If you are an attorney who has a client with a traumatic brain injury, then you should engage the services of a life care planner. Why? Because you will need expert testimony to prove precisely what a particular traumatic brain injury victim will need in his or her life moving forward.
In this article, we will go through the fundamental considerations that a life care planner takes into account when creating a life care plan for a client. If, after reviewing this article you have additional questions or need a life care planner for your personal injury, disability, or divorce case, consider us at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. – OAS.
We are one of the most experienced employability and life care planning firms in the United States. To discuss your case, call us at1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.
What Goes Into a Life Care Plan?
A life care plan for someone with a traumatic brain injury is a report with many facets, outlining the many needs of a particular client. Those needs include:
1. Physical health
2. Mental health
5. Equipment and Supplies and
The life care plan, of course, will outline all of the costs associated with those needs listed above.
Are There Life Care Planners Who Only Work for Plaintiff Attorneys?
Typically, no. Most life care planners provide expert testimony and other expert services for both plaintiff and defense attorneys. There are some life care planners who work for only one side, but that is rare.
The reason why you want a life care planner who is able to work for both sides is that you want someone who does not have an appearance of bias. A life care planner who has only done plans for one side of the equation makes them less persuasive as an expert when testifying in a traumatic brain injury case.
What is the First Thing a Life Care Planner Considers in Brain Injury Cases?
One of the most important issues for any person or the family member of any person, who has a traumatic brain injury is the chances of improvement. Certainly, juries and judges will want to know the level of permanence that is connected to a brain injury. So, the question of the possibility and extent, of progress is key.
While every case is different, improvement after a brain injury generally follows a certain pattern. The rate of functional gain will slow once you get to around one year after the incident causing the injury. Any further functional gain will taper off and eventually flatten out at the three-year mark.
Once you reach that three-year mark, then the chances for any additional improvement are highly unlikely. A life care planner, aware of this common timeline, will be able to establish a functional baseline for a particular brain injury client, and then suggest the changes necessary to deal with various aspects of a brain injury victim’s life.
Not only are their physical issues, with doing day-to-day activities, or basic mobility, but also mental issues such as confusion, memory loss, frustration, impulsivity, and concentration issues.
What are the Other Aspects a Life Care Planner Takes Into Account?
Once a baseline functional capacity for a brain injury victim is established, then the life care planner’s work is focused on myriad life aspects, including:
1. Family Assistance. A person with a brain injury will unlikely be able to take the role in the family that he or she once had. Further, a brain injury victim’s inability to deal with certain noise levels or the inability to smell whether food has gone bad can result in certain safety issues. In addition, a brain injury victim may be unable to concentrate enough for tasks such as driving. Thus, a life care planner will make provisions for family counseling so that an injured person’s family can be prepared for a new normal.
2. Medical Care. As you would expect, a life care planner takes into consideration a person’s routine primary care, that takes into account the person’s brain injury. Also, mental health challenges, occupational therapy, and speech therapy may also be required strategies for an injured person.
3. Need for Certain Equipment. Injured individuals may require costly durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs and an advanced bed.
4. Cost of Home Care or Even Residential Placement. Life care planners will be able to give recommendations that a family may or may not use when making that extremely difficult decision of whether the injured person can stay at home, or needs to be in a residential care facility.
5. Changing Needs as a Person Ages. Life care planners will also provide for the possible complications and need for an increasing level of care that comes with aging.
In sum, life care planners look at the whole person, and what he or she needs to go through life – and the associated costs – following a traumatic brain injury.
Let OAS Be Your Life Care Planner Expert
The life care planner experts at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) have over forty years of experience documenting the income potential and employment capacity of underemployed, unemployed, and disabled spouses in many types of cases
OAS specializes in working with the plaintiff or defense attorney to assist in objectively documenting the economics in a case. From the initial referral to the trial testimony, OAS works with the retaining attorney so that the vocational assessment 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 Expert and Life Care Planning Services for Plaintiff and Defense attorneys.
The company specializes in assisting attorneys in evaluating earning capacity in divorce cases and 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.