What is the value of my knee injury after a car accident? Knee injuries can sometimes be devastating depending on the age of the injured party, occupation and lifestyle. In some cases serious injuries can result in knee replacement surgery or other arthroscopic surgery to help correct the damage caused. In other cases, those injured can require long term physical therapy in order to correct the injury. Here is a quick guide on calculating your knee injury claim.
Medical Bills and How to Calculate Them
Medical bills are often referred to as special damages. These are exact figures for various treatment rendered by medical professionals. For example costs of ambulance transport, surgeries and other medical services are considered special damages. In order to calculate special damages you will need to add together all costs and come up with a total figure. This is considered your medical expenses. Often times insurance companies will not pay you exactly for that amount, but it is a great starting point for understanding case value.
It is also important to mention, that special damages are NOT future or speculative damages. These are damages or costs which were incurred by you and are not to be mistaken for future or potential medical care discussed below.
Future Medical Bills
Future medical costs are those which are not yet incurred, but will be due to the injury. Future medical costs are particularly important when dealing with knee injuries. Why? Because in most orthopedic evaluations you may be given surgical candidate evaluation. What this means is that you are considered a viable surgical candidate. While you are not required to actually get the surgery, it is a procedure which may be required at some point in the future. Therefore, you must be given an allocation of funds to cover this potential surgery. Whether you elect to perform the procedure is entirely your choice, however your attorney must make sure that proper funds are provided for.
Insurance companies will often times dispute the necessity of future medical care. They will argue that since you did not get the surgery then it is not necessary and that they are only going to pay for procedures you have had. This is a common tactic and does not need to be given much thought. Insurance companies will routinely limit or deny claims regardless of whether they have merit. What is important is that you have a qualified doctor determine whether the procedure is necessary. Then it is the responsibility of your attorney to make sure proper funds are set aside for the procedure.
In certain cases we have seen clients require knee replacement surgery. These procedures can be extremely expensive and may require additional procedures in the event that the device fails. In such cases proper allowances must be made to for the cost of such procedures.
Policy Limits and What they Mean for Your Case
Policy limits are a very important consideration in a case. Often times they limit case value considerably and require proper navigation. A policy limit is the maximum amount of coverage in a auto insurance policy. If the policy coverage is for example $15,000.00 and you have considerably more in damages i.e. special damages, then you will not be able to exceed that amount. You can always pursue the at fault party, however this may not be advisable if an asset check reveals little to no assets. Low policy limits are a very important aspect of your case that need to be addressed.