A life care plan is a comprehensive evaluation of current and future medical and non‑medical needs that are required by a person as a result of being injured in an accident.
For example, if a person has been seriously injured in a car accident, the person may require long-term care, additional medical treatment, prescriptions, and other assistance. As part of seeking a full recovery for the injuries and damages suffered by the person, the cost for all of these items must be determined so that a complete claim for damages can be presented at trial.
At trial, the jury will make an award to an injured person for the present value of all of the damages suffered they suffered and those likely to be suffered, even those (such as future medical expenses) where the costs are not yet known with certainty. Our firm uses medical experts, economists, and other professionals to present evidence of all of these damages and the amount that they are expected to cost when the expenses are incurred. To properly evaluate a claim, we need to adjust expected medical costs for inflation. While many costs in our economy have seen little increase in recent years, medical costs have been an exception, as we have experienced double-digit inflationary costs of healthcare over the last 15 years.
What Other Expenses Should Be Included in a Life Care Plan?
A life care plan should also include other medical and non-medical needs that are required due to an accident, as all of these items are recoverable. Examples of these needs can include wheelchairs, ramps, housing modification, car modification, skilled and non-skilled nursing, caregiving, and household maintenance.
A life care plan details how the long-term care needs will be met, including an evaluation of probable complications and certain assumptions. The purpose of the life care plan is to provide an economic basis for the care that an injured person will require in the future. A life care planner can testify to the costs of future medical care in a life care plan if a physician’s testimony provides the foundational support that the future medical care recommended is “reasonably certain” to be necessary based “on a reasonable degree of medical certainty.”
How We Represent Clients Requiring a Life Care Plan
If you or a family member has been seriously injured and will likely need future medical and/or other care after your trial, a complete and detailed life care plan should be developed. It’s important that the life care plan takes into account all costs that are likely to be incurred because there is no opportunity to later go back and get more money from a defendant, even if costs of items included in the life plan ended up being higher than expected. Our firm will work closely with doctors, medical experts, and financial professionals to understand and calculate the costs for the items in a life care plan.