Future medical care in workers compensation cases
When you get injured on the job, you may sustain a serious injury which requires medical attention for the remainder of your lifetime. It is very important that you are adequately compensated for the amount of future medical attention you will require so that you don’t pay out of your own pocket for medical care your employer was responsible for.
In order to calculate the value of future medical care, you have to understand your injury. You must know if your injury requires physical therapy, orthopedic consultations, prescription or over the counter medication, cortisone injections, surgical intervention etc. You also must know the frequency that you will require these different types of medical evaluations and treatments.
It goes even further than that. You must understand how your injury will progress as you become older and how that will affect the medical care you would require at the time. Determining how much medical attention you require in your case is often the most difficult part of a workers compensation case.
After you determine which types of medical treatments your injury requires and the frequency at which it is required, then you must calculate your Life Time Expectancy. In workers compensation, we use a standard Life Expectancy time-table which places the life expectancy of injured workers at roughly 75-85 years of age.
You can either settle your case by stipulation of award or by compromise and release. If you settle by stipulation of award, you leave your future medical care open. This means that you don’t receive compensation for your future medical care but that you can treat with for your injury within your employer’s Medical Provider Network for the remainder of your lifetime.
On the other hand, if you settle by compromise and release, you will settle out your entitlement to future medical care for a cash value. Each case is different and whether you should close your case by stipulation of award or by compromise and release depends on your individual case.