Estimating Future Medical Expenses In Texas

Recovery for future medical expenses requires a showing that there is a reasonable probability that such medical expenses will be incurred in the future. Fisher v. Coastal Transport Co., 149 Tex. 224, 230 S.W.2d 522 (1950). To award future medical expenses, a jury must first decide whether the future medical care is reasonably likely and, if so, the jury must then decide what amount will be incurred. Williams Distrib. Co. v. Franklin, 884 S.W.2d 503, 510 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1994). A defendant is not liable for results which might possibly occur in the future. Fisher, 230 S.W.2d at 523, (quoting Galveston, H.& S. A. Ry. Co. v. Powers, 101 Tex. 161, 105 S.W. 491 (1907)). An award of damages will be set aside only if it is "so contrary to the overwhelming weight of the evidence as to be clearly wrong and unjust." Price v. Short, 931 S.W.2d 677, 689 (Tex.App.-Dallas 1996. no writ). Because future damages involve an unavoidable degree of uncertainty, appellate courts are "particularly reluctant to disturb a jury's award of these damages." Pipgras v. Hart, 832 S.W.2d 360, 365 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth 1992, writ denied). Texas follows the "reasonable probability rule" for future damages for personal injuries. San Antonio v. Vela, 762 S.W.2d 314, 321 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1988). Pursuant to this rule, Texas courts have consistently held that the award of future medical expenses rests within the sound discretion of the jury. Thate v. Texas & Pac. Rwy. Co., 595 S.W.2d 591, 601 (Tex. Civ. App.-Dallas 1980, writ dism'd). The jury can make its determination of the amount of future medical expenses and care based on the injuries suffered, the medical care rendered before trial, the progress toward recovery under the treatment received, and the condition of the injured party at the time of trial. Id.; Pride Transport Co., Inc. v. Hughes, 591 S.W.2d 631, 633 (Tex. Civ. App.--Eastland 1979, writ ref'd n.r.e.).