Calculating Damages and Medical Expenses in a Personal Injury Claim
The value of your personal injury claim depends on the different types of losses you have suffered. This blog will focus on how to calculate medical expenses in a personal injury claim. Now for medical expenses, you must consider your past medical bills, your current medical bills and any future medical bills you might incur from an ongoing problem related to a serious injury. Then, you gather all of your medical bills, prescription medication costs, physical therapy and chiropractic care bills, and any other medical bills you received as a result of the bodily injury you sustained as a result of a car accident, a dog bite or animal attack claim, a slip and fall claim, or any other type of personal injury claim. From there, most people think you just add them all together and presto out jumps your total medical damages.
Well over the years Texas case law has complicated the process of calculating costs and rather than quoting a bunch legal mumbo jumbo, I have provided the case reference if you want to read more. See Haygood v. Escabedo, 09-0377 (TEX. July 1, 2011). In the meantime, I will provide you with some examples you can understand.
Example 1. John Doe is involved in an car accident and he rushed to the hospital from the scene. John provides the medics with his health care information. His healthcare plan picks up the $25,00 bill. His insurance company has a preexisting agreement with the hospital so, it recalculates the costs and his healthcare plan only pays $9,000 for John’s hospital bill. Now when John’s claim is evaluated by the at-fault party’s car insurance company, it will only look at the $9,000 rather than the $25,000.
More importantly, if John’s case goes before a jury he can only provide evidence of the $9000 paid versus the $25,000 actually billed by the hospital. This is significant because juries often look at the total medical expenses to calculate pain and suffering. A bill of $25,000 indicates a more serious injury than a $9,000 bill.
Example 2. Now look at Sally Doe who is involved in a similar accident and she incurred $25,000 in medical bills and has no insurance. She is able to present evidence to show the total $25,000 in medical bills and the jury has all the medical information needed to make a decision as to the seriousness of the injury and the pain she suffered.
This is not true for John’s personal injury claim; he is essentially penalized for having insurance because the jury is not given all of the information to determine the pain and suffering John experienced as a result of the wrongdoer.
Calculating medical expenses is no longer a matter of taking all your medical bills and simply adding them together. You must know the law surrounding medical damages and how to accurately calculate those damages in personal injury claims. Then you must be able to provide evidence to show the seriousness of certain injuries even when the bills do not add up.
For more information, contact Farrah Martinez, PLLC at (713) 853-9296 or visit us at www.InjuryLawyerHOU.com. Farrah will evaluate your personal injury claim at no cost to you.