After a car accident, victims often worry about compounding expenses from the resulting injuries. From medical bills to lost income, car repair expenses, and more, the costs of a car accident can be substantial. Unfortunately, for some car accident victims, costs continue to be an issue for months or even years later. This is especially the case for those with chronic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, and other severe conditions. For these victims, the question becomes “how do I pay for future medical expenses after a car accident?”
In this article, we'll discuss how future losses are calculated into accident claims and other relevant considerations. If you've been in an accident and suffered substantial, potentially long-term losses, you may be entitled to legal compensation to help you get your life back. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and case review, call or text (602) 345-1818 to speak with our Arizona accident lawyers or 505-386-2807 to speak with our New Mexico accident lawyers. You may alternatively fill out this online contact form, and we will reach out to you to schedule your initial consultation.
How Do I Pay My Medical Bills After an Accident?
In Arizona and New Mexico, the at-fault party in an accident is responsible for the resulting damages. This means that the person liable for an accident, such as a car accident or dog bite injury, is responsible for paying the accident-related costs of the victims. Some costs that may be compensable in an accident claim include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Home modification expenses (related to your injury)
- Home cleaning or maintenance costs (if you are unable to maintain your home because of your injury)
- Medication costs
Additionally, non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering or emotional trauma, may be incurred by accident victims. The at-fault party may be responsible for these types of damages, too. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Severe physical pain
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
Some of These Losses Will Be Long-Lasting
For some victims, the above losses will last for months or years following the initial injury. For instance, you may need continued treatment for certain conditions, such as physical therapy, rehabilitation expenses, additional surgical procedures, and more. In these instances, complainants will need to calculate those future expenses into their accident settlements. An accident lawyer can help you do this.
A study published in 2014 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that all crash injuries in 2012 totaled $18 billion in estimated lifetime medical costs. According to the CDC, about 15% of these costs were incurred after the first 18 months following an accident injury. In addition to continued medical treatment costs, income lost as a result of the car accident injuries analyzed in this study totaled an estimated $33 billion.
Be Wary of the Insurance Company's First Offer
Insurance companies often attempt to offer victims quick-turn lowball settlements. These offers are usually extremely low. There is no way to know the extent of future costs if you accept an offer too early. Be sure to consult an accident lawyer before accepting an insurance offer. Proper recovery may depend on continued doctor visits, physical therapy, or even surgical procedures. You don't want to accept a settlement before you know exactly what damages should be included in your settlement request. A car accident lawyer will help you calculate your accident settlement amount to ensure all of your recovery bases are covered.
Once you settle with an insurance company, you lose the right to file a lawsuit. In addition to the possibility that other, more severe injuries and expenses may pop up later, settling too quickly opens the door for other financial mistakes. For instance, say you've accepted an unfair settlement amount, and then you learn one or more of the following facts about your situation:
- You should have been paid a lot more money based on your case, injury, and damages
- Your injuries are worse than you initially knew
- As a result of your initial injuries, you develop secondary injuries, like a serious infection
- Your recovery has been prolonged
- You receive expensive bills you weren't expecting after you accept the settlement
- These situations happen to unsuspecting people frequently. The best way to avoid these situations is to work with a car accident lawyer to ensure you get the settlement you need and deserve.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer to Calculate Your Potential Settlement
If you've been hurt in an accident caused by someone else, you may incur future costs. To properly calculate your accident damages to ensure you get the appropriate and rightful settlement amount so that you can recover and heal, schedule a free consultation and case review by calling or texting (602) 345-1818 or filling out our online contact form here.
The information on our blog and website is for general informational purposes only, and it is not intended to serve as legal advice. For legal advice about your unique situation, call or text our car accident lawyers today.
We are located in Arizona and New Mexico. We serve clients in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Maricopa, and the entire state of Arizona. We also serve clients in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Roswell, Farmington, Los Alamos, Las Cruces, and the entire state of New Mexico.