‘Life Care Plans’ Help Provide for Your Child’s Medical Needs and Future
Children who suffer disabling injuries such as a birth defect or childbirth trauma often need lifelong living assistance. In many incidents, the child requires ongoing care to accomplish even the most basic activities like eating, dressing, toileting or bathing. In some cases, specialized equipment or an environment modification to the home or transport vehicle is necessary to sustain their young life. The child will usually require a lifetime of medication, therapy and treatments. Because of that, it is often necessary to develop a Life Care Plan to ensure the child and their family have adequate financial compensation throughout his or her lifetime.
Extensive therapy is often required for children suffering birth injuries or birth defects throughout their young lives and into adulthood. In many incidences, the individual requires respiratory, speech, occupational and/or physical therapies and may also incur major expenses for transportation, medication or long-term residential facility living.
Customizing a Life Care Plan
To be effective, a Life Care Plan must be customized to meet the needs of the injured individual and provide the family with adequate compensation. Some of the most common elements involved in an effective Life Care Plan can include:
- Hospital or medical facility discharge planning
- Placement in an appropriate facility if required or, equipping family members to meet the special needs of the child
- Coordination of all necessary out care patient therapies, medications and follow-up doctor appointments
- Wheelchair accessible transportation
- Acquisition of specialize equipment including oxygen tanks
- Development of educational arrangements and forecast any anticipated vocational need over the victim’s lifetime
- Submission of all insurance paperwork including SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and Medicare
- Development of a financial plan for both short-term and long-term needs by projecting future medical care costs.
Evaluating the Child’s Every Need
Typically, experts in life care planning will initiate an effective plan by evaluating the child’s past and present medical documents that outline treatments, surgeries and care. In addition, the planner will usually work with the young patient’s therapists and physicians to develop an effective roadmap that provides the best care to the young individual throughout their entire lifetime. Accurate evaluation is crucial because many conditions suffered by the patient will change over his or her lifetime. Usually, the victim’s health will decline much earlier during the aging process compared to others not suffering the injury or defect.
After an evaluation, the Life Care Plan developer will detail every reasonably anticipated medical treatment, diagnostic requirement, surgical procedure, therapy, rehabilitation and nursing needs. The plan must reflect every anticipated expense to ensure that the young patient receives adequate financial recompense to meet their needs throughout their lifetime.
Usually, the care planner will determine the patient’s life expectancy to properly evaluate and calculate future needs. This will often include future medical care, medication, diagnostic testing, therapies, mobility requirements, home modification, orthopedic/prosthetic/orthotics needs, projected hospitalizations and surgeries, and the best way to fulfill environmental, recreational and leisure needs. In addition, the care planner will consider the costs of respite care to provide a break to caregivers and family members who provide assistance.
Life Care Plans and the Court System
Attorneys working on behalf of the victim and their family use a Life Care Plan as an educational tool as a part of the lawsuit process. The plan is use as an effective tool to help the jury understand the future needs and medical requirements of the patient that will be paid through the jury’s verdict.
Without a life care plan, the victim may be left with an insufficient level of compensation and suffer financially, physically, emotionally and mentally throughout their lifetime. For this reason, trial lawyers hire the best life care planner available to build the most persuasive presentation at trial.
The Cost of a Life Care Plan
Obtaining an effective life care plan for the family of a child suffering a birth defect or birth injury can be expensive. However, it is often a necessary component to a successful lawsuit for compensation. In some cases, the Life Care Plan can cost between $20,000 and $50,000 that includes all expenses and fees. Because of that, it is essential to retain an attorney that can provide the resources to fund the development of a plan to bring to trial.