It is not possible to put a dollar sign on your child’s injuries, especially if they could have been prevented. When an act of medical negligence causes a birth injury, as a parent, you are completely justified in feeling angry, scared, and hurt. On top of the emotional pain, you are likely worried about the financial costs of your child’s injuries. Even if a doctor can repair the damage and your child can grow up healthy with no other issues, the high costs of this treatment may weigh heavily upon you.
But, if your child’s injuries were caused by a negligent medical professional, you may be able to recover the full costs through a medical malpractice claim.
What Damages Are Available in a Birth Injury Claim?
In the state of New York, anyone injured due to an act of negligence may be able to recover compensation from the at-fault party if the injury resulted in damages. Damages mainly refer to medical costs, lost wages, and other financial losses, but can also include physical and emotional trauma. These damages do not stop at the immediate costs of an injury; instead, they can include the lifetime consequences of an injury, such as a disability or long-term care.
For birth injury cases, these damages can be substantial, especially if your newborn suffered a serious condition like cerebral palsy or other types of brain damage. Your child may need immediate medical treatment and therapy, as well as lifetime care, medical equipment, and other treatments to live a comfortable life. In addition, the physical and cognitive aspects of the injury may make it difficult for your child to pursue a full-time career and make a living. All of these economic costs, alongside the emotional trauma of the injuries, should be included in your claim.
Altogether, a birth injury claim can recover compensation for:
- Medical costs of a child and a mother’s injuries
- Future medical expenses, including long-term care for a child’s injuries, medical equipment, modifications to a home and vehicle, physical and cognitive therapy, and other expenses
- A Life Care Plan
- Lost wages of the parents, if they have to take time off work to take care of the child
- Lost earning potential of the child
- Pain and suffering of the child
- Mental anguish of the child
- Loss of enjoyment of life
How Do You Calculate a Birth Injury Settlement?
When you calculate what to ask for in a birth injury settlement, you must account for the lifetime costs of your child’s injuries. This means including not only the immediate costs of treatment but any future medical care that your child might need later in life. The best way to do this is by developing a Life Care Plan. When you’re putting together a Life Care Plan, you work with certified financial and medical specialists who review the nature of your child’s injuries to determine any future expenses that may be needed. You should also determine the potential impact the birth injury will have on your child’s future career and ability to work.
As far as non-economic damages, it is difficult to calculate the costs of pain and suffering or mental anguish, but an experienced attorney can compare similar cases to determine an applicable amount. New York does not have caps on medical malpractice claims for either economic or non-economic damages, meaning there is no limit to what parents can demand for their child’s injuries.
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, our New York medical malpractice lawyers are strong advocates for injured newborns and their mothers. We have handled numerous birth injury cases and recovered millions of dollars for injured children. If you bring your case to us, you can trust that we will review every detail in full and fight for the maximum value of your case. To discuss your situation in a free consultation, call WRSH at (212) 986-7353.