Two Important Issues You Need To Know About Suing For Future Medical Costs
If you sustained severe injuries in a truck accident that require long-term treatment, you can sue for future medical costs to cover the different medicines and therapies you may need to restore your health. However, there are two important things you need to know about suing for future medical costs that can impact your case and access to any money you're awarded. Here's what you need to know.
Claims Cannot Be Open-Ended
There's a little bit of a misconception that suing for future medical costs means the insurance company will keep a person's claim open and that person will simply submit medical bills for reimbursement on an as-needed basis. Unfortunately, that's now how personal injury lawsuits work. You must request all the money you think you will need for your future treatments upfront, and that amount will be incorporated into any court judgment or settlement award you receive.
This is why it's important to work with your attorney and healthcare provider to accurately calculate the future healthcare costs you'll incur as a result of your injuries. This can be tricky to do, since your condition may deteriorate after the case is resolved and require more money to treat than you asked for. To minimize the likelihood of this happening, it's a good idea to wait as long as you can to resolve your case for all of your injuries to manifest and to see how you respond to treatments.
Money May Be Put in a Trust
The other thing you need to be aware of is that you may not directly receive the money awarded to you for future medical expenses. Instead, the money may be put into a trust. The purpose of this is to ensure the money is used for your healthcare and nothing else. As such, you would be required to contact the trustee of the fund anytime you needed to have any medical bills paid.
Having money for future medical expenses placed in a trust is more likely to happen if you're part of a multi-plaintiff lawsuit (e.g. class-action lawsuit). However, it may happen even if you're the only plaintiff in the case if you're expected to require medical care for an extremely long time or you'll need the money for treatments that may not be needed until years down the line.
If this happens in your case, it's important to read the terms of withdrawing money from the trust to pay for your medical care. There may be a special process you have to go through to get it and the last thing you want is to have your expenses rejected because you didn't follow the rules.
For more information about these issues, contact a trucking accident injury law firm.