Medical care is expensive, and getting more expensive all the time. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision in Washington or Oregon, you are able to make a claim for your damages, which includes medical expenses. In Washington, this is part of the "special damages" claim, and in Oregon, we refer to this as part of your "economic damages" claim. Part of your claim involves the medical expenses you have incurred, but what happens when you have future medical care needs?
Generally, you can make a claim for your future medical expenses. However, you must prove the need for those expenses. It is not enough for you or your doctor to testify that you may need a surgery in the future. Instead, a medical expert must provide an opinion that you will need a specific type of medical care within a foreseeable or predictable period of time in the future. But that is only half of the issue.
The other challenge is to estimate the cost of the future care. This is a complicated issue, because we are looking out into the future to determine what kind of care you may require. If you have been seriously injured, and are left with a life changing disability, we will often work with a "life care planner" to determine the actual cost and type of future care you may require. Life care planners will consider all of your needs, and your particular circumstances in arriving at a life care plan. This plan is often times the centerpiece of your claim for future economic losses. If your case goes to trial, the life care planner will likely testify about the cost of future medical care.
If you are facing a life changing injury because of a motor vehicle collision or other negligence, and you have questions, give us a call at 503-325-8600. We have experience with catastrophic in life changing injury claims, and are here to help.