Catastrophic Personal Injury Cases – The Effective Use of Demonstrative Evidence in the Testimony of a Life Care Planner
Many personal injury attorneys do not realize how important demonstrative evidence is in illustrating the long term medical damages in a catastrophic personal injury case. Most frequently, Rehabilitation Counselors and Life Care Planners are retained to assess and document the long term medical costs resulting from the Plaintiff’s catastrophic or chronic injuries. These hard damages are an important component in objectively determining the verdict amount.
The Life Care Plan is a blueprint of the long term medical care the injured Plaintiff will require over their lifetime. The Plan covers such areas as Therapy, Medical Care, Medication, Pain Management Modalities, Aides for Independent Living, Positioning Needs, and Home Care Needs. The costs contained in the Life Care Plan are from medical research conducted for each case in the Plaintiff’s locality.
The voluminous amount of data contained in the Life Care Plan can make it difficult to convey this detailed information to a jury. Occupational Assessment Services has been at the forefront of using demonstrative evidence to educate the jury as to Life Care Plan costs. The OAS Life Care Planner will use chart enlargements to aid in his testimony. Each Life Care Plan chart is a separate exhibit that allows the jury to not only hear the testimony but to see the section of the Life Care Plan that is being discussed. A typical Life Care Plan contains seven to nine charts.
Due to the complexity of the numbers contained in the Life Care Plan Charts, OAS has developed a Cost Summary chart that details the average yearly cost of each section of the plan, as well as the total lifetime cost of the plan based on the Plaintiff’s life expectancy. The last chart consists of a colored pie chart detailing the yearly cost for each category of the Life Care Plan, along with the annual and total cost of the Plan. OAS testified as Life Care Planners in some of the largest cases in the United States, including Escobar vs. the State of New Jersey which received a verdict of $166,000,000, and Verni vs. Aramark which received a $105,000,000 verdict. The use of the OAS Life Care Plan Charts was instrumental in educating the jury about the long term medical costs of these catastrophically injured persons, and without this information, these large verdicts may not have been achieved.
OAS provides Life Care Planning and Vocational Expert services Nationwide with offices in NJ, NY, FL, TX, CT, and CA. OAS Life Care Planners and Vocational Experts can assist you in documenting the damages in your Personal Injury cases in which the Plaintiff has sustained permanent conditions. Call us at 800-292-1919 to receive a free case consultation, as well as our proposal containing our experts’ professional qualifications, fee schedule, and sample Life Care Plan.