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How Future Medical Expenses are Handled in Personal Injury Claims in Oregon

Future medical expenses are often a critical component of personal injury claims, especially when a victim has suffered a catastrophic injury. At Johnson and Taylor, we help personal injury clients throughout Oregon pursue compensation that can safeguard their long-term health and financial security. Our personal injury attorneys help you understand the ins and outs of how to calculate future medical expenses and how they may impact a settlement or award.

Types of Future Medical Costs

Future medical expenses can include many different treatments, services, and items, including:

  • Diagnostic testing
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Mental health treatment
  • Nursing home care
  • Medical Equipment
  • Prostheses
  • Assistive devices
  • Home modifications

Each person’s needs are different. For example, someone who loses a leg in a car accident will likely need a prosthesis and home modifications, while a victim who sustains a traumatic brain injury in a slip and fall incident may need ongoing treatment with a neuropsychologist. Our personal injury lawyers take all the specifics of your situation into account and ensure the cost of all necessary future medical treatment and services are included in the total settlement amount.

Assessing Future Medical Needs

To accurately calculate future healthcare costs, it’s vital to determine what an injured victim’s future medical needs will be. An injured party typically undergoes a thorough medical evaluation in which healthcare professionals determine the extent of the person’s injuries, their prognosis for recovery, and the anticipated medical treatments and interventions that may be needed in the future.

This evaluation may involve physical examinations, diagnostic tests, and consultations with medical specialists. Some common factors that are often considered by health care providers and medical experts are chronic pain, mobility limitations, the need for ongoing therapy, and the risk of future medical complications.

In addition, our personal injury lawyers may call on the expertise of a life care planner to help estimate future medical expenses. Life care planners specialize in assessing the future medical and non-medical needs of people with catastrophic injuries. They develop comprehensive plans outlining specific medical treatments, rehabilitation, medications, services, assistive devices, and accommodations required over the injured person’s lifetime.

Documentation of Past Medical Expenses

Treatment records and the costs of past medical expenses can also help our personal injury attorneys and experts accurately estimate future medical costs. This may include medical records, bills, invoices, receipts and statements from physicians, hospitals, therapists, and other healthcare providers.

What is Present Value Calculation?

Future medical expenses are often converted into present value to help assess future medical expenses in today’s dollars. An economist or another financial expert may be consulted to perform present value calculations and assess the financial impact of future medical costs. Present value calculation considers factors such as age, life expectancy, inflation, interest rates, and estimated annual costs of care.

Negotiating Future Medical Costs in a Personal Injury Settlement

Future medical expenses are often a significant element of the total amount of damages sought in a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, most insurers fight tooth and nail to avoid paying adequate settlement amounts, and may claim that your injury isn’t that severe or is due to a preexisting condition.

During settlement negotiations, your personal injury lawyer will provide evidence and documentation that supports the amount they are asking for future medical expenses. If your case goes to trial, this evidence will be vital to convincing a judge or jury whether to award the full amount of compensation you’re seeking for future medical expenses.

Future Medical Bills and Structured Settlements

 In cases involving significant future medical costs, an injured victim may opt to get paid via a structured settlement instead of a lump sum. With a structured settlement, you receive payments over time, which helps to ensure you have the funds for future medical costs and other needs.

Hire an Experienced Attorney to Determine Future Medical Expenses in Oregon

Determining future medical costs in personal injury claims requires careful consideration of many different factors. Our skilled personal injury attorneys can help you pursue compensation that will fully cover your ongoing medical care and protect your long-term well-being. With proper documentation of past treatment costs and the input of medical and financial experts, they can create compelling arguments for future medical expenses in Oregon.

Our attorneys often employ a collaborative negotiation style, which can help save a significant amount of time and headaches, court expenses, and attorney fees. However, if litigation is necessary, we’ll fight to get the results you need and deserve.

Our personal injury lawyers serve clients in Salem, Eugene, Bend, the Oregon Coast, Medford, and throughout Oregon. Our team litigates probate and estate planning and divorce and family law matters as well.

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Salem, Oregon

At Johnson and Taylor, we care about your long-term health and happiness, and won’t back down when it comes to advocating for your rights and interests. Our team is proud to offer quality legal representation to our Spanish-speaking clients. To schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys in Salem, OR, contact us or call 503-990-6641.

How Do Insurance Companies Pay Out Claims? Insurance Tricks to Look Out for After a Personal Injury.

Navigating a personal injury claim can be challenging, especially when dealing with insurance companies. At Johnson and Taylor, we help personal injury clients throughout Oregon recover the compensation they need and deserve after an accident. Being aware of the tricks and tactics that insurance companies often employ to minimize payouts or deny personal injury claims can help you understand how to protect your rights and interests.

Low Initial Settlement Offers

One of the most common tactics used by insurance adjusters is to initially offer a settlement amount that’s substantially lower than the actual value of the claim. This insurance trick is intended to set a lower starting point for negotiations and test a victim’s willingness to accept a lower settlement amount. Regardless of whether you’ve been hurt in a car crash or slip-and-fall accident, it’s never a good idea to sign anything or accept a settlement offer without speaking to our personal injury lawyers in Oregon first.

It’s also important to understand that this applies to your own insurance company as well. Insurance policy jargon is deliberately complicated, which makes it easier to misrepresent the terms of coverage. While you may think they’re on your side, unfortunately, their number one goal is to pay as little as possible. Our personal injury attorneys or car accident lawyers can evaluate your case and give you a straightforward assessment of what it may be worth.

Seeking Recorded or Written Statements

Shortly after an accident, an insurance adjuster may contact you to give a recorded or written statement. Although they may present this as a routine practice or necessary for processing the claim, you may not be required to give them a statement on demand. The main goal of obtaining your statement is to gather evidence that can be used to dispute liability, devalue your claim, or downplay your injuries. If they ask for a statement, refer them to your personal injury attorney.

High Pressure Tactics

Insurance adjusters may employ high-pressure tactics to convince you to accept a settlement before you’ve had a chance to fully assess the extent of your injuries, understand your legal rights, or consult with our personal injury lawyers. They may express a sense of urgency and emphasize the benefits of avoiding lengthy litigation to come to a swift resolution.

In fact, the list of what insurance adjusters won’t tell you is quite long. Most claims are settled out of court. Our experienced personal injury attorneys know how to counter their scare tactics and protect your interests.

Encouraging You to Settle Without a Lawyer

Insurance adjusters know that personal injury lawyers won’t let them get away with using underhanded tactics or tricks. They also know that in all likelihood, your payout will be much higher if you hire an accident lawyer to help with your case. If an adjuster tries to discourage you from speaking to an attorney, don’t pay them any mind. Our personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and take cases on a contingency basis, so you really have nothing to lose in having your case evaluated by our legal professionals.

Asking for Your Medical Records

An insurer may tell you that you’re required to give them immediate access to your medical records – this is usually false unless access is needed to pay medical bills. Unfortunately, insurance claim reviewers will use your medical records to find any reason to deny your claim. Regardless of whether it’s your own insurance company or another party’s insurer, always talk to our accident attorneys before consenting to release your medical records to anyone.

Downplaying Injuries

Insurers often attempt to minimize the extent of a victim’s injuries to pay less on a claim. They question the severity of the person’s symptoms, blame a pre-existing condition, or challenge the necessity of certain medical treatments. In addition, to avoid paying damages like pain and suffering or loss of earning capacity, they may minimize the impact an injury has had on a victim’s quality of life or ability to work. In some cases, they enlist medical or vocational experts who support their position and undermine your case. Our personal injury lawyers can counter this with our own experts and evidence.

Disputing Liability

If there is a shred of ambiguity about who’s liable for an accident, an insurance company may try to shift blame onto the claimant or declare that the insured party isn’t responsible for damages. This is particularly common in cases involving commercial vehicles, as trucking company insurance policies often have high limits. If you’ve been hurt in this type of situation, it’s vital to seek the counsel of our experienced truck accident attorneys as soon as possible.

Delay Tactics

Insurance adjusters may deliberately delay the claims process by requesting excessive documentation, scheduling unnecessary meetings, or prolonging investigations. These delays can be frustrating, especially when an injured victim finds themselves in a precarious financial situation due to an accident. In these circumstances, insurers hope you’ll accept a lower settlement out of desperation. Don’t let insurers prey on you at this vulnerable time. You can count on your personal injury lawyer to handle all aspects of your claim, fight to help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve, and keep things moving as quickly as possible.

What to Do If an Insurance Company Will Not Pay a Claim

If an insurer refuses to pay or offer a reasonable settlement for your damages, contact our personal injury lawyers. Getting legal help with insurance claims greatly increases your chances of a successful outcome. We can help level the playing field and negotiate a settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses.

At Johnson and Taylor, we know that dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be daunting. Our personal injury attorneys serve clients in Salem, Eugene, Bend, the Oregon Coast, Medford, and throughout Oregon. Our team litigates probate and estate planning and divorce and family law matters as well.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Salem, Oregon

Our personal injury attorneys at Johnson and Taylor provide tenacious, compassionate legal support you can trust. Members of our team are fluent in Spanish. To schedule a free consultation with our accident attorneys in Salem, OR, contact us online or call 503-990-6641.

Truck Accident Liability in Oregon: When Multiple Parties Are Responsible

Due to the weight and size of large commercial vehicles, truck accidents can have devastating consequences. These cases are complex, and it’s not uncommon for multiple parties to share truck accident liability. At Johnson and Taylor, our Salem truck accident attorneys help personal injury clients throughout Oregon understand their rights and options for recovering compensation. We explain how multiple parties may be liable after a crash.

Truck Accident Cases are Complex

Cases involving commercial trucks are very different from auto accident claims, as car crashes typically involve a couple of vehicles and maybe only one or two insurance policies. Multiple entities are typically involved in the operation of a semi-truck, which means that more than one person or organization could be liable if their negligence caused an accident. In addition to the driver, the trucking company, maintenance company, shipping and lading company, parts and vehicle manufacturers, and others may be liable in a truck accident.

Establishing Fault After a Truck Accident

Determining fault and assigning truck accident liability is challenging. It requires extensive investigation, collection of relevant evidence, and legal acumen. Evidence that can be used to demonstrate fault can include accident reports, cell phone records, electronic logging device (ELD) data, and witness testimony. A truck accident lawyer may also hire experts such as accident reconstructions to determine how a crash happened and who is at fault. The experience and knowledge of our personal injury attorneys with a track record of success winning truck accident liability claims is invaluable in these types of cases.

Potentially Liable Parties in Truck Accident Cases

The Truck Driver

In many cases, truck drivers are primarily responsible for accidents. Factors such as reckless driving, distraction, driver fatigue, or operating a truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be major contributors to truck accidents. If a driver fails to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines, such as how many consecutive hours they can be on the road, they could be liable for damages.

The Trucking Company

The trucking company that employs a driver, including the driver’s own company if they are self-employed, may also be liable for damages after an accident. For example, if the company failed to provide adequate training to drivers, enforce safety protocols, or properly maintain vehicles, they could be deemed negligent and held responsible for damages.

Mechanics and Maintenance Providers

Shoddy repair work or poor maintenance of commercial trucks can be a danger to everyone on the road. If a mechanic or maintenance provider didn’t properly inspect or repair a truck and it led to mechanical failures that caused an accident, they may be liable for damages.

Vehicle or Parts Manufacturer

Defective design, parts or components, or manufacturing can contribute to truck accident liability. If defective tires, brakes, steering, or other truck parts malfunction and cause an accident, the manufacturer, designer, and even the parts supplier could be on the hook for damages.

Shippers and Cargo Loaders

When cargo is improperly loaded or secured, fatal accidents can occur. Poor loading practices can cause a truck to become unbalanced and tip over or result in cargo falling off onto the road. A shipper or cargo loading company may be liable for damages if failed to properly secure the load or adhere to weight limits and a truck accident occurs.

Government Agencies

Design defects and poor road maintenance can also contribute to serious truck accidents. If a crash occurs due to improper road maintenance, bad signage, or traffic signals, or because the agency or municipality failed to take care of known hazards, they may be liable for damages. However, many government agencies enjoy special protections from liability and have strict processes for filing claims against them, so it’s vital to consult a truck accident lawyer in Oregon before initiating a claim.

Other Negligent Drivers

In some instances, other drivers on the road may also contribute to truck accidents. Sudden lane changes, distracted driving, speeding, and failure to yield are just a few negligent behaviors that can play a role in crashes.

What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Truck Accident

It’s important to know what to do to protect your rights after a truck accident involving multiple parties. Trucking companies and their insurers may send investigators to the scene. Drivers and trucking companies have insurance policies with high limits and will do anything they can to avoid truck accident liability and large payouts.

Do not give a statement, answer any questions, sign anything, or accept a settlement without speaking to our truck accident attorneys first. We can evaluate your case, conduct our own investigation into the crash, identify potentially liable parties, and pursue all possible sources of compensation on your behalf. If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal accident, our attorneys can determine whether you may have a viable wrongful death claim.

Our truck accident lawyers in Salem, OR know how to accurately value your claim and provide straightforward legal advice you can trust. We don’t make empty promises about gigantic settlements, but we do fight to hold negligent parties accountable and help you get the maximum compensation you need and deserve.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Salem, Oregon

At Johnson and Taylor, we know that the trauma of being hurt in a truck accident can be life-changing. Our compassionate, tenacious team is here for you. In addition to litigating personal injury cases, we handle probate and estate planning, and divorce and family law matters. To schedule a free consultation with a truck accident attorney in Salem, OR, contact us online or call 503-990-6641. We can meet with you at home, by phone, or via Zoom if your condition makes it difficult to travel. Our personal injury attorneys serve clients in Salem, Eugene, Bend, the Oregon Coast, Medford, and throughout Oregon.