total lifestyle approach.
Additional Expense Approach: If you anticipate returning to your former lifestyle after recovering, you may want to use the additional expense approach when calculating future costs. Using this approach, you can request money for expenses such as physical therapy, counseling, home health care, medical equipment or chiropractic treatments.
Total Lifestyle Approach: Victims with debilitating injuries will require more long-term medical care to continue living independently. Using this situation, your legal team will take a more comprehensive approach to determine future needs. Expenses such as rent and food may be factored into your settlement, depending on the extent of your injuries.
Work With GMFM Law
Have you recently been injured in a car accident in North Carolina? Contact Glenn, Mills, Fisher & Mahoney, P.A. We are committed to protecting the rights of North Carolinians and work tirelessly to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve.
For a no-obligation review of your case, fill out our online form – otherwise, call our team directly at (919) 683-2135 today!