Public liability: what medical expenses can I claim?

23/08/2019

Medical expenses arising out of a public liability claim can be wide ranging, including expenses that have already been incurred as well as expenses that may arise in the future.

Past medical expenses

Past medical expenses can be claimed for your injuries.  These expenses may include the cost of initial expenses incurred immediately after the injury such as the cost of the Ambulance or hospital expenses.  If you required surgery immediately after the injury and if that surgery occurred in a private hospital or in a public hospital as a private patient, the cost of the surgeon, any assistant surgeons, anaesthetist, the hospital stay and any medications or antibiotics that you required upon release from hospital will be able to be claimed.

If your initial treatment or surgery occurred in a public hospital, most of these expenses will have been covered by the public health system but you may still have expenses such as a wheel chair, crutches medications or antibiotics upon release from the hospital which can be claimed.

Current medical expenses

Once the initial treatment is concluded, there are likely to be current medical expenses for your injury.  These may include physiotherapy, osteopathic or chiropractic expenses as your body recovers and strengthens itself after surgery, or in those cases where you have not had surgery but there is ongoing treatment to assist you to recover.  If the physical injury or the circumstances of the incident itself have had a psychological impact on you, you may also require psychological treatment and medication.  These can also be included.

All of these different expenses have an impact on you financially and it is important that you keep records of them to place us in the best position to recover them for you as part of your claim.

Future medical expenses

Future expenses are also important to consider when we assess your claim.  Will you need Physiotherapy long term?  Will you continue to need to strap your injury before you go for walks or recommence exercise?  Will you need to undertake Pilates classes to strengthen your core long term to support your back injury?  What if your surgeon indicates that you may require joint replacement or additional surgeries due to scar tissue build up in the future? 

All of these potential expenses will need to be considered and information obtained from your treating doctors to enable us to claim them for you as a future medical expense in your public liability claim.

Examples of medical expenses often incurred in Public Liability Claims include:

  • Reimbursement for emergency medical treatment – hospital, doctor, X-rays, MRI or CT scan expenses
  • Ongoing support services such as counselling, physiotherapy, and other rehabilitation expenses
  • Hospital and nursing expenses – medication, antibiotics, physical aids
  • Personal and household expenses – home renovations, bathroom aids
  • Other domestic services required as a result of your incapacity resulting from the injury – gardening expenses, hairdresser expenses, cleaning expenses
  • Occupational rehabilitation and ambulance services received
  • Educational assistance – retraining expenses
  • Cost of travel between medical appointments – keep a record of the kilometres travelled to and from your medical expenses
  • Pharmaceuticals – both after hospital and ongoing
  • Equipment such as aids, appliances, and associated costs for home and vehicle modifications.

It is therefore important that you keep your medical records and records of all of your treatments including receipts and invoices relating to your injury. It is a good idea to maintain the contact details of anyone who has offered you help and assistance, and the kind of help they have given you.

Get in touch with Gordon Legal

There are strict time limits applied to public liability compensation claims, and they vary depending upon the state or territory your claim is lodged within. It is important to seek professional legal advice as early as possible if you are at all unsure of how to proceed. This will ensure that your claim can be lodged correctly and on time.

For further information about Public Liability Claims or professional legal advice from a firm who specialises in winning compensation claims, then contact our team today on 1300 57 25 18 or log on to our website at www.gordonlegal.com.au