Car accidents are stressful experiences that frequently leave victims with serious injuries. The cost of getting care for those injuries can easily add up between emergency surgery and other medical procedures, hospital stays, and medication costs. To make matters worse, many victims of car accidents will need long-term medical care, either for a while as they recover or, in some cases, permanently because of the injuries sustained. The potential cost of long-term or future medical expenses can create a great deal of stress for plaintiffs who do not know whether they are going to be able to pay for important medical care or not.
Fortunately, in Tennessee, you can take into account future potential medical expenses when you ask for damages in a car accident lawsuit. However, since nobody can see the future, you will have to make a prediction with the help of our lawyers as to how much you expect your future medical expenses to be when you initially ask for damages.
Call Howe Law’s Tennessee car accident lawyers at (844) 876-4357 for a free overview of your case.
Incorporating Future Medical Expenses into Damages in Tennessee Car Accident Claims
Tennessee allows you to incorporate expected future medical expenses into what you ask for in damages in a car accident lawsuit. That being said, you do need to prove that such an award is reasonable for the court to give to you and that your claim is supported by evidence. Each case is different, so whether damages for future expenses are warranted or not will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
One of the requirements for jury rewards is that they have to be tied to the plaintiff’s expected condition. A jury cannot “eyeball” what they think a plaintiff will require in the future and use that to calculate damages. Per T.C.A. § 29-39-103(c), the jury’s award must reflect the expected cost of treatment and other expenses on the part of the plaintiff. Our Tennessee personal injury lawyers must work to provide enough evidence and make a compelling enough argument for what you will need to cover your future medical expenses.
How to Establish Future Medical Expenses in a Tennessee Car Accident Claim
As previously stated, the jury cannot simply “wing it” when deciding what your future medical expenses are worth when calculating damages. They have to make their decision based on the evidence they are provided during trial. Accordingly, you and our lawyers must make a strong enough argument and provide enough evidence to show the jury what you are likely to need as future medical expenses. There are a number of different ways that you can go about establishing what you will need to cover future medical expenses.
One way to argue to the court the worth of your future medical expenses is to offer medical records as evidence. For example, suppose you had emergency surgery because of your car accident. You could provide as evidence medical records covering that surgery, which indicate that you will need follow-up procedures and physical therapy in order to fully recover. Our Cookeville, TN car accident lawyers can then work to establish the cost of that future treatment and that the defendant should be liable for it.
Another way to argue for future medical expenses is to have an expert witness talk about them. An expert witness is different from an ordinary witness. First, they need to have their credentials vetted by lawyers from both sides of the case. Before trial, they get to be asked questions as to their expertise by lawyers from both sides, and they also need to say before trial what exactly they are going to testify about.
Expert witnesses can testify about many things, including what your future medical expenses are expected to be. For example, suppose you got in a car accident, suffered multiple fractures and bruises, got the emergency medical treatment you needed, and are currently undergoing more medical treatment to recover from your injuries. A witness who is an expert in these kinds of injuries could opine as to what the expected recovery time is for these kinds of injuries, what medications will be needed, what you will need to do to recover, and –most important for our purposes – what the cost of all this future medical care will be to you. The jury can then use that information to inform their decision when deciding what your damages will be.
What Can Your Damages Take into Account in Tennessee Car Accident Claims?
Damages in lawsuits are based on the condition of the plaintiff. The idea is to “make the plaintiff whole” again or put them in as close a position as possible to where they were before getting injured.
Current and Future Medical Expenses
Your medical expenses, both present and future, are a critical part of what you are asking for in damages, as they stem directly from your injuries and are fairly obvious to see. You can get damages for immediate medical treatment for both immediate care and long-term treatment.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is harder to quantify as it does not have a bill or receipt attached to it. Therefore, you need to argue for what these damages are worth. Your pain and suffering can be used to help convince the judge and jury that your future medical expenses are not mere speculation. For example, the fact that you have chronic pain in the area of your injury can be used to support damages based on a continued need to purchase pain management medication.
Talk With Our Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers
Howe Law has Columbia, TN car accident lawyers ready to discuss your case for free when you call (844) 876-4357.