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Randy Appleton
Randy Appleton
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Future Damages in a Personal Injury Case: Part II

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piIn our previous post, we discussed the different types of financial damages an accident victim may be able to pursue when they have been injured because of the negligence or recklessness of another party. Victims who have suffered catastrophic or permanent injury are often able to collect future damages in their personal injury claim. These future losses include medical expenses, loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering.

Future Damages for Medical Expenses

Catastrophic or permanent injuries often leave the victim facing years of recovery and the need for future treatment, surgeries, therapy, and other types of medical treatment. There is no maximum cap on the amount of medical expenses a victim is allowed to be reimbursed in personal injury cases. Either the insurance companies or the courts – if the case ends up being litigated – makes that determination based on the circumstances of the case.

Just as all past medical expenses may be included in a personal injury settlement, all future medical expenses may be too. These expenses can include:

  • All future hospital stays and expenses associated with those stays;
  • All future surgery expenses. These costs are usually estimated;
  • All diagnostic testing;
  • All medication you will need for the rest of your life;
  • All rehabilitative and therapy costs, including mental health, occupational, physical, and vocational therapy;
  • All medical devices and equipment;
  • Any necessary modifications to the victim’s home, such as wheelchair ramps, widened hallways and doorways, counter height modifications, bathroom retrofitting, and medical equipment installation.

Future Damages for Earning Loss

When a Virginia personal injury attorney calculates a victim’s future earnings loss, it is not based on the income the victim was earning at the time of the accident. Instead, the attorney examines the ability the victim has to earn a living. They will first examine what that earning capacity was before the injury and then compare that to the reduction in the victim’s current earning capacity now that they are disabled. The difference between those two amounts is what the court considers the lost earnings.

Future Damages for Pain and Suffering

Every case is different, and every victim has different circumstances their injuries will cause them. Damages under this category can be for chronic pain, depression, loss of quality of life, and other physical and emotional struggles. There are several different ways that this damage may be calculated and your Va. accident attorney will advise you on which calculation method is better for your case.