We have represented several clients who suffered significant fracture injuries as a result of another’s negligence, whether it be the result of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, or a serious motor vehicle collision. Here are a few issues common to the serious fracture case.
Serious orthopedic injuries required extensive treatment. In Oregon, the minimum required coverage under the personal injury protection coverage of your policy for medical treatment is $15,000.00. If the liability insurance policy is minimal, and may not be sufficient to cover all medical expenses, let alone compensation for the loss of your health.
If your injuries require extensive treatment beyond available insurance proceeds, you may have to look to your private health plan to cover medical expenses. Most private health plans will require that you reimburse the plan for the cost of benefits provided if you are able to make a recovery against the responsible party’s insurance company.
If you do not have coverage under a private health plan, you may be able to work directly with the orthopedic surgeon to either defer payment, or set up a payment plan to avoid being sent to collection. Our firm commonly works with orthopedic surgeons and other medical specialists when claims are pending.
Future Medical Care
Orthopedic injuries, especially fractures of or near a joint, like the knee, shoulder, or hip, will almost always involve at least the possibility of future treatment. This could include removal of hardware used at surgery to stabilize the fracture, or treatment of posttraumatic arthritis, including total joint replacement. When we prepare the serious orthopedic injury case for settlement or trial, verification of future treatment needs is crucial to document not only incurred medical expenses, but future medical costs.
Depending upon the nature of the fracture, an orthopedic surgeon will often express an opinion that there is at least a risk of the development of post-traumatic arthritis. In cases involving intra-articular fractures, posttraumatic arthritis is more likely than not. Again, preparing the case for settlement or jury trial requires comprehensive review these issues to ensure that our clients are fully compensated for not only past loss of health, but future challenges as well.
We have helped several Oregonians and Washingtonians with serious fracture injury claims. If you have questions about a case involving the potential for future medical needs, call us at 503-325-8600. We can answer your questions, and help you know where you stand with your claim.