Birth Injury Lawyer Cleveland, OH
Life Care Plans vs. Cost Projections
A birth injury lawyer in Cleveland, OH has to account for all of the harms, losses, and damages arising out of a personal injury or medical malpractice claim. Some of these expenses are not obvious. A birth injury lawyer in Cleveland, OH will turn to a certified life care planner (CLCP) or another disability expert, such as a case manager, to determine the real economic costs caused by a serious injury. The preparation of a full-scale life care plan can cost from $10,000.00 to $50,000.00, depending upon the level of detail and the preparer’s credentials. For instance, some life care plans are prepared by physicians who are also certified life care planners. If the doctor has to travel from his/her residence to another city or state to conduct a medical examination of the injured party, this can add substantially to the expense of the life care plan.
In order to avoid the substantial expense associated with a complete life care plan, some life care planners have begun to offer a cost projection in lieu of a life care plan, as a Cleveland, OH birth injury lawyer can attest. Cost projections are prepared based on existing medical records and bills. The life care planner does not interview the injured party or conduct a physical exam.
As explained by a life care planner in a recent deposition:
Q: What is a life care plan?
A: A life care plan is a detailed document that identifies the needs, both medical and non-medical, with the associated costs for someone who is catastrophically injured or chronically ill through their lifetime.
Q: What is a cost projection?
A: A cost projection is a document that’s prepared to inform all parties involved of the expected or estimated future care through a lifetime or through a medical event.
So, a cost projection is a less detailed accounting of the medical costs associated with a particular treatment. In order to prepare a cost projection, the life care planner must rely on testimony from a medical expert establishing that the future treatment is reasonable and necessary and related to the underlying injury. Cost projections are substantially cheaper than life care plans, ranging in cost from $2,000.00 to $5,000.00.
A cost projection is useful when the injured person’s future care is uncomplicated and defined. For instance, a cost projection would be appropriate in any of the following circumstances: (1) to assess the lifetime costs of dialysis; (2) to assess the lifetime costs of medications; or (3) to assess the lifetime costs of supplies or equipment that are routinely needed for care.
A cost projection would not be appropriate when the injured individual’s future care needs are complex or involve numerous one-time costs, like retrofitting an existing home to make it handicap accessible, purchase of a wheelchair accessible van or other types of transportation, or periodic medical assessments by various specialists.
Life care plans and costs projections can be critical elements of the total damages involved in a personal injury lawsuit. Many states now have caps on noneconomic damages, like pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of usual activities and loss of enjoyment of life. A birth injury lawyer in Cleveland, OH handling cases involving quadriplegia, paraplegia, traumatic brain injury, amputation, permanent back injury, stroke, blindness or birth injury, must capture all of the economic costs associated with such a condition at trial in order to maximize compensation for their client.
For more information about birth injuries, contact the attorneys of Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A., in Cleveland, today to schedule a consultation.