Determining Future Costs of Care & the Damages to Which a Catastrophically Injured Person is EntitledOn March 23, 2020 by Millerie Penbrock
Whether a person falls from a construction platform and injures his spine, catches her hand in a piece of machinery, or is born with a birth defect that impairs his or her mobility, he or she will likely need financial assistance in treating the injury and continuing on with life. In today’s society, within the systems established to provide for injured individuals, the medical evaluation of the degree of an individual’s impairment can have a huge impact on the level of compensation the individual will receive, from all sources. Other issues such a medical evaluation will impact in the future include:
- The injured person’s ability to work;
- The right to receive different kinds of economic compensation;
- Eligibility for protection against discrimination;
- Whether independent living is possible;
- What type of physical therapy might improve his/her health.
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Significantly, such an evaluation should include the significant changes an individual will undergo as he/she progresses through acute hospitalization, then returns to the home and community. An individual will likely experience the best possible outcome with rehabilitation that offers an interdisciplinary approach and coordinated care.
Life Care Planning
Life care planning is the process of analyzing the medical and medically-related goods and services an individual will need because of a disabling injury or disease. A systematic and logical approach is utilized to trace all of the needs relating from the disability to the end of one’s life expectancy. Various experts within the field of rehabilitation and case management are often asked to develop life care plans, in consultation with medical and therapeutic specialists according to their clinical specialties. All past medical, social, psychological, vocational, educational, and rehabilitation data are taken into consideration to the extent that it is available and applicable. The goals and desires of the patient and family are expressed in the plan. Medical literature is surveyed to reflect current concepts of patient care management. Consideration is given to changes in a patient’s needs due to aging and the progression of his or her disability.
The life care plan provides for services that are needed to prevent or significantly reduce known complications over time. Potential complications associated with the principle diagnoses are discussed, and the care needs related to these complications are projected. The range of services in the geographic area or region, and prevailing costs and standards are utilized to provide an analysis of costs. These costs are typically expressed as present day costs derived from the best available data and resources.
Through the life care plan process, a template for current and future care is developed. The plan serves as a guide for family members, case managers and health care providers. It is not a prescription for care, but represents a logical blueprint for an individual’s anticipated needs and to provide optimal outcomes, based upon reasonable medical probability and current concepts of care. An individual’s life care plan may be utilized by his or her attorney in seeking compensation for his or her injuries, and may also call for consultation with financial professionals to select appropriate investment strategies to preserve resources over the patient’s life.
In the unfortunate event you or a loved one fall victim to a life-altering, catastrophic injury, you should not have to worry about proper compensation or your attorney’s expertise. Therefore, it is highly advisable to seek out Houston family attorneys experienced in handling catastrophic injury claims, who will exhaust all possible avenues of financial and medical recovery on your behalf.