Catastrophic Injury Lawyers in California
Future Medical Care Costs
In a catastrophic personal injury
inappropriate presentation of the necessarily huge future care costs will
absolutely overwhelm and alienate a jury. Combine an inappropriate presentation
of damages with a difficult liability scenario, and a defense verdict,
or at best, a compromised verdict, can be predicted.
Proper presentation of past and future
care expenses, as well as wage and other economic loss in catastrophic
personal injury cases necessarily requires the assistance of a forensic
economist in addition to life care planners and vocational rehabilitation
specialists, as the particular facts dictate. In fact, after the liability
hurdles have been overcome, one of the most important expert witnesses
in your camp will be the forensic economist.
Medical care cost growth rates have historically
increased "beyond rationalization". For example, based on government
statistics alone, each year, 1935 through 1995, hospital room and related
services alone increased between a "low" of 4.9% to "high"
Accordingly, let us assume that a life
care planner has concluded that a particular plaintiff's cost of care
(in today's dollars) is $106,000 per year through age 45, and then, when
her parents die, care costs increased to $303,000 per year. (Note that
these care costs are conservative in cases truly involving catastrophic
personal injuries.) In such an instance, (assuming a nine-year old catastrophically
injured child), the total future lifetime costs, with a below average
historically based medical inflation rate of 5%, is over $166,000,000.
Even when reduced to present cash value (using a historic U.S. Government
bond rate) the cost is still $14,000,000. Appropriately presenting these
damages to a jury, without alienation, is absolutely essential to the
survival of the plaintiff.
Counsel must place these staggering numbers
within an inflation framework, through appropriate expert testimony, in
order the jury be assisted, not alienated, in understanding the future
medical costs of the client.
Fiscal responsibility and accountability
must likewise occur. It is unfortunately all too common for defendants
to raise such issues as having a state or federally funded medical care
program pay for the plaintiff's future care. However, since the taxpayers
are not the ones responsible for the plaintiff's profound injuries, why
should the taxpayers shoulder the financial burden and assume the debts
of the defendant, the true responsible party.
Experienced counsel, through utilization
of appropriate experts, can overcome the staggering impact and financial
responsibility necessarily included in handling a case involving catastrophic
personal injuries. Moreover, once an adequate award has been obtained,
special needs trusts and other devices must be utilized in order to protect
a plaintiff's ability to survive.
Lastly, through utilization of appropriate
life care planners, counsel can insure that an individual sustaining a
catastrophic personal injury has a plan tailored to his/her particular
needs. Such a plan, if followed, can only improve the plaintiff's quality
If you or someone you know has been injured
as the result of a catastrophic injury,
you need the assistance of The Scarlett Law Group.
today to speak with a California Personal Injury Attorney.