Suffering a catastrophic injury or illness can be life-altering for anyone. For a younger person, it can be particularly devasting. While they once viewed their future with excitement and hope, they may now be left with fear and uncertainty. Their families may share the concern of meeting their loved one’s needs and helping them live their best life.
If you or a family member suffered a severe injury or illness, you might have more questions than answers. In this article, we seek to answer those questions and discuss how a life care plan is an invaluable tool in a young victim’s treatment and recovery.
What is a Life Care Plan?
A life care plan is a written report comprehensively detailing an injured person’s financial needs following an accident or debilitating illness. The document considers the victim’s overall life circumstances, including past, present, and future medical expenses and all other costs caused by the accident or illness. A life care plan is an excellent way to ensure that a young victim achieves their fullest potential.
Life care planning can mean the difference between maximum recovery and needless suffering for a severely injured person due to their physical and emotional pain and limitations. A thorough life care plan seeks to:
- Minimize the injured person’s pain and suffering;
- Restore them to maximum physical and emotional functioning;
- Reduce or prevent future health complications; and
- Enable them to achieve a full quality of life.
A well-crafted life care plan is an essential resource when pursuing damages in a young victim’s personal injury case.
How is a Life Care Plan Developed?
Life care planners are well-educated and trained professionals who follow a standardized procedure when constructing a life care plan. The key elements of plan development include:
- Interviewing the victim and their family;
- Reviewing medical records and supporting documentation, including school and employment records;
- Consulting medical experts, rehabilitation specialists, and other healthcare providers; and
- Researching treatment resources and costs.
In addition to addressing the injured person’s physical and emotional needs, the plan can include job market, employment training, and other vocational data compiled by a loss of earnings expert. This methodology enables the life care planner to provide a comprehensive cost estimate in the young victim’s claim.
What Costs Can Be Included in a Life Care Plan?
A young victim will likely have considerable expenses following the accident. Some of these include:
- Physical and Mental Health Evaluations
- Diagnostic Testing
- Medical and Adaptive Equipment
- Mobility Aids
- Prescription and Non-Prescription Medication
- Home Health Care
- Home and Vehicle Modifications
- Specialized Educational and Vocational Services
A detailed Life Care Plan calculates these costs on an annual basis. Because a young accident victim is just starting out, it is critical to accurately assess their life expectancy when determining the total projected costs for their care and well-being.
Increased Costs for A Young Injury or Illness Victim
The expense of caring for a person severely debilitated by injury or illness is substantial. However, for the young victim, the costs may be even greater. Studies have shown that the average adult American spends over $72,500 on healthcare visits during their lifetime, including approximately 232 doctor’s visits and 34.5 emergency room visits. The average cost of a child’s healthcare through age 18 is around $15,500.
Unfortunately, for a severely injured child or young person, these costs can increase exponentially. A lifetime of specialized and supervised care can easily exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the family may be unprepared to meet these expenses without a substantial damages award in their loved one’s personal injury claim.
Another critical component of the higher costs for the young victim is the injury’s impact on their ability to earn a living. A healthy young person can reasonably expect many productive working years. This may not be the case for a young accident victim whose pain and limitations render them partially or wholly unable to support themselves. The input of an experienced loss of earnings expert is critical in these cases to prove the injury’s impact on the accident victim’s employability and future earning capacity.
Can a Life Care Plan Help a Young Injury Victim?
Planning for the future is often one of the most difficult challenging aspects of the injured person’s recovery. Like anyone else, a young victim wants to realize their potential and enjoy their life despite any physical or mental limitations.
The injured person and their family must understand the present and future care required and the associated costs to achieve these goals. A life care plan provides a detailed summary of those expenses and a roadmap to address them. Comprehensive life care planning enables families to budget for these costs and ensures that the injured person is cared for in a way that maximizes their recovery.
Additionally, when the accident that led to the victim’s injuries results in a lawsuit, the victim’s attorney must account for their client’s physical and emotional damages in the personal injury claim. A Life Care Plan is especially useful for demonstrating the extensive damages sustained by a young person injured in the prime of life.
The Experts at OAS Can Help You Secure Maximum Compensation for A Young Injury Victim
OAS specializes in assisting attorneys in evaluating earning capacity and long-term medical costs in personal injury cases to objectively determine the earning loss and Life Care Plan needs.
The experts at OAS have over forty years of experience documenting the diminished earning capacity and other damages of those who have suffered severe physical and mental trauma due to accidents or illness caused by someone else’s negligence. OAS has served as an expert on many multi-million-dollar outcomes.
OAS is your Life Care and loss of earnings expert nationwide, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nevada, and California.
OAS is one of the top companies providing Vocational Expert and Life Care Planning Services throughout the country. To discuss your case, call us at 1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.