You May Need A Life Care Planning Expert In Catastrophic Damage Cases
In a personal injury case, there can be any number of expert witnesses, from varying professional and technical fields. Many we know about and are familiar with, such as doctors, safety experts, or accident reconstruction experts. But others aren’t so obvious, such as the life care planning expert.
When is a Life Care Planning Expert Needed?
Let’s assume that you are in an accident and suffer an injury where it is anticipated that you will need medical attention in the future. It could be a surgery, or just continued therapy or prescriptions going forward in your life. A jury is allowed to award you damages for your continuing future medical needs that are related to and caused by your accident.
But sometimes, your future medical needs and even your non-medical expenses are so significant that it takes an expert to truly calculate what the damage award should be.
For example, any doctor can testify what the anticipated cost of a single surgery would be, or even what the cost of 2-3 therapy visits every week would be.
But often in catastrophic injuries, the needs of the victim go way beyond just medical procedures. They may require calculation of the medical costs associated with deterioration of the body, in-home care, counselors, special education, or physical modifications that may need to be made to vehicles or houses. They may even be called on to anticipate the future—what future procedures or technologies may exist that could help the victim, and what those technologies potentially cost.
The Individual Matters
Not only do these costs need to be accounted for, but the victim’s individual situation must be taken into account.
If a victim is located in an area where medical supplies or special schooling or in-home care is hard to get, the expenses would be higher than if the victim was in a more urban area, where those resources are more readily accessible.
What family does the victim have? A victim with an extended family may have people who can be anticipated to be around for the victim’s lifetime to take care of him or her. But someone without many family members may need increased damages, to account or outside help that will have to provide the care that the victim will need.
Who Are Life Care Planners?
Life care planners are often experts who have a medical background, such as nurses or psychologists, but also those who have an economics background, who can break down complex, expensive and long term expenses into numbers that a jury can easily understand. They use comprehensive research in all of the fields we’ve just discussed, to come up with one plan that is designed to make sure the victim has what he or she needs for their lifetimes.
These experts are charged with explaining why a seemingly enormous damage figure—millions of dollars—may actually not be that much when the lifespan or life expectancy of the victim is accounted for.
Don’t leave your personal injury case to chance. Make sure that you have the evidence you need in your trial. Call the Clinton personal injury attorneys at Fox, Farley, Willis & Burnette, to help if you are injured in any kind of accident.