In Catastrophic Injury cases, preparation and presentation of Future Care Costs should be the greatest focus of Plaintiff and Defence counsel’s attention in approaching mediation and trial. Future Care Costs form the largest component of a catastrophically injured Plaintiff’s claim. The Life Care Plan or the Future Care Cost Report is the most important anchor to quantify the Plaintiff’s future needs.
This paper offers a review of significant decisions which address future care needs and their quantification. In addition, we will focus on the larger service components of the Future Care Cost claim and address the necessary qualifications of persons engaged to prepare Future Care Cost Reports/Life Care Plans.
A thoroughly prepared Plaintiff’s counsel working with an appropriately qualified Life Care Planner can present appropriate claims for the future needs of severely brain injured, burned, spinal cord injured or mentally and behaviourally challenged Plaintiff’s claims in a manner that should engage the co-operation and agreement of defence counsel to secure funding that will adequately meet a
person’s lifetime needs.
Whether at mediation or trial, it is essential that the Plaintiff’s life care plan not be seen to be overreaching or exaggerated or not supported through independent signed expert reports and/or viva voce evidence by the injured Plaintiff’s treating practitioners.
Significant concerns to be addressed by a Life Care Plan and a presentation of the costs of future care will include:
- The level of attendant care required;
- Appropriate combination of professional services;
- The need for a Rehabilitation Support Worker;
- Housing modifications, vehicle modifications and environmental controls;
- Avocational, recreational and/or vocational rehabilitation/retraining;
- Life expectancy;
- Gross Up; and,
- Management Fee.