We all have products in our lives that make daily tasks easier and more convenient. However, some people absolutely rely on certain products on a daily basis to perform even the most basic functions. It is the frightening truth that disabling accident injury could suddenly make this your reality. In many cases, this equipment is necessary to get around or engage in daily tasks—and it often costs a significant amount of money. If the negligence of another person caused your injuries, you can likely obtain compensation for your medical device costs and other accident-related losses.
For years, you may have driven to and from work every day, worked in your garden, gone to the gym or played sports, cooked meals, and headed upstairs in your house or apartment for bed each night. An accident may change all of that in an instant. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, or burns can result in permanent disabilities that prevent you from living your life as usual without significant assistance.
Fortunately, in this day and age, a disability will not necessarily leave you bedridden all day and night. Instead, many products and medical equipment assist people with impairments from severe personal injuries. These can include:
- Wheelchairs, including electric-powered wheelchairs
- Speech assistance technology
- Walkers and braces
- Adapted vehicles, including those with lifts or driving adjustments
- In-home ramps, chair lifts, or elevators
- Bladder and bowel assistive devices
All of this medical equipment can greatly improve the quality of a person’s life after a disabling injury. While daily—or even constant—struggles will persist, the right medical equipment can make recovery easier, while increasing your future abilities. With the right prosthesis, some amputees can play the sports they love, including top performers in the Special Olympics. Even if you do not become an athlete, medical equipment can give you the ability to better care for yourself and increase your mobility, which can improve your mental and emotional state in the wake of a catastrophic injury.
Medical equipment is costly, however. Electric wheelchairs can range from a couple thousand dollars to $30,000, depending on how it is tailored to your needs. A prosthetic leg can range from $5,000 for a basic prosthesis to $50,000 for a state-of-the-art model. However, even the best equipment can wear out within five years, and you will need to continually replace it for the rest of your life.
These are only some examples of the extensive cost of important medical equipment. You may, however, obtain compensation for these expenses, so speak to an attorney as soon as you can.
If You Need Medical Equipment, You Have Likely Sustained Other Significant Losses
If you are using medical equipment to help you get around or perform basic tasks, chances are that you have sustained a serious injury that resulted in other losses as well. Under New York law, people who are injured in accidents caused by the negligence of other are entitled to compensation for both their economic and non-economic losses. Some of the losses you may obtain damages for (in addition to the expenses associated with your medical devices) include:
- Medical expenses – If you were injured enough to need a medical device or devices, you likely incurred significant medical expenses immediately after your accident. Even a brief hospital stay or minor surgery can easily result in medical bills well into the tens of thousands of dollars, if not the millions.
- Lost income – Many injuries result in significant lost income. If your injury was sufficiently severe to warrant the need for medical equipment, your injury may preclude you from a return to the type of work that you performed before your accident, if you can work at all. Fortunately, New York law often entitles accident victims to recover both past and future lost income. In cases involving lost future income, victims need to retain an attorney to help them present evidence of the amount of income they will likely lose in the future, accounting for issues like inflation, regular raises, and career advancement.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering – Injuries that result in the need for medical devices tend to cause significant pain and suffering, which is recognized as a compensable loss under New York law. Importantly, damages for pain and suffering do not just include the physical pain associated with an injury but also emotional issues like depression, anxiety, and grief. In cases involving injuries that leave victims with mobility issues, disfigurement, and permanent impairments that prevent them from engaging in activities they once enjoyed, pain and suffering damages can prove substantial.
These are just a few of the more common damages that are often successfully sought by plaintiffs in personal injury cases that involve expenses for medical devices. As a victim, the onus is on you to demonstrate your losses, whether you deal directly with an insurance company in settlement negotiations or in a court during a lawsuit. An experienced attorney can calculate the extent of your injuries and present this number in a persuasive fashion, maximizing the compensation you may recover.
A Bronx and New York City Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
Adjusting to life with a disability can take all of your energy and time. The last thing you may want to do is add a legal case to your list of worries. However, the costs of medical treatments and equipment can add up quickly and can result in serious financial problems in your life.
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer and allow him to handle every aspect of your legal claim for you. Do not wait to call Ivan Diamond of the Law Offices of Ivan Diamond for help, as our office regularly handles cases involving devastating injuries in the Bronx and throughout New York City. Call (718) 588-2000 or contact the firm online for free today.