Life care planning originated in the 1980’s as a supplemental endeavor of rehabilitation professionals. Initially, life care planning was primarily used in catastrophic cases (i.e., spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burn cases, amputations). More recently, life care plans have been developed in non-catastrophic cases, including orthopedic injuries and chronic pain cases. Given that the cost of future health care is often one of the largest components of economic damages in a lawsuit, life care plans can be useful tools for understanding how a catastrophic injury is expected to affect an individual over time.
Our Life Care Plan experts are certified in life care planning and have extensive experience in developing both plaintiff and defense life care plans. Regardless of the engaging party, our certified Life Care Planners utilize a systematic methodology when developing a life care plan, which involves requesting and reviewing records, conducting a clinical interview with the injured individual, consulting with treatment providers when possible, market rate cost research, and cost analysis.
A record review can provide context and detail regarding the evaluee’s future medical needs. Medical records are carefully reviewed to gather information relating to functional capacity, treatment course, and recommendations. Other important records include expert reports, correspondence between treatment providers, and employment records. The recommendations included in a life care plan should be a natural and appropriate extension of treatment to date as it relates to the specific injury in question.
All items listed in life care plans are considered medical necessities, related to the indexed incident, with a greater than 50% likelihood of being required in the future.
All costs included in a life care plan represent the current market or cash rate for the recommended goods and services.
At Stokes & Associates, we perform case-specific research regarding the costs of goods and services in the individual’s geographic area to ensure our life care plans reflect the most accurate and reliable cost of future medical care
When possible, corroborating and supplementary information should be obtained, via communication with the injured individual’s treating physicians and/or consultative medical experts. We use a structured interview format or questionnaire specifically tailored to the injured individual to facilitate the collection of essential information from the physician in a timely manner.