Quite often I have attorneys ask me the question, “What kind of report is recommended for what type of case?” While the answer can seem complex, here are some good rule-of-thumb guidelines that can help guide you in the settlement process.

A Life Care Plan is a comprehensive estimate of an individual’s medical and non-medical needs throughout their lifetime that result from a catastrophic injury or chronic illness. Typically, life care plans are for individuals who are suffering from a chronic illness, catastrophic injury, require in-home care and long-term management and can include any of the following:

  • Medical / Personal Injuries
  • Chronic Pain
  • Amputations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burns and traumas
  • Transplants
  • Birth injuries
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Elder Care

A Medical Cost Projection on the other hand is a condensed report that forecasts all future medical, rehabilitative, durable medical equipment, and pharmaceutical costs of a claimant’s non-catastrophic injury or illness, including:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents involving whiplash associated dysfunction
  • Orthopedic impairments and disabilities
  • Non-invasive spinal procedures including: Nerve ablations, Medial Branch Blocks, Facet Injections, Epidurals; etc
  • Surgical Procedures such as spinal fusions; etc. 

When Would I Need a Medical Cost Projection Instead of a Life Care Plan?

Compared to a life care plan, a medical cost projection is a shorter, abbreviated estimate of medical care costs. Oftentimes an in-person interview is not included in the estimation of a medical cost projection. The turnaround time is shorter and more cost effective than that of a life care plan. While a life care plan may be used when a case is going to trial, a medical cost projection is ideal for:

  • Preparing for mediation
  • Negotiating during settlement
  • Tight timelines
  • Smaller case budgets
  • Limited insurance policies

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas on how to guide your next case as you approach settlement.