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The Life Care Plan Documenting Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases
The cost of future care makes up a significant portion of a catastrophic injury case. It details the damages in medical malpractice, product liability, and motor vehicle accident cases that have resulted in catastrophic injuries. An attorney should use a life care plan for three reasons: To determine the worth of the case, to move the case toward settlement by justifying the amount of the demand, and to provide the attorney with a tool for trial. The life care plan enables the attorney to document and present the damages of the case to the jury in a clear, demonstrative manner.
Most attorneys know when they have a client with a serious injury. The client has sustained a spinal cord injury and cannot move his or her legs and/or arms. The seriously injured person may have sustained amputation of one, some, or all of their extremities. A baby may be severely brain damaged, resulting in impaired mental capability, or have cerebral palsy. An adolescent may have sustained a head injury, resulting in severe cognitive deficits and physical limitations. What are the consequences of these multifaceted catastrophic injuries on the client’s ability to function? How will these injuries affect the client’s educational and vocational development? Can the client ever be competitively employed? If so, what will it cost to prepare the client for that event? How much will their medical care and therapies cost? What is the cost to renovate the client’s home, if necessary? What is the cost for required nursing services?
Retention of a rehabilitation expert precedes that of an economist, as the economist formulates economic projections based on the costs developed in the life care plan.
The development of the life care plan begins with a comprehensive review of all medical records. Together with interviewing the client and their family, an extensive home assessment is made. During this evaluation, the rehabilitation expert performs a home-care and equipment assessment and evaluates the client’s vocational and educational potential. In addition, meetings may be held with the client’s treating physicians, therapists, and educational and/or institution staff.
All of these questions should be considered when the attorney takes a catastrophic injury case, as the costs of these items make up the damages portion of the case.
One of the most important experts to consult in documenting your damages in these cases is a rehabilitation expert. These experts will assist in illustrating the extent and dollar amount of the damages in your case through the preparation of a life care plan.
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Based on the above information, a plan for future care is developed. Detailed yearly costs are provided in the following areas: home or facility care; future medical care; transportation needs; architectural renovations; therapeutic evaluations and modalities such as physical, occupational, and cognitive rehabilitation therapy; medical equipment and/or wheelchair needs; orthotics and/or prosthetics; home furnishings; leisure time and recreational equipment; drug and supply needs; and the cost of potential medical complications. An accompanying narrative report details the results of the client interview, home assessment, and summary of medical records reviewed. CASE ILLUSTRATION Spinal Cord Injury Sam Martin was a 21-year-old college graduate trained in personnel management. He was employed by an insurance company. Mr. Martin was riding his motorcycle when he was hit by a moving van, resulting in spinal fractures and paraplegia. This meant he suffered not only from paralysis of the lower extremities, but severe upper back pain as well. He is incontinent and experienced psychological adjustment problems. A comprehensive life care plan was developed by a rehabilitation expert, complete with a full vocational evaluation which included testing. Each item of the life care plan was clearly detailed in chart form so both the defense and jury could comprehend the costs Mr. Martin would incur over his lifetime. The severity of his injuries and resulting pain precluded Mr. The Biggest New Jersey Transit Settlement A Success Story One thing we like to do is highlight when a client of ours and their legal team have done something extraordinary. One of our recent clients was awarded $12.75 million in a settlement, making it one of the largest ever paid by the New Jersey Transit corporation (NJ Transit). This client was struck by an NJ Transit bus that raced through a pedestrian crosswalk. The injuries, which included a major brain hemorrhage and multiple skull and rib fractures, were so severe that doctors had put him into a medically induced coma. After he had regained consciousness, he was unable to work, and while recovering, he was unable to care for himself, as even the most mundane tasks were near impossible. This client’s case has been a steep uphill battle, but with our 46 years of experience assisting plaintiffs and defense attorneys, we helped his attorneys make their case. OAS’s life care plan and employee evaluation reports demonstrated how much care the victim needed on top of showing that he could no longer work or care for himself. From that point, OAS drove home the fact that this client would need a significant reward to cover his extensive medical bills and lifetime care costs. ... Continued from Cover
OAS founder and president Edmond Provder had this to say on the case:
“If you are an attorney representing someone who suffered catastrophic injuries, you will need help objectively documenting the case damages. You’ll need occupational assessment services.” As one of the leading providers of life care plans in the United States, we can help you gain the assistance you or your loved ones deserve. Call us at 800-292-1919 to discuss your case.
Martin from sitting for more than two to three hours at one time without having to lie down. He had been rendered unemployable due to his paraplegia.
When the case went to trial, the rehabilitation expert testified and educated the jury as to the types of services Mr. Martin would require over his lifetime, as well as the associated costs. The jury was able to comprehend the costs of these services and reached a verdict of $24 million in favor of Mr. Martin. Edmond Provder, the founder and president of Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is one of the original and longest-practicing life care planners and vocational experts in the United States. OAS assists plaintiff and defense attorneys in documenting their case damages. Using a standard methodology, OAS is able to objectively document the injured client’s loss of earning capacity and long-termmedical care costs in the geographical area in which they reside through live medical research. The OAS expert prepares the life care plan and vocational reports in preparation for trial. Their testimony includes enlarged exhibits to educate the jury as to their findings. In 2019, OAS was involved in seven of the largest cases in New Jersey. In addition, Mr. Provder testified in a Texas case resulting in a $12.5 million settlement, as well as a New York City case resulting in a $102 million award. OAS has offices throughout the United States and provides nationwide expert services. We specialize in SKYPE evaluations and RUSH cases. To receive further information, call 800-292-1919 or visit our website at OASinc.org.
The Cats Of OAS Meet Genghis Kahn and Ghandi: Our Feline Representatives
Kahn gets bored with toys within five minutes and moves onto the next. Here’s a fun fact about this breed of cats: They have unusual DNA! The first Bengal cats came to be when people bred domestic cats with Asian leopard cats. Their coats have similar patterns to leopards, and their coats can feature an array of colors including gold, rust, brown, orange, or tan. These cats are rascals. If they figure out you don’t like something they did, they will do it over and over again to get your attention. They also love to hide things, so be sure to keep your keys close! Genghis Kahn and Ghandi get along with kids and most other pets, including dogs! They also love to climb, and you may find Genghis Kahn venturing through the trees in the summertime. But when they’re inside, you can easily find them on a high bookshelf or window ledge. Cat-proofing is a must for these two. When they are bored, they take things apart and open drawers to find toys or food.
If there is one thing we love as much as our clients at OAS, it’s our animals. Our four-legged companions do much more than just keep our families company. In this issue, we’d like to introduce you to two of our beloved fur babies: Genghis Khan and Ghandi, the cats of OAS. Genghis Khan is similar to the historical figure in personality. He’s temperamental, regal — and he’s a little terror! He’s a schemer by nature but very loving when he wants to be. When he’s not watching the homestead, he loves going for walks to the beach and Bal Harbour Mall, where he watches the koi fish.
Ghandi, on the other hand, has a very different personality. He’s sweet, delicate, curious, and friendly. He’s always in search of a snack and is great at dribbling balls. While most cats hate water with a passion, Ghandi can’t get enough of it! He loves showers and baths, although it’s rare for him to venture outside the house.
Do you have any furry four-legged family members that keep you company? Let us know next time you’re in the office. We love swapping funny pet stories!
Both of these Bengal cats are intelligent but have very different takes on recreation. Ghandi likes to make up his own games, and Genghis
Inspired by Nom Nom Paleo
Easy Tomato Soup
Who doesn’t love a bowl of tomato soup on a cold winter’s day? This recipe packs a lot more flavor — and a lot fewer additives — than your average store-bought soup without requiring hours of hard labor over the stove.
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8.5 oz coconut milk
1 28-oz can roasted and diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic is a good brand) 1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp coconut oil
Admissible Argument Damages Jury
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4 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
4. Add sautéed leeks and garlic and purée again. 5. Transfer purée to a saucepan and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then drop to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
1. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté leeks in coconut oil until softened and translucent, about 7–10 minutes. 2. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat. 3. Meanwhile, in a blender, purée entire can of tomatoes, including juice, until smooth.
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The Life Care Plan
A Client Success Story
Meet Genghis Kahn and Ghandi Easy Tomato Soup
A Better Way to Think About Motivation
Susan Fowler’s ‘Master Your Motivation’
A Science-Based Approach to Achieving More choice, connection, and competence.” When you measure motivation across these three factors, which are the result of rigorous academic research rather than folksy conventional wisdom, you unlock the power of motivation. It’s not hard to see how Fowler’s framework is much more actionable than traditional motivational techniques. Creating intrinsic motivation, especially for others, is a mug’s game, but defining choice, connection, and competence is much less ambiguous. If you have team members who you feel lack motivation, ask yourself if their jobs have these three essential traits. Do they have agency (choice) in their work? Do they generate meaning (connection) from what they do? Do they get a sense of accomplishment (competence) from doing something well? If you can’t answer all three of these in the affirmative, you can create a plan for increasing motivation that doesn’t involve empty metrics or meaningless rewards. If you or your team could use a proverbial kick in the pants, the solution might be to ignore those proverbs entirely. “Master Your Motivation” takes a refreshing look at what makes us strive for more. It’s a great addition to any leadership library.
“You have the power to change your behaviors,” says Susan Fowler, “but to be successful in changing, you need an evidenced-based framework for motivation and techniques for applying it.” In her new book, “Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving Your Goals,” Fowler synthesizes her decades of research into a guide that provides such a framework. In the process, she overturns countless widely held myths about what motivates us. Fowler believes the traditional carrot-and-stick approach to motivation (a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behavior) results from our perception of motivation as being either intrinsic or extrinsic. “Simplifying motivations into two types presents a conundrum when you aren’t intrinsically motivated,” she writes. “Your only fallback position is extrinsic motivation.” In other words, just by thinking about motivation as intrinsic versus extrinsic, you’ve already set yourself up to fail. To really motivate yourself and others, she argues, you need to think about motivation in different terms.
Thankfully for the reader, Fowler defines an alternative framework for motivation. In what amounts to the book’s thesis, she states, “Tomaster your motivation, create
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