Life expectancy in the United States has steadily increased across the board over the past few decades, according to a recent report published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Much of this can be attributed to great advances in healthcare technology during that time. However, when looking at the life expectancy rates on a smaller scale, there is a huge disparity based on the county where a person lives. For example, counties in central Ohio have seen a 5-10% increase in life expectancy over the last 25 years, while the life expectancy in southern Ohio counties remains the same now as it was in 1980. Why?
While the study is unclear on the root cause, medical professionals say it is hard to ignore that the lowest life expectancies are found in rural, lower income counties with little access to health care. The authors of the report argue that the quality and availability of health care has a significant effect on health outcomes and that the United States needs to invest more in prevention, screening, and taking a holistic approach to creating healthy communities.
In our practice, life expectancy can be a very important factor in determining how much a case might be worth. For example, when a patient is catastrophically injured as a result of medical negligence, there is a life care plan put in place to determine the cost of medical care and treatment the patient will need throughout his or her life. In other words, if a patient is projected to live for another 20 years instead of just 10 years, there are another 10 years of medical care and treatment that must be considered as part of their damages. Thus, it is very important to understand the variability of life expectancy from county to county and further understand why certain counties have lower life expectancy rates.
At Leeseberg & Valentine, we strive to ensure every client is fully compensated for their injuries so that they have the access to all the medical care and treatment they need. If you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of someone’s negligence, please contact Leeseberg & Valentine today to see if we can be of assistance to you.