When someone is catastrophically injured in an accident, it is generally accepted that they will have ongoing medical needs, and that those medical needs have costs to them. Usually, as long as there is liability for the accident, a jury will provide a victim compensation to provide for those ongoing medical costs.
What about the costs associated with caring for someone who is made disabled due to an accident that go beyond medical treatment? What about all the costs of the significant changes in the victim’s entire life?
What is a Lifecare Plan?
That is where the benefit of presenting a lifecare plan to a jury comes into play. A lifecare plan presents the jury with the anticipated costs of everything that it will take to provide for someone who is severely and permanently disabled. It does not matter whether the victim is disabled due to a brain injury or a physical injury (although obviously the needs to provide for each will be different).
There are so many needs for a disabled person through his or her life that many of them can easily be overlooked. For example, there may be costs associated with making modifications to a vehicle or a home—that includes modifications to each vehicle or home they may have or live in throughout their lives.
Victims with family members who work will need in home care, or special care when they are older and their loved ones are gone. Young victims will need to account for the cost of special schooling or education.
For those who are left to depend on breathing apparatus or mobility assistance, the breakdown rate and replacement costs of the small parts of these machines throughout the victim’s life must be taken into account.
Even future medical expenses may be different for the severely disabled. A routine process such as, for example, just drawing blood or a colonoscopy, may require much more intensive medical care and oversight for the victim than it would otherwise.
Experts Look into the Future for Calculations
One of the difficult parts of putting together a lifecare plan is that it requires looking sometimes many years into the future. Anticipating the costs of special nursing home care for a disabled youth is not uncommon.
Experts are used to provide expert testimony to a jury about these plans. They will interview the victim, the victim’s family, and use their expertise about the costs involved in care and treatment.
Environmental factors will play a part as well. Someone in a smaller community with fewer options may have a more expensive lifecare plan than someone in an urban area with many resources. Victims with many siblings available to care for them may have a lesser cost involved than those with smaller families.
Lifecare plan experts also use medical knowledge to demonstrate to a jury that the victim may improve, but will never fully recover. Estimating the maximum medical recovery possible and then calculating the costs involved in treating the victim can be a difficult science that takes into account medicine and economics, but it plays an essential role in allowing those who are catastrophically injured to obtain full recovery.
If you are injured, make sure you understand the full value of your case. Contact the attorneys of Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss your injury or liability case.