The Key Elements of a Life Care Plan
A life care plan, or a care plan for life, is a document that attempts to look into the future with clarity. A life care planner works to outline the current and future needs of a patient dealing with chronic injury or illness, often due to an accident or someone’s alleged negligence. In the past, we’ve discussed the objectives of a life care plan, but today I want to break down the three crucial elements considered in creating one. Consider this my 10,000-foot overview of the process we move through for every single client here at BiFulco Medical Group.
Element #1 of a Life Care Plan: Gathering the Facts
The first segment of our work is the acquisition of factual information. Myself and my team gather every piece of factual evidence available in a particular case. These can include:
- Medical records
- Depositions of opposing experts, consulting experts, treating physicians, etc.
- Treating physicians medical records
If a patient is available, they are also asked to come in for a comprehensive physical exam at our offices. Everything gathered is considered, with some pieces given greater weight. With decades of experience as both a physician and a life care planner, I know that certain elements will be followed more closely by the trier of fact; namely, the judge and jury. Physicians who treated the patient before AND after the event are also given more consideration. They are more likely to be unbiased in their opinions. And finally, testimony under oath is highly regarded—since people tend to tell the truth more often in these scenarios.
Element #2 of a Life Care Plan: Outlining the Details
There are some standard questions we want to locate answers for when we’re working on a case. A primary question is this:
“What is my opinion regarding your life expectancy?”
It’s my job to use the evidence we’ve gathered to determine your needs for future care, and the categories that care falls under. For example, do you need surgery? How many procedures, and to what end (i.e., what will those procedures accomplish)? Are therapies required, and will specialists be needed? What equipment will you make use of in your home; a shower bar? A wheelchair ramp? If you need home-based expert care, will it be for 12 hours a day or 24? How about medicine—which medications, at what dosage, and how long should you be taking them?
Element #3 of a Life Care Plan: Drawing Conclusions
My opinions are molded into these recommendations, charted, and transformed into dollar amounts. This way, your customized life care plan can outline the standards of patient care appropriate to your condition. We leave as little gray area as possible here; the objective is to provide concrete facts and figures to aid in your recovery, based on a strict timeline.
It’s important to note that the conclusions reached by my team are based on elements #1 and #2 AND my training, experience, and the following of a widely accepted medical methodology that can be defended in a court of law. That background work is what makes these reports admissible as evidence.
Learn more here about the services provided by BiFulco Medical Group, and feel free to reach out and ask us questions pertaining to your case or to the case of a loved one.