Due to the Establishment of Long-Term Medical Needs Through the Use of a Life Care Plan
A woman who was struck by a vehicle and spent months hospitalized and then in rehabilitation was able to obtain a substantial settlement based on the documentation of her long term medical needs through the use of a Life care Plan.
Ms. Jones was a 56-year-old woman who sustained multiple fractures of her hips and lower extremities due to a motor vehicle accident. The attorney realized that there was an opportunity to settle the case early and retained a Life Care Planner/Vocational Expert to document the case damages.
Many personal injury attorneys overlook the importance of obtaining damage experts soon after an accident.
The woman was unemployed at the time of the accident but had been previously employed as a Bus Driver. The Expert was able to establish her pre-injury earning capacity* though the use of a transferability of skills analysis and local state wage information.
In addition, the Expert went to the hospital to perform the evaluation, spoke with her treating physicians, and developed a comprehensive Life Care Plan which detailed the cost of Ms. Jones’ future medical and rehabilitation needs. A Cost Summary Chart was then created which detailed the total yearly and lifetime cost of the Life Care Plan.
Four months after the Vocational Evaluation and Life Care Plan was completed, the parties settled the case for $3,300,000 based on the value of the Vocational Rehabilitation Expert’s opinions.
In conclusion, it is important for the Vocational Expert to consider all factors, including the plaintiff’s education, occupation, and past earnings to determine the person’s earning capacity. Such a determination can greatly increase the case value. In addition, it is important to include all the items required by the injured person over their lifetime secondary to their impairments.
Occupational Assessment Services has been involved as Vocational Experts in some of the largest verdicts in the United States, including Escobar vs the State of New Jersey which received a verdict of $166,000,000 and Verni vs Armark which received a $105,000,000 verdict. Without the use of the OAS Life Care Plan Charts, these large verdicts may not have been achieved.
OAS is a Nationwide Vocational Expert service with offices in NJ, NY, FL, TX, CT & CA. To see how the OAS Life Care Planners/Vocational Experts can assist you in documenting the damages in your Personal Injury cases, consult www.oasinc.org or Call 800-292-1919 for a proposal containing the experts’ professional qualifications, fee schedule, and a sample life care plan report.
* Earning capacity is defined as what a person is able to earn, expected earnings are what a person is expected to earn, and actual earnings are what a person actually earned. (Horner & Sleznick, 1999).