The Life Care Plan Expert Can Make a Huge Difference in Injury Cases
When we calculate damages in a personal injury case, we give a lot of attention to the relatively immediate needs of the victim, as we should. These include things like lost wages, medical expenses, or pain and suffering. We also try to make sure the victim is compensated for losses in the future, such as with future lost wages, or money to pay for any surgeries or medical procedures that may be needed in the future.
Special Damages Need a Special Expert
But sometimes, a victim is so catastrophically injured that a special expert is needed to come to court and testify as to damages. That expert is called a life care plan expert, and this special kind of expert is used when someone’s life has been so catastrophically altered, that the jury needs to hear very specific testimony about what the alterations in the victim’s life going forward will cost—especially when the victim is of a younger age.
As the name implies a life care expert gives a jury testimony about what the plan to care for the victim will cost going forward. You may be surprised at how many different expenses must be accounted for, when coming up with the costs of treatment for someone catastrophically and permanently injured.
Damages The Expert Considers
A victim who is dependent on medical devices—say, wheelchairs, ventilators, or breathing apparatus—will need those devices for life. The expert can testify what it will cost to maintain, service and replace those devices going into the future.
The expert can testify about what the costs will be going into the future to provide for things like special schooling if there is a traumatic brain injury, or modifications to cars and homes for victims in need, or the long term cost of permanent in-home medical/attendant care. The expert takes into account changes in the victims life—for example, in-home care may not be as necessary when the victim is younger, and may have parents to care for him or her, but what about in the future when parents are gone?
Medical care that is “routine” for most of us, may be more difficult or costly for someone with a severe disability. A blood draw, or treating a simple infection, may require a hospitalization for the disabled. How many times can those things be expected to happen and what will it cost each time? The expert will testify as to those expenses.
The expert will also take into account the victim’s social, geographic and economic status. For example, if the victim will need special schooling when he or she gets older, that schooling may be more or less expensive, depending on where the victim lives, and the availability of services.
Victims with large extended families and relatives who can assist, may need less financial assistance than victims with smaller families, who will have to hire assistance when their families are gone.
If you are injured make sure that your attorneys account for your damages going into the future. The personal injury and accident attorneys at Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian can help you. Call us today to discuss obtaining damages after any accident. Schedule a consultation today.