After you have suffered a serious accident, you are likely trying to make it through a painful recovery from multiple injuries. After the initial trauma is over and your wounds have healed, you may need to regain lost muscle tone or range of motion in the affected limbs. This starts a whole new phase of recovery: physical therapy.
Physical therapy is vital to restoring your body to the state it was in before the accident. After weeks in a cast or lying in a recovery room, physical therapy can help you overcome significant mobility problems, chronic pain, or stiffness in the joints. Best of all, you can claim these costs as part of your personal injury settlement.
You Can Include Physical Therapy in Your Damages
If someone else’s negligence caused your injury, then the negligent party is liable for all damages related to the injury. This includes your property damages, lost wages, emergency care, and medical treatment—including physical therapy.
You are entitled to recover all costs related to your physical therapy appointments, including:
- Health insurance balances. The fastest way to get the treatment you need is to use your own health insurance benefits after an accident. Once you file a personal injury case, your health insurer will wait for the outcome of your case and may even suspend bill collection until your case is resolved. After you receive a settlement, your health insurance provider will ask to be paid back for any coverage it paid during your recovery. Most insurers, including Medicare or Medicaid, are legally allowed to recover their accident-related expenses from your settlement.
- Travel and mileage costs. If you need to travel to attend your physical therapy appointments, your transportation costs should be included in your damages. Common expenses include taxis and rideshare services, mileage and gas, lodging or hotels, and even the meals you eat while on the road.
- Time off work. If you have to miss work to attend physical therapy, the lost wages from these appointments should be included in your damages. You should keep a record of the dates of your appointments and copies of your timesheets or pay stubs so that your attorney can cross-reference them for accuracy.
- Out-of-pocket expenses. You may have to temporarily cover the costs of physical therapy yourself. If you do, be sure to keep accurate records of everything you paid for in relation to your therapy, including copays, assistive devices, orthotic inserts, soft casts, and any modifications made to your home (such as installing a ramp).
- Future treatment costs. The person responsible for your accident also has the burden of covering future expenses related to your injuries. Since it can be difficult to tell what your future medical needs will be while you are still in recovery, our attorneys work with medical experts to help accurately calculate the cost of physical therapy and other future treatments.
- Medical liens. Some victims may be tempted to skip the physical therapy they need because they cannot afford to pay for it. If you do not have medical insurance, or your insurance does not cover physical therapy, you may be able to secure a short-term medical lien. In this arrangement, the therapist agrees to treat you in return for payment out of your future personal injury settlement.
While some accident injuries will heal completely, others will have long-term effects that prevent you from returning to a pre-injury state. You may need physical therapy for years into the future or be forced to live with a permanent disability. If this happens, you need a personal injury trial attorney by your side to get you all of the compensation you deserve for your losses.
If you were hurt in an accident, the legal team at GriffithLaw would be honored to fight on your behalf. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page or give us a call at (615) 807-7900 to learn more.