Lead Article

Can Future Care Costs Be Significant?

Yes!  They can become enormous.  Consider for example a previously, fit, well and active 20 year old female who has been rendered quadriplegic in a jet ski accident on the Broadwater in Southport.

CXAL Fracture

Despite all best intents and the supply of the very latest of devices, she will be heavily dependent upon family, friends, professionals and others for the remainder of her life.  Enormous care costs are likely to accrue.

Female quad

At the other end of the spectrum is a 50 year old male who has sustained a fracture involving his non-dominant wrist.  The fracture did not require any operative intervention and instead, was managed satisfactorily with a plaster cast for eight weeks.  Physiotherapy thereafter did give rise to some gradual improvement and in fact, he was capable of most sedentary activities of daily living.  He is a non-complaining plaintiff and from an outward perspective, appears to get on with his life without much difficulty.


Not All is as it May Seem

Wrist Jt Fracture

Careful analysis however confirms that he does have significant restrictions in wrist movement, has quite marked pain when the wrist is forced backwards or forwards, has difficulties gripping objects and cannot rotate his forearm sufficiently to grip an object with any authority.


Favoured activities such as lawn mowing, heavy gardening, trimming branches from overhead trees and cleaning leaves from the gutters around his house have now become much more difficult.  Whereas he would previously accomplish these tasks without a second thought, he has now become dependent upon others for support.  He is a bachelor, has no siblings, no relatives living nearby and is almost friendless.  This man will have to engage outside contractors to assist with all of those seemingly menial tasks.  Considerable ongoing costs are likely to accrue.  The important “6 hours + a week” threshold might be exceeded.

When assessing the costs of future domestic care, it is important that your orthopaedic reporter assesses the plaintiff and his or her injury at an individual level.  We all differ with our capacities, our incapacities and our disabilities.  Precision can only come from a precise analysis.