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What Type of Compensation Can I Recover in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

When your child has suffered a birth injury, the damages can be significant. Not only does your child have to deal with lifelong effects of the injury, but your family also suffers when a medical professional has been negligent.

The compensation in birth injury cases can be significant, simply because of the widespread nature of the damages. If your child has suffered a birth injury, we can help. You should call an experienced birth injury lawyer for a free consultation.

Disabled Child Therapy Birth Injury Benefits

How Much Compensation Can My Family Get?

This is always one of the first questions that a family asks us when they come to our law firm for legal advice.

They want to recover compensation in a lawsuit or birth injury settlement, both because they are angry about what the doctor did and because they realize that the costs of birth injuries will add up quickly.

Although the average jury verdict can reach between $1-2 million in a birth injury lawsuit, the value of your claim can be even more. As you seek compensation, bear in mind that your payment could depend on a range of factors.

The biggest factor is how severely your child has been injured. These injuries will result in far higher medical bills and pain and suffering in your case.

The General Rules of Birth Injury Financial Compensation

The rules of compensation for an injured child are the same used in any personal injury case.

You are legally entitled to receive both economic and non-economic damages.

  • Economic damages cost you for the money that comes out of your pocket or that did not come into your account
  • Noneconomic damages pay for the experience that the accident victim and their family endures after an injury

Knowing these broad general principles can help you get a better idea of how your lawyer is looking at the case when you go for formal legal advice.

Common Subjects of a Birth Injury Case

There are different degrees of severity of injuries caused by medical negligence. One of the most common types of birth injuries is cerebral palsy.

There are no more current numbers available, but one CDC study estimated the lifetime costs of care for people with cerebral policy at just over $1 million in 2003 dollars. These costs have more than likely doubled since then.

These are just some of the economic damages. This number does not account for non economic damages.

Some of the other common birth injuries could also have high lifetime costs. If the baby has suffered from oxygen deprivation or Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, they could also have permanent brain damage for the rest of their lives.

Then, these damages will also reach into the millions of dollars.

There are some less serious birth injuries that could still require aggressive treatment and intervention in the child's early years. For example, injuries to the brachial plexus can require surgeries and years of rehabilitation.

How to Understand the Damages in Your Birth Injury Claim

It is hard to understand the exact nature of your child's injuries, especially when you are filing birth injury claims within the first years after their birth.

For many families, birth injury lawsuits can be difficult because the family needs to put an exact damage figure on their medical negligence claim.

Families will need to learn quickly what their future needs are to treat their child's injury. Thankfully, birth injury lawyers have expertise in working with the necessary experts to help establish what you need in a financial recovery.

Life Planning Experts Are a Part of Your Legal Team

It is very difficult for a family to even think about what they need as part of their child's care. They are busy dealing with their child and their own mental anguish about the birth injury.

An experienced attorney can work with the following relevant experts to come up with a number for a fair recovery in your case:

  • Special education experts to understand what the child's needs and educational expenses will be in the future
  • Medical care experts who can quantify what level of care will be necessary (medical expenses may be the largest line item of damages in your case)
  • Rehabilitation experts who can lay out what the child's therapeutic needs may be
  • Vocational experts who can give their opinion on what type of work the child may be able to do when they are an adult
  • Economic experts who can forecast what future inflation will be, both in general and in terms of the costs of these services.

Economic Damages for the Child in a Birth Injury Lawsuit

Economic damages refer to the actual financial costs of the child's birth injury. These are out of pocket costs or money that does not come into the child's pocket in the future.

This compensation does not just pay for the damages today, but it also takes into account the lifetime costs of the birth injury.

Here are some of the economic damages for a birth injury:

  • Medical costs necessary to treat the child for the rest of their life
  • Rehabilitation costs for all types of therapy that the child needs
  • Lost earnings if the child will never be able to work in their life, or if they can only perform certain lesser duties
  • The cost of specialized medical equipment for the child (these include mobility aids and medical devices that can be very expensive)

Noneconomic Damages in Birth Injury Cases

These damages pay for the experience that the child will endure for the rest of their lives. The largest part of this class of damages is pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering is broken down into several parts. First is the physical pain and discomfort that the child feels. This happens when they have been born with broken bones or any other painful injury that takes a long time to heal, if it ever heals at all.

Second is the mental anguish and psychological trauma that comes from living with a debilitating injury for the rest of their life.

If the child's injuries are permanent, this will be a considerable element of damages in your birth injury case. When your child has little to no quality of life, they are experiencing considerable pain and suffering.

Financial Losses for the Parents

The parents may also incur significant costs of their own after a birth injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, one parent may need to stop working. Taking a child to doctor's appointments could become practically a full-time job.

Parents can be paid for their own lost wages when they need to provide care for a child with serious birth injuries. They may even be paid for their time and mileage in taking the child back and forth to doctor's appointments.

Noneconomic Damages for the Parents

Besides economic losses, some courts have allowed compensatory damages for the parents for their own emotional distress and trauma. For example, if the mother suffered when she saw her baby born with a defect, she can be paid for what she endured.

Parents are understandably devastated when their baby is born with a serious injury, and this can be a part of their financial compensation.

Punitive Damages

In some very rare cases, the jury may have strong reactions to medical malpractice claims. The doctor may have acted with extreme carelessness that makes a jury very angry.

They may choose to try to send the doctor a message about what they did. Again, punitive damages are not awarded in many cases.

However, when they are awarded, they will greatly increase the size of your award. Usually, a birth injury lawyer will request these damages when they file a lawsuit. Families can be awarded substantial sums when the doctor has acted with gross negligence or disregard for the health of the baby.

Medical Professionals Do Not Want to Compensate Victims

The claims process can be difficult because the doctor or medical facility responsible for the injuries do not want to pay for the harm that they caused through these preventable injuries. Either they deny responsibility for the injuries altogether, or they only want to pay for a fraction of the costs of the damages.

They could care less about the child's condition. All they want is to look after their own bottom lines. This is why you need to engage in the legal process.

Eventually, these parties will need to pay money to children injured by their actions, whether it is through negotiation or through a lawsuit.

Their stubbornness and penny-pinching ways will ultimately not stand in the way of the financial compensation that your family deserves from your birth injury claim.

Why You Need a Birth Injury Attorney

Dealing with the aftermath of a birth injury is very difficult and stressful. Your focus is on your child, and you do not have the bandwidth to deal with what can be a very difficult and contentious legal process.

Our lawyers will handle all the details of your birth injury claim. We will give you the legal advice that you need to recover all of your damages, from lost wages to medical expenses. We will be your guide to the legal process and your tenacious defender in a birth injury lawsuit.

Call a Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer

The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers help families recover the maximum compensation for preventable birth injuries.

We are experienced in medical malpractice cases and leave no stone unturned on your behalf as you pursue compensation for serious injuries caused by a doctor's negligence.

Call us today at (888) 424-5757 or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation to discuss your child's birth injury. We promise to take our attorney client relationship with the utmost seriousness and fight for top dollar for you.

Client Reviews
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa