After an accident in Iowa where you were seriously injured because of someone else’s fault, a significant part of any settlement is usually past and future medical expenses. Iowa law says you can ask for any “reasonable and necessary” future health care expenses when you settle your case.
But how can you know what “reasonable and necessary” means – and how do you know when you’re healed enough to ask for a settlement?
MMI and Your Iowa Personal Injury Settlement
Let’s talk first about healing from an accident. A medical provider will often refer to you being at “MMI.” MMI, or maximum medical improvement, is when your doctor says that you are healed from your injuries – or as healed as you’re going to get.
Understanding MMI is important, because reaching MMI may not always mean you’re back to the way you were before the accident. Reaching MMI means that your doctor feels like there’s no more room for improvement in your health.
MMI does NOT mean that you no longer need any medical treatment for your injuries. In fact, you may need additional or continued medical care after your doctor says you have reached MMI.
“Reasonable and Necessary” Expenses After You Reach MMI
There are a variety of treatments or expenses that you may have even after you reach MMI. This will depend on how seriously you were hurt and how much you were able to recover.
The ongoing or additional kinds of expenses you may have could include:
· Ongoing or new physical therapy
· Medical equipment
· Surgeries or medical procedures
· Future hospital stays
· Co-pays and deductibles
· Home health care or in-home nursing care
Having an experienced Iowa personal injury lawyer is crucial to getting a fair settlement for your future medical expenses. Calculating your future needs can be challenging and often involves careful study of your medical records, speaking with your treating doctors, and consulting with economic experts.
Economic experts are important because not only do they figure out the costs of possible future treatments and medications, but they factor in inflation rates, the likelihood your condition will worsen, and take your age and life expectancy into account. The calculations they give to your attorney are a big part of how a demand letter is sent and your final settlement is negotiated.
Without an attorney on your side, you may settle your case without securing enough money for your future treatment – which means you’ll have to pay for this out of your own pocket.
That shouldn’t happen – especially since you were injured at the fault of someone else.
Why You Need an Attorney for Your Iowa Personal Injury Claim
That is why we recommend reaching out to a skilled Iowa personal injury attorney before you decide to settle your case. An attorney can hire these experts and determine what a fair settlement should be. But you shouldn’t wait to speak to someone – there is a limited amount of time to get compensation for your injuries.
This is known as the statute of limitations. In Iowa, generally speaking, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of your accident. If you don’t settle your case or file a lawsuit before this date, you may lose out on money that is owed to you.
RSH Legal offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation. If you have been seriously injured because of someone else’s fault, the time to talk to a lawyer is now.
Call 1-800-433-0283 today.