Life Care Plans
Motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, unsafe premises and defective products can cause catastrophic injuries with long-term or permanent disabling effects, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or amputation of a limb. When a personal injury causes a life-long disability, a life care plan is often developed to serve as a roadmap for the injured person and his or her family or caregiver. The life care plan starts with a thorough understanding of the particular diagnosis and potential future complications and proceeds to detail what will be required to deal with these medical issues over the predicted life expectancy of the individual.
It is hard to imagine all the additional costs associated with a catastrophic injury. Besides the considerable expenses required for ongoing health care, there are housing and transportation issues and vocational rehabilitation that will be necessary just to function on a daily basis. A life care plan helps by bringing all these diverse issues into one document that can be useful to the individual throughout life. This document can also be extremely important in achieving an appropriate settlement or financial recovery that appropriately compensates the victim of negligence or misconduct for all of the damages caused.
A life care plan may be developed by a certified life care planner or nurse who specializes in this area. A plan may also be developed by or in consultation with a neurologist, physiatrist, or occupational therapist familiar with the patient or the type of case involved. Economists and actuaries may also be consulted to properly estimate and project expected costs over a lifetime. The main areas normally addressed in a life care plan typically include the following:
- Healthcare – periodic doctor visits, including costs for laboratory work and diagnostic tests; future medical and surgical procedures, such as skin grafts for burn victims, replacement of prostheses, or maintenance of pumps and other implanted devices; dealing with medical complications that are likely to arise, such as bedsores, fractures, and respiratory or urinary tract infection common to individuals with spinal cord injury.
- Housing – nursing home or long-term care residential facility, or modifications to the home such as installing ramps and handrails, widening doorways, and retrofitting kitchens and bathrooms
- Mobility and Transportation – mobility issues may include manual or motorized wheelchairs, as well as a modified car with hand controls for the gas and brake or an accessible van.
- Vocational – what types of adaptive strategies and assistive technology will be required to enable the individual to communicate, work, or perform daily functions such as grooming and self-care with the utmost level of independence?
An attorney experienced in representing victims of catastrophic injuries can provide further information regarding life care plans. Contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a free consultation with an experienced New York personal injury attorney.