The Value of Life Care Plans to Proving Damages in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Cases
In any personal injury or medical malpractice case, the fundamental goal is to compensate the victim for the injuries he or she has suffered as a result of another’s negligent or reckless conduct. Compensation can come in many forms, including medical expenses, rehabilitation treatments, pain and suffering, lost income, lost potential of earning future income, and loss of relations with a spouse.
If an injury is so serious that it will impact a victim for the rest of his or her life, then a lifetime of medical care and treatment needs to be compensated as well. In a good number of cases, the cost of future medical care and treatment for life can be the most substantial item of damages in the case.
In order to provide a court and jury with the proper information with regard to the cost of a lifetime of medical care, seasoned personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys will use something called a life care plan as part of their case to demonstrate the future medical needs of a victim and the costs of such medical treatment.
Accordingly, in this blog, we will discuss the basics of life care plans, and how they are created. If, after reading this blog, you believe that you need life care plans for your own case, we welcome you to contact us at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) to help you. We are one of the most experienced employ-ability and life care planning firms in the United States. To discuss your need for life care plans, call us at 1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.
What Are Life Care Plans?
Life care plans are normally prepared by people hired by a victim’s attorney to analyze the victim’s past history, medical and employment; and the victim’s present medical outlook. The information is then used to create a life care plan that estimates the victim’s future medical needs for the rest of his or her life.
Who Can Create Life Care Plans?
The people preparing life care plans are experts with a range of qualifications and experience that make them able to create a valid, credible life care plans. Some experts are nurses whose careers are devoted to caring for the disabled, some are medical doctors who focus on rehabilitative medicine, and some have Ph.Ds in relevant areas of practice including vocational rehabilitation.
Any expert preparing a life care plan has a significant background in patient care over a wide range of disabilities, and has the ability to project the costs relative to a victim’s likely future medical needs and future medical costs.
How Does One Create Life Care Plans?
Life care planning, as you would expect, begins with information gathering. The life care planner will first:
1. Review the victim’s entire medical history;
2. Meet with the victim;
3. Perhaps may do an independent medical examination;
4. Confer with the victim about his or her prior medical care.
Next, the life care planner will create an estimate of the victim’s medical needs currently and into the future. In the life care planner’s report, the expert will discuss the victim’s current injury in the context of the accident or incident of medical malpractice, as well as the victim’s prior medical history.
Finally, the life care planner will provide an informed estimate as to future eventualities, including:
1. Future medical complications;
2. Requirements of medical treatment for life;
3. Whether future surgeries are needed;
4. Requirements on medical devices and medication;
5. Potential for the services of a home aide or residency in a rehabilitation or assisted living facility.
The life care planner will also provide the reasonable costs of each of the items above, founded in the planner’s own experience, the victim’s medical history, and a comparison of individuals similarly situated.
What Happens to the Life Care Plan Once Created?
Once the life care planner creates the life care plan, it is first reviewed by the victim’s attorney. Then, it is shared with the defendants in the personal injury or medical malpractice case.
The life care planner will also most likely testify at trial before a judge and jury if the case ultimately goes to trial.
Why is the Life Care Plan Valuable?
There are two primary benefits of a life care plan for a victim of an accident or of malpractice. First, it serves as a comprehensive report of the victim’s medical condition – past, present, and future. It serves as a guide to the victim and medical professionals alike as to what kind of future medical treatment a victim will need, and serves to confirm a victim’s claim for pain and suffering.
Second, and most significantly, the life care plan is evidence that is presented to a jury so that the jury members can easily understand what the victim will need with regard to medical care in the future, and the reasonable cost of that care.
Let OAS Help You Create Life Care Plans to Prove the Value of a Case
OAS specializes in working with the plaintiff or defense attorney to assist in objectively documenting the economic damages in a case. From the initial referral to the trial testimony, OAS works with the retaining attorney so that the damages of the case can be objectively and efficiently presented.
We strongly believe in the importance of a clear and understandable presentation of the facts. OAS is the leading provider of Vocational Experts and Life Care Planning Services for Plaintiff and Defense attorneys.
The company specializes in assisting attorneys in documenting the damages in cases where an individual has been severely injured by providing objective findings on how the injuries affect a persons’ ability to work and earn money, as well as the cost of care required in catastrophic injuries.
OAS is your Vocational Expert & Life Care Planner Nationwide, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nevada, and California.
Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. is one of the most experienced employability and life care planning firms in the United States. To discuss your case, call us at 1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.