What Counts as “Medical” Expenses in a Personal Injury Case?

What Counts as “Medical” Expenses in a Personal Injury Case?Suffering injuries in an accident not only takes a toll on one’s physical well-being, but often results in substantial medical expenses that can be financially overwhelming. Fortunately, individuals injured due to someone else’s negligence have the option to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit to address these costs. Medical expenses incurred, ranging from emergency room visits to surgeries, prescription medications, and ongoing rehabilitation, can significantly impact one’s financial stability.

A personal injury lawsuit allows individuals to pursue compensation for these medical costs, seeking not only reimbursement for past expenses but also coverage for future treatments or procedures necessitated by the injuries sustained. Through this legal process, victims can alleviate the burden of medical bills, ensuring they receive fair and just compensation for the comprehensive care required to recover from the repercussions of the accident.

In a personal injury case, the term “medical expenses” encompasses a broad range of costs associated with the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from injuries sustained in an accident.

Some examples of what qualifies as medical expenses in a personal injury case include:

Emergency room visits

Emergency room visits play a pivotal role in the aftermath of a personal injury, serving as the initial point of contact for individuals seeking immediate medical attention. Emergency room visits are instrumental not only in addressing acute medical needs but also in creating a record of the injuries sustained, which is integral in the documentation required for a personal injury case. These visits are important to overall medical care, ensuring that individuals receive timely and comprehensive attention following an unforeseen incident. Costs covered include initial treatment, examination of injuries, diagnostic tests, doctor consultations, and potential stabilization procedures.


This includes not only the expense of being admitted to a hospital but also the multifaceted aspects of treatment, monitoring, and recovery. Costs incurred during hospitalization cover a spectrum of services, such as surgical procedures, nursing care, medication administration, diagnostic tests, and other ancillary services essential for addressing the injuries sustained. Hospitalization costs reflect the intensity and duration of medical attention required, often forming a substantial portion of the overall medical expenses sought in a personal injury claim. The money spent during hospitalization not only covers the direct medical treatment, but also helps build a complete picture of how the injuries from the accident have affected the person.

Surgeries and medical procedures

This includes expenses for procedures such as reconstructive surgeries, orthopedic interventions, or internal repairs required to address injuries sustained in an accident. Surgeons, anesthesiologists, and supporting medical staff contribute to these costs, covering their expertise, equipment, and the use of medical facilities. Additionally, costs may extend to pre-operative and post-operative care, rehabilitation, medications, and follow-up appointments. The financial impact of surgeries and medical procedures is significant, reflecting the complexity and intensity of the medical interventions needed to facilitate recovery and restore functionality after a traumatic incident.

Diagnostic tests

These tests, including X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other imaging studies, play a crucial role in identifying the extent and nature of injuries. The financial aspects cover not only the actual procedure costs but also factors in the expertise of radiologists and other medical professionals involved in the interpretation and analysis of the test results.  Getting tests to check what’s wrong after an injury is a large part of the medical costs. These tests are important because they tell us what’s going on inside, and help prove our case if we’re asking for money to cover the injury. It’s not just about receiving treatment; it’s about having proof to get the compensation we need.

Doctor appointments

The costs associated with doctor’s appointments encompass fees for follow-up visits with primary care physicians, specialists, and surgeons. These consultations are integral to monitoring recovery and ongoing treatment after an accident. The financial aspects include the charges for the time and expertise of the medical professionals involved, as well as any additional diagnostic tests or procedures conducted during these appointments. Doctor’s appointment costs are a significant component of the overall medical expenses sought in a personal injury claim, reflecting the ongoing medical care and attention required to address and manage injuries sustained in the course of the incident.

Prescription medications

The costs associated with prescription medications in a personal injury case encompass the expenses related to medications prescribed for pain management, infection prevention, and other injury-related issues. The financial aspects include not only the actual cost of the prescribed drugs but also any additional charges related to the consultation and monitoring by healthcare professionals.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation

Costs also include expenses for physical therapy and rehabilitation costs related to sessions with physical therapists, occupational therapists, or other rehabilitation specialists aimed at aiding the recovery process and restoring functionality. These costs encompass the professional services provided during therapy sessions, as well as any required equipment or assistive devices. Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses reflect the ongoing commitment to addressing and overcoming the physical challenges posed by injuries sustained in an accident.  These expenses are essential when seeking compensation for a personal injury. They show a commitment to thorough care and the effort to restore the injured person’s physical abilities through therapies and interventions.

Medical equipment and assistive devices

This includes items such as wheelchairs, crutches, braces, and prosthetics, which are necessary for assisting the injured individual in their daily activities or improving their overall mobility. The financial aspects cover not only the initial purchase or rental of these devices but also any maintenance, adjustments, or additional services required for their effective use.

Mental health counseling

Mental health counseling includes the costs of sessions with mental health professionals, such as psychologists or counselors, who specialize in helping individuals cope with the mental and emotional impact of their injuries. The financial aspects cover the fees for counseling services and any related therapeutic interventions. These expenses highlight the commitment to holistic care, recognizing the significant role mental health plays in overall well-being after a traumatic incident.

Future medical expenses

This includes projecting the anticipated costs of medical interventions and healthcare services required for the continued recovery and management of the injuries over an extended period. Future medical expenses constitute a forward-looking aspect of the overall financial impact, illustrating the ongoing commitment to addressing the lasting effects of the accident.

These expenses collectively contribute to the overall financial impact of the injuries and form an essential part of the compensation sought in a personal injury case. It is important to keep documentation during this time, including every doctor’s appointment, surgery, and physical therapy and counseling session. It is important to have a record of every interaction during your healthcare journey, so that it can be properly presented in your personal injury case.

How an Oklahoma City personal injury attorney can help

Having a personal injury attorney is crucial for securing compensation for medical expenses after an accident. An experienced attorney understands the complexities of personal injury law and can navigate the legal processes on your behalf. They play a vital role in building a strong case by gathering evidence, obtaining medical records, and collaborating with healthcare professionals to accurately assess the extent of your injuries and the associated costs. Moreover, an attorney can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that all relevant medical expenses, both current and future, are considered in the compensation claim. Their legal expertise allows them to advocate for your rights and pursue the maximum compensation available, alleviating the financial burden of medical bills.

If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, it is important that you know you have options. You do not need to be stuck paying medical bills, especially when they were acquired to treat injuries caused by someone else. At Cunningham & Mears, we understand how hefty the costs of going to the hospital or a doctor’s appointment can be, not to mention the ongoing costs of repeat visits and assistive devices. To schedule a free consultation, call us today in Oklahoma City, or fill out our contact form.