If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident, you may have to deal with expensive medical bills, lost income if you can't work while you heal, and a variety of additional costs from unanticipated injuries. Fortunately, you may have the option to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for losses associated with the injury, which was the result of someone else's negligence, whether it be in a car accident, or a slip and fall or construction site accident.
If you believe that your recovery, rehabilitation, or care will continue into the future, you may have the option to seek compensation for future losses. "Future losses" are damages typically awarded in cases of severe injury where the victim will require ongoing medical care or treatments, and may be unable to return to their previous job or to any type of employment altogether.
We'll go through what exactly future damages are in a personal injury claim in this blog post. However, as with any legal matter, we urge you to seek advice from an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney, such as Brandon J. Broderick. You are not alone when an unexpected injury derails your life, our team can help you sort it all out and find a solution.
What Are "Future Damages"?
In the civil court system, a plaintiff who can prove that a defendant has wronged them is entitled to damages. Because it deals with the law of contracts and torts, the civil justice system is distinct from the criminal justice system. Depending on the nature and consequences of the defendant's wrongdoing toward the plaintiff, many forms of damages may be available. One example is future damages.
Where there is a plausible expectation that a loss or injury will occur in the future as a result of a defendant's careless or willful act or omission, future damages may be awarded in the context of personal injury cases. When such a plausible expectation is present, there is a solid foundation for future damages.
How To Prove Future Damages
There are concerns that future damages may be excessive, because of the speculative nature of projecting future damages in a personal injury claim. Because of this, expert testimony is usually needed to support a prediction of future damages.
Doctors and therapists are commonly called as expert witnesses in personal injury cases. The duration of your injuries will first be discussed by these medical professionals. Some injuries – particularly those to the head, neck, and spine – may not heal while a broken arm may heal. You may not be able to work again, or at least not in the same capacity as before the accident. If this is the case, your earning capacity has been diminished or taken away altogether. The expert evidence of your doctor and employer allows for the objective measurement of these negative impacts of an accident.
Yet, they are not the only negative effects. You might continue to feel physical pain and suffering from your injuries, as well as continuous mental discomfort, in addition to having a reduced ability to make money. Future damages are meant to cover any legitimate loss or injury that affects you in the future, including all associated costs (medical expenses, lost wages, discomfort physically and mentally, etc.).
Your medical costs will probably increase with the severity of your injuries, and you could require treatment for a longer period of time, if not permanently. You may require a prolonged hospital stay, numerous surgeries or procedures, rehabilitation, and/or in-home care, for example. All of these medical needs could dramatically increase the total cost of your claim as well as your future medical expenses.
Typical medical costs that could be covered by a claim for future damages include:
- Future rehabilitation expenses
- Future nursing or in-home care
- Future medical treatments
- Home or vehicle modifications required for your long-term illness or handicap
- Costs of domestic services that you can no longer perform
To estimate how much to seek for your future medical expenditures, a skilled New Jersey personal injury attorney will do the necessary research. Prior to determining the entire worth of your claim, it's frequently important to accomplish maximum medical improvement (MMI). To make sure you have enough money to handle your future expenses, you want to be aware of what to expect in the future.
In the unfortunate event that you have permanent injuries and are unable to return to work, your personal injury claim may also include a request for damages for lost wages and diminished future earning capacity. This kind of compensation includes an estimation of your future earnings and benefits you would've received had the accident hadn't happened.
You may have the option to pursue compensation for the difference between your current income and what you could have earned before the accident if you are able to work but not in the same function or capacity. Considerations for calculating potential future earnings include:
- Salary prior to the accident
- Annual bonuses
- Employee benefits
A labor or economic expert may be called in to help your claim to determine your potential future earnings.
Call Brandon J. Broderick Today To Discuss Your Case
Working with an experienced NJ personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. You have no risk in hiring Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law. Our law firm works on contingency, which means we are only paid if we win your case. We pride ourselves on complete client satisfaction. If you aren't happy, neither are we.
For a free consultation, get in touch with our law firm today to discuss your case. Turn your setback into a positive.