People worry about the future. That’s natural.
Here’s a recent exchange I had with a client:
Client: I’m worried about settling my case and having problems in the future.
Myers: There are definitely some people who settle their cases and then find out they have more serious injuries than first thought. But what I find a lot more frequently is that people continue treating for long periods (usually with chiropractors), don’t get symptom resolution and don’t check with their medical doctors to find out whether a change in treatment plan might produce better results.
If you’ve spent over three or four months treating with a chiropractor and haven’t gotten better or aren’t clearly on the road to recovery it makes sense to check in with an MD just to make sure you’re current treatment plan is optimized to help you make a full recovery. (It may be that everything is already optimal–if that’s the case, it would be nice to have MD confirmation. If not, the MD might be able to suggest some alterations that help speed the process.)
So back to what happens after the case is settled: A lot of people worry about what happens next and particularly what happens if they suffer a setback or one injury leads to another.
Settlements can include the cost of future medical expenses and loss of earning capacity (which basically means lost wages in the future). In addition, an injured person may recover for an increased risk of injury or even the reasonable fear of an increased risk of injury in the future. The key to recovering all of these types of future damages is being able to show that they are more likely than not to materialize (and aren’t just speculative).
There isn’t any certainty in life. But if you can show future damages on a more likely than not basis you can include them in a settlement. Concerns about settling too early are valid, but in most cases can be addressed and usually there are issues that require even greater attention to ensure case value is maximized.