Survival Claim Compensation: Medical Expenses
If you've read any of our other articles about survival claim compensation, you'll remember that a survival claim is filed on behalf of your loved one who lost their life because of the defendant's negligent act. When someone dies because of injuries that they suffered, their estate is left with the burden of paying for all of the bills accrued from those injuries. The Texas Survival Statute was established to help balance the inequity that would occur if the defendant was exonerated simply because the plaintiff died.
Medical expenses are an important factor in suing on behalf of someone's estate because they are so costly. Hospitals and doctors still have a right to be paid, even if a person is no longer alive. Therefore, when the treated person is no longer alive, the burden falls on their estate. If the treated person was wrongfully injured by someone else's negligence, the law decided that the representative should be able to sue on behalf of that person's estate in order to help pay for those medical bills.
Proving Past Medical Expenses
In a regular personal injury claim, the injured person may make a claim for both past and future medical bills, but in a survival claim, the estate's representative may only make a claim for past medical bills. Two things must be proven in order to file for past medical expenses. According to the Texas Causes of Action, those are:
- The treatments that the plaintiff is claiming compensation for were all necessary and the medical professionals charged a reasonable amount of money for those treatments
- The medical charges were either paid or incurred by the plaintiff as treatment for their injuries
In the first proof, expenses from medical treatments can be verified from either expert testimony or an affidavit. In addition, because the person who received the treatments can't provide any testimony, an expert in the medical field or the medical provider themselves are able to report on behalf of the deceased.
Real Life Scenario
The following is an example of how medical expenses can be recovered in a survival claim
- Janet is in a bad car accident, and is rushed to the hospital with serious spinal and brain injuries. She survives for two days, but three days after the accident she dies from her injuries. Janet's husband is the representative of her estate, per her will's instructions. Because her husband Bill is now responsible for debits and credits from her estate, he is responsible for paying the medical bills that were accrued during her hospital stay. He is also responsible for filing the survival claim on her behalf. In order to prove that the medical treatments were necessary, reasonable, and incurred by his wife, Bill hires a lawyer that is able to show the jury evidence from Janet's medical records. Physical data, records, photos, and an affidavit from the medical provider will be strong evidence in court.
Choosing the Right Lawyer
Lawyers who specialize in personal injury have more experience with medical records and the laws surrounding evidence for medical expenses in a survival claim. The attorneys at Grossman Law have been practicing personal injury for over 25 years and have seen countless cases where sound medical evidence has been needed. If we can't prove something ourselves, we always consult the most knowledgeable medical experts to inform our clients' cases. If you have any more questions about how this works, call us at (855)326-0000. We'll speak with you about your case, and go into more detail about your specific circumstances. Our consultations are always free, and if you decide to hire us, you still don't pay us anything unless you win your case.