The law in Ontario provides that a person or company who causes an injury must pay the injured person any extraordinary care costs related to the injury. Past care costs are relatively simple to calculate. A more difficult issue is calculating future care needs. How are these costs calculated?
The calculation process starts with a Board Certified Life Care Planner preparing a Life Care Plan or Future Care Cost Report. The Life Care Planner reads all the medical documentation, speaks to the injured person and their treatment team and determines what future care costs will be required. The Life Care Planner then drafts a report that sets out the extraordinary costs that the injured person will likely face over the rest of their life. These costs may include:
• Professional services. These may include occupational therapy, rehabilitation support, case management, social work therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, psychological therapy and speech language therapy;
• Any medication or assistive devices required due to the injury;
• Vocational counselling or retraining;
• Devices or services which are now required to allow the person to participate in their pre-injury hobbies or recreational activities;
• Any sort of attendant care that the injured person requires to assist with safety, hygiene, dressing, etc.
• Modifications to the injured person’s home or vehicle to allow them to safely use them.
At trial, evidence is led about both the initial capital costs required and the expected ongoing care expenses. The amount of ongoing care expenses is then calculated using a mathematical factor set out in the Rules of Civil Procedure. This factor takes into account issues like future inflation, interest rates and the chance that the injured person may pass away earlier than his or her expected life span.