Q. What is a life care plan, and how will it affect my personal injury case?
A. One of the primary reasons anybody brings a personal injury suit is to ensure that the negligent party is held accountable for future medical and other needs that were caused by the injury. In some cases–especially those involving spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, or other permanent damage– this requires a detailed, specific plan of what those needs will be. In those cases, one of the tools that I use in preparing cases for trial is a “Life Care Plan.”
According to the International Academy of Life Care Planners, a Life Care Plan is a “dynamic document based upon published standards of practice, comprehensive assessment, data analysis and research, which provides an organized, concise plan for current and future needs with associated costs, for individuals who have experienced catastrophic injury or have chronic health care needs.”
By using qualified life care planners as part of the trial team, we do not leave future medical needs to chance or guesswork. We provide the jury with a detailed and specific plan and the costs for future needs. An economist assists by predicting the future costs of those needs after adjusted for inflation.
Some attorneys will be eager to sign up a client who has suffered catastrophic injuries and hope that a jury can correctly guess how much the victim will need for future medical needs. But if they don’t prepare for trial by using specific life care plans, they put their clients’ future care in jeopardy by leaving it to chance–if they’re able to make the claim at all.
If you have a medical malpractice or personal injury claim resulting in future medical needs that will last a lifetime, you need an attorney that understands the role of life care plans and includes them as part of the trial team.