What Counts as Medical Expenses in a Tulsa Car Accident Lawsuit?

What Counts as Medical Expenses in a Tulsa Car Accident Lawsuit?If you were injured in a Tulsa car accident, you can seek compensation for your medical expenses. These expenses typically encompass healthcare-related costs like hospital stays, medications, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and emotional therapy, as well as ongoing medical check-ups and interventions. These expenses are considered part of the overall healthcare and recovery process resulting from the accident.

But in Oklahoma, you can also seek compensation for future medical expenses – not just the ones you’ve already accrued. This is an important distinction to make in light of the fact that some truly catastrophic injuries may require a lifetime of care.

Take the story of Hannah Berryan. In 2014, Hannah’s life took a devastating turn when a distracted driver struck her in a crosswalk, resulting in multiple pelvic fractures and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Despite being pronounced dead on the scene, medical interventions saved her life. Hannah’s subsequent struggle included a two-month coma and years of rehabilitation programs to resolve the physical and emotional challenges that resulted from her injuries. Since the time of the accident, this upstate New York native’s life has been uprooted to Tulsa, where we have a state of the art rehabilitation center that specializes in treating Hannah’s chronic TBI symptoms.

The ongoing costs of cognitive, emotional, and motor rehabilitation for the Berryan family would be too much to bear if the liable party was charged a one-time compensatory payment. The unending nature of Hannah’s treatment requires ongoing financial support.

What types of injuries are likely to have future medical expenses?

There are so many injuries that require lifelong treatment after a Tulsa car accident. Describing all the injuries and circumstances that could create lifelong implications would be a project without end; so for now, we’ll focus on three.

Chronic effects related to TBI

TBI is an injury to the brain that may cause disruptions in blood flow. Since the brain relies on sensitive mechanisms to maintain a stable cerebral blood flow, these injuries can manifest themselves in many ways, requiring regular medical monitoring.

Cognitive effects: TBI can lead to cognitive impairments, such as memory, attention, concentration, problem-solving, and decision-making difficulties, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Reduced processing speed and language and communication issues may also arise. These effects can cause individuals to lose cognitively rigorous jobs, thus losing the income associated with that work.

Physical effects: TBI can lead to chronic pain, seizures, and motor control problems, affecting mobility and independence. These effects can have a profound impact on an individual’s daily life and may require regular medical attention and support for management of these challenges.

Emotional effects: TBI can have a significant impact on a victim’s emotional well-being. According to the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC), individuals with TBI may experience mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety and increased aggression. When TBI has emotional effects, quality Tulsa emotional therapists can be necessary to help victims recover and manage their lives after their accident.

The long-term effects of disfiguring facial trauma

Disfigurement is defined as the permanent harmful altering of a person’s appearance. Maxillofacial trauma, also referred to as facial trauma, is an injury that is commonly sustained in car accidents. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), over half of the people involved in vehicle crashes will suffer some type of facial injury.

  • Soft tissue injuries: Common soft tissue injuries, like lacerations and bruises, may necessitate treatment such as skin grafts and plastic surgery to address lasting alterations and promote healing.
  • Joint injuries: Apart from potentially reshaping the victim’s jawline, injuries to facial joints, specifically temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues resulting from accidents, can result in jaw fractures or dislocations. Immediate medical attention is essential to reduce long-term consequences. However, for TMJ, regular medical checkups are necessary to prevent re-injury.

Disfiguring facial trauma often causes emotional trauma, as well, which should be treated with regular emotional therapy.

Heart injuries from car accidents

The heart is largely shielded by the ribcage, but a high-speed or otherwise violent crash can cause blunt cardiac injuries, or BCI. BCI refers to heart damage from blunt force trauma, common in incidents like car accidents with direct chest impact. According to the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, BCI contributes to nearly 20% of motor vehicle collision fatalities.

In the context of car accidents, BCI takes several forms:

  1. Cardiac contusion: Cardiac contusion refers to the bruising or injury of the heart muscle.
  2. Rib breakage: According to yalemedicine.org, “Upper rib fractures can cause injuries to the large vessels that bring blood to and from the heart.”
  3. Pericardial injury: Caused by forceful impact or abrupt abdominal pressure, this injury can tear the pericardium, the heart’s protective membrane, causing serious cardiac issues.

After a BCI, victims should seek regular medical check-ups to ensure their heart health.

What are the financial burdens related to long-term injuries?

The financial burdens that come with any of these types of injuries can be overwhelming for both individuals and their families. The extensive costs of medical treatments, rehabilitation, assistive technology, and ongoing therapy can pile up fast, especially if the victim loses their ability to generate income because of their injuries. This combination of substantial medical expense and potential loss of income can profoundly impact the financial stability of entire families.

If you have sustained lasting injuries in a Tulsa car or truck accident, Biby Law Firm can offer trusted legal guidance to alleviate potential lifelong medical expenses. Our skilled team of personal injury attorneys aim to seek compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and related expenses.

Trust Biby Law Firm to provide experienced legal assistance through evidence collection, liability assessment, settlement negotiations and courtroom representation when needed. Please see our testimonials and read how our team is dedicated to pursuing justice for our clients after their accidents. To schedule a free consultation, please call or contact us today in Tulsa.