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Recovering Future Medical Expenses Under California Law

If you are injured in an accident, you will want to recover for your damages. One type of damages available in a personal injury case is your likely future medical expenses. So if you are injured in a serious car accident or a serious truck accident and will require future medical care as a result of your injuries, you are entitled to recover for those charges even though you have not yet incurred them.

In order to recover your future medical expenses, you must be able to show:

  1. The reasonable value (or charge) for each expected procedure or treatment;
  2. That the future medical care is reasonably certain to be needed; and,
  3. That the condition requiring the treatment is a result of the injuries caused by the defendant.

Expert medical testimony is generally needed to establish the need for future treatment. It is not enough that some friend told you that you will need surgery, or that an attorney told you this. You will likely need a medical professional to testify that you will need the treatment in question. Normally, this same person can testify as to the normal costs associated with such procedures.

Even if a medical expert testifies that there is just a chance of the need for future medical care, the jury is entitled to consider future medical costs in awarding a verdict.

Pete Clancy is a personal injury attorney in Oakland. He was recently named a 2010 Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyer Magazine. He can be reached at 925-835-7500 or by email at [email protected].