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
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Burns and traumas
- 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.