A life care plan is an important tool in advocating and planning for plaintiffs with serious or catastrophic personal physical injuries or physical sickness. Defendants may hire their own life care planner and use a life care plan to test the plaintiff's expert's assumptions.
A life care plan is a report that details the nature of the plaintiff’s functional impairments, the concomitant care needs, and, the cost of the components of care presented in the life care plan. The Life Care Plan projects these costs over the life of the plaintiff, taking into account the plaintiff’s particular needs in accordance with accepted professional standards of care. Current and future medical and custodial care needs, including frequency and duration of treatment, medical evaluations, therapies, diagnostic tests, durable medical equipment, supplies, prescription medications, home health care, custodial care, home modifications, automobile modification or specialized vehicles, and transportation are examples of what may be included in a life care plan.
How is a Life Care Plan Used?
The purpose of a life care plan, in the context of a lawsuit, is to help establish and/or quantify medical damages from an injury or sickness. Life care plans are often a component of high-dollar litigated cases in Workers Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Auto, Aviation and Product Liability involving serious personal injury. Because it’s not uncommon to see inflated numbers through the use of low discount rates, high growth rates and optimistic expectations of life expectancy, it’s critical to evaluate life care plans carefully, regardless of which side of the case you are on.
A life care plan is essential to the development of a Medicare Set Aside Allocation for a Workers Compensation Medicare Set Aside (WCMSA), Liability Medicare Set Aside (LMSA) or No Fault Medicare Set Aside (NFMSA). Reviewing a life care plan is a starting point to help determine if collateral sources are available to pay for elements of care. In the case of an MSA, what elements of accident related care would be otherwise be covered by Medicare and need to be set aside.
In New York, a life care plan can be helpful in developing components of damages for a cost projection under CPLR Articles 50A or 50B for use at mediation or in settlement negotiations.
What We Do | Life care plan review, analysis and pricing
4structures.com® LLC can provide a review, analysis and pricing of the actual costs required every year to fund the needs contained in the plaintiff’s and/or defendant’s life care plans. Once the actual cash flows are determined, we can then determine the cost to fund the life care plan with the relevant settlement planning vehicles. While an economist will look to the present value to provide for the future medical needs of the plaintiff, there are practical benefits to all parties in knowing the actual amount of money required to fund a settlement package that will generate the necessary monthly payments to provide for the all of the plaintiff’s projected lifetime medical needs. An economist’s projection, for example, may not take into account rated ages
which could mitigate the cost of providing the cost of lifetime care.