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3 Considerations When Choosing a Physician Life Care Planner

A Physician Life Care Planner (PLCP) is a professional who assesses the needs of individuals with disabilities and/or chronic health conditions and develops comprehensive plans that outline necessary items and services, along with their associated costs, to address both the current and future needs of injured individuals. This work not only provides a strong medical foundation for future care but also ensures that the needs of those with disabilities or chronic health conditions are properly addressed. A PLCP can also educate the jury, in layperson's terms, about the extent and likely progression of the injury, causation, permanency, and future medical costs.


When retaining a Physician Life Care Planner, it's important to ensure that they are the best possible choice for your case and client. Taking the time to evaluate and consider an expert's qualifications, experience, and credibility may help you save time and money, while also protecting your reputation.


Qualifications

When hiring a Physician Life Care Planner, it's important to examine their qualifications to ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to create an effective plan for your client’s long-term care.


Here are a few important considerations:


Research the Physician Life Care Planner's education. Look for someone who has completed an accredited degree program in medicine along with residency and fellowship programs. Some Physician Life Care Planners may also have additional certifications, experience, or specialized training in areas such as case management, rehabilitation, or disability management.


Check if your prospective Physician Life Care Planner is board-certified and licensed. The physician you choose should maintain a current license to practice medicine. Beyond that, each physician practices within a certain specialty area (or areas). By understanding the area in which the physician specializes, you can determine if that expert may have additional knowledge and experience pertaining to the injuries involved in your case.


It is also important to consider whether the Physician Life Care Planner has an active clinical practice. Having this type of background allows practitioners to stay up-to-date with the latest medical advancements and treatments, and to have a more comprehensive understanding of the current state of the healthcare system, which can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of your client's case.


In your search, be aware of the differences between a Certified Physician Life Care Planner and a Certified (Non-Physician) Life Care Planner. Notably, Physician Life Care Planners are able to develop and support their own views on a client’s diagnosis and anticipated medical needs. Physicians have the autonomy to make recommendations and justify their conclusions without having to rely on the opinions of others. This is not the case for a non-physician life care planner.


Additionally, there are a number of physicians who perform life care planning but do not carry the Certified Life Care Planner (CLCP) credential. Certified Physicians Life Care Planners are governed by a board of commissioners who protect consumers and require certified experts to uphold standards and ethics relevant to the field of life care planning.



Experience

When it comes to personal injury cases, finding the right Physician Life Care Planner can make all the difference. One of the most important factors to consider is the PLCP's experience. Look for someone who has worked on cases similar to yours, such as catastrophic injuries and personal injury cases. Not only does the experience make them a great asset, but being able to look back on past testimony or depositions can help you confirm their expertise.


Another important consideration when choosing a Physician Life Care Planner is their experience with testimony. Someone who has experience providing testimony in depositions or trials, and who has served as an expert witness is already aware of what the legal process entails and likely has the ability to communicate complex information effectively.


Finally, consider the Physician Life Care Planner's experience working on both plaintiffs and defense cases. By working on both sides of the legal aisle, a Physician Life Care Planner is better able to avoid claims of bias from opposing counsel and can provide valuable insights into the nuances of each side of the legal system. This rare insight and expertise can help them to develop a comprehensive life care plan that accurately reflects your client's situation, and anticipate any challenges that may arise in the legal process.



Credibility

It is crucial to conduct due diligence before hiring a Physician Life Care Planner. Proper vetting of potential experts can verify that they have the necessary qualifications and professionalism to provide accurate and reliable expert advice.


Be sure to ask questions about their background and experience to gauge whether this individual is appropriate for a specific case. Additionally, you should ask for references from clients and attorneys, with whom they have worked, to get a better understanding of their level of expertise and professionalism. It is vital that you ensure the expert has the ability to back up their report and that they are reliable, able to meet deadlines, and approachable in their interactions.


You may also want to do some digging to uncover any potential negative marks. This includes researching any disciplinary actions, malpractice suits, or legal issues that the practitioner may have faced. You should also investigate their history of testimony in court and whether their testimony has been stricken if they have been censured, or if they have been disqualified as an expert witness.



Conclusion

When your client suffers a serious injury or illness, hiring a qualified and experienced Physician Life Care Planner is essential to help strengthen your personal injury case and promote predictable outcomes. By doing your due diligence and reviewing qualifications, experience, and credibility, you are not only doing the best thing for your client, but you also are supporting a positive name for yourself in the legal world.


At LCPMD, our team of experienced, board-certified Physician Life Care Planners is committed to providing accurate and comprehensive life care plans tailored to the specific needs of each client. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help provide a strong medical foundation for your case.


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