The Importance of Life Care Plans In A Brain Injury Lawsuit

October 30, 2022 Posted In Brain Injuries

The lifetime medical costs and living expenses for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range anywhere from $85,000 to $4 million, depending on its severity. As a result, it is critical to recover the compensation you need for lifetime care when another party is responsible for your harm. A helpful tool to ensure you can do that is including a life care plan as evidence in your brain injury lawsuit. 

The Importance of Life Care Plans In A Brain Injury Lawsuit

What is a Life Care Plan?

A life-care plan is a document that explains in detail the impact of a TBI on the claimant’s life. For example, the extent of the injury, prognosis, projected length of recovery, limitations it causes, disabilities, and effect on quality of life. It should also include the following: 

  • Potential complications and associated medical conditions that may arise. 
  • Any change in life expectancy.
  • Recommendations on necessary treatment, including rehabilitation, physical therapy, medication, and whether medical equipment is needed. 
  • The projected costs of current and future medical care. 

The goal of a life care plan is to not only consider current costs, but future costs for medical care and services. Additionally, the plan must also take into account inflation and how the victim’s needs for services will change and possibly increase as they age. Even if a brain injury is considered mild, victims can expect to pay up to $15,000 for medical care, ongoing therapy, and medications. The most devastating financial costs typically occur within the first year. For moderate to severe TBIs, the first year costs approximately $196,000. After hospitalization, the estimated medical and non-medical expenses in the first year are a little over $151,000 for insurance, vocational rehabilitation, mandatory home modifications, etc. As previously mentioned, the lifetime costs can range from $85,000 up to $4 million

How a Life Care Plan Impacts a Brain Injury Lawsuit

A life care plan can be invaluable when negotiating a settlement for a brain injury lawsuit. It will give you a detailed estimate of the value of your claim and can be used to defend your demands. As a result, the at-fault party’s insurance company may take your claim more seriously, making them willing to settle for fair compensation. If not, the document can be used at trial along with expert testimony to explain the projected expenses. However, the defense (at-fault party) may also offer its own version of a life care plan prepared by its own expert, with projected medical costs that are much lower. At that point, it will be up to a jury to decide your case’s worth. 

Who Prepares a Life Care Plan?

Trained medical professionals who thoroughly understand TBIs and the repercussions are typically hired to prepare life care plans from an impartial point of view. They will work to uncover every minute detail to ensure future needs are captured. The life care planner will talk to the brain injury victim to learn about their lifestyle before the accident compared to now. Additionally, they will work closely with their doctors to fully understand the severity of the injury and what treatments may be necessary. 

When life care plans provide a realistic view of a brain injury victim’s future expenses, they can significantly impact a brain injury lawsuit’s worth. To discuss your case and options for compensation further, contact a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney in Riverside today.

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