Life Care Planning for Medical Malpractice Cases in NJ
Medical malpractice can be devastating and affect far more than just your physical health and well-being. An error during a surgical procedure, mismanaged childbirth, or improperly prescribed medication can potentially result in a lifetime of complications or permanent medical condition. Often, costly ameliorative care, therapy, rehabilitation, and additional measures are required to maintain quality of life in these situations. If you plan to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor, medical team, or hospital based on substandard care that caused harm to you or a loved one, your attorney may call upon life care planning specialists who will develop a life care plan to document the injury’s impact on your life, financially and otherwise, and to ensure adequate care going forward. This document can ultimately serve as one of the most vital components of your claim for damages in a medical malpractice case.
What is Life-Care Planning?
Life care planning develops a personalized care program for a person who may require assistance, medical and otherwise, for the remainder of their life. Therapists, doctors, nurses, and other caregivers can collaborate to create a life care plan for someone whose life has been negatively impacted by medical malpractice. The life care plan reflects the costs associated with the current and future needs of the person who was caused harm by a negligent medical professional or facility. Life care planning is often needed when you or a loved one suffers from a catastrophic injury or serious condition such as:
- Spinal cord injury
- Birth injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back or neck injuries resulting in chronic pain
- Severe burns
- Blindness and/or other loss of other senses
What does a Life Care Plan Include?
A life care plan analyzes the continuing needs of an injured person and outlines treatment requirements and costs. When drafting a life care plan, specialists will ensure that the plan includes all relevant medical and therapeutic needs, including:
- Treating healthcare providers
- In-home medical devices or accommodations
- Occupational, speech, and physical therapy
- Home-based care from nurses or other caregivers; and
- Educational costs (if applicable)
Notably, the specific elements accounted for in a life care plan may change over time based on the individual’s age and evolving needs.
Why is a Life Care Plan Important to Prove Damages for Medical Malpractice?
To understand the importance of a life care plan to a medical malpractice, some basic context regarding what you need to prove in a medical malpractice case is essential. In New Jersey, you can prove a medical malpractice claim by establishing that your doctor, medical team, or the facility where you received care failed to follow accepted medical standards given the set of circumstances. For example, your doctor may have ignored or failed to strictly adhere to a standard of medical care applicable in his or her practice area, which led to an incorrect diagnosis and improper treatment for your condition. If this misdiagnosis resulted in additional complications or allowed your issue to progress, you may have grounds for a successful lawsuit for medical negligence.
If you can establish that your doctor failed to follow that standard of care, you will need to then establish the amount of damage that you suffered, which is expressed in financial terms. This is where life care planning can be invaluable to your medical malpractice case. In essence, it is among the most important ways to illustrate the astronomical costs associated with a medical malpractice victim’s injuries. The challenging nature of this process begs the need for skilled medical malpractice lawyers who can consult with certified life care planners and experts to ensure precise execution and accuracy of a life care plan.
Get Help with Life Care Planning for Your NJ Medical Malpractice Claim
The knowledge and experience required to assemble and effectively carry out a successful medical malpractice claim is extensive, which is why this process is best left to an attorney who frequently handles these cases. At Fronzuto Law Group, our firm concentrates its practice on medical malpractice law in New Jersey in order to remain at the top of our field in this area and to best represent our clients. When we take a case, our attorneys will consult with a variety of medical experts, life care planning specialists, and other professionals who assist in developing the most comprehensive claim for maximum damages.
Our team will walk you through every phase of the negotiation and/or litigation process toward the best possible results, with personalized attention and answers to all of your questions and concerns along the way. Contact us today at (973) 345-6300 to learn more about how we can help. You can also reach out to us online for a free consultation.