February 17th, 2020|
For parents who have just been through the incredible stress of learning that their child suffered a possibly preventable injury during pregnancy, delivery, or immediately after birth, dealing with likely extensive medical expenses is often more than anyone should have to bear.
Research suggests that 40 percent of families who have a child with special needs experience a significant financial burden because of the child’s condition. When calculating the lifetime costs of caring for a child with birth injuries, parents will need to consider several factors. The extent of the injuries and the severity of the impairment dictate how great the costs of immediate and ongoing care will be.
Thankfully, compensation is available to help parents cope with the costs of birth injuries. Many birth injuries stem from the error of a medical professional, in which case the at-fault provider will likely have insurance that could cover many of the costs that parents face. The Social Security Administration also offers benefits for children with disabilities.
Examples of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries often have permanent consequences for a child. Even if an injury eventually heals, the setbacks a child suffers in this developmental stage could have lasting impacts.
Birth injuries can include a number of conditions, including:
- Cerebral palsy (CP)
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
When determining the costs of caring for a child with birth injuries, it’s important to note that the costs for one child may vary greatly from those of another. Because the extent of the injury affects the costs of care, even two children with the same injury could have very different requirements.
What Are the Costs of Caring for a Baby with Birth Injuries?
Medical expenses represent a large portion of the costs of caring for a baby with birth injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the medical costs for children with CP were 10 times higher than those for children who didn’t have CP. If a child also has a co-occurring intellectual disability, those costs are 26 times higher.
Medical costs often include:
- Doctor visits
- Medical equipment
In addition to medical costs, there are several other expenses that parents will encounter. Home modifications might be required to accommodate the needs of the child. In some cases, a parent might need be unable to work because their child needs constant care, which results in a loss of household income.
These costs quickly add up, and they can extend well beyond a child’s earliest formative years. If a child has an intellectual disability as a result of their birth injury, they will likely require special education, which can also be an added but necessary expense for families.
Be Mindful of the Costs You and Your Child Will Face in the Years to Come
Though the immediate costs of dealing with a birth injury can be financially devastating, the long-term costs can be even greater. Children with permanent, debilitating conditions will require special care throughout their youth, and sometimes throughout the rest of their lives.
Physical restrictions also hinder the work that someone with disabilities can do to earn a living in their adult years. Intellectual disabilities place even greater limitations on a person’s ability to find gainful employment. In other words, if a birth injury is severe, the effect on that child’s future lifetime earnings must be factored into the total costs they will face, in addition to educational, medical, and assisted-living needs.
Managing the Costs of Caring for a Baby with Birth Injuries
Though the challenge to parents might seem overwhelming, there are solutions available. Parents can explore benefits from the Social Security Administration. If the birth was caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider, then parents should also consider filing a claim to receive compensation for the damages they and their child have suffered.
All the costs mentioned above can be included in a claim. If you are the parent of a child who has suffered birth injuries and you suspect those injuries were caused by the negligence of doctors or nurses, you have the right to explore all available legal options.
Where to Begin?
If you are considering exploring your legal options, you should schedule a consultation with an attorney who has experience handling birth injury cases. At Nurenberg Paris, we offer free case reviews to help parents better understand their chances of a successful claim.
Determining Who is Responsible for the Birth Injuries
It can be difficult for parents to know exactly what caused their child’s injury. In many cases, the circumstances surrounding an injury can seem muddled. Your attorney will investigate the injury to determine what and who is responsible.
Demanding Payment for the Costs of Those Injuries
After a review of the mother’s and baby’s medical records by independent medical experts your birth injury attorney can make a demand for compensation on your behalf. Healthcare professionals typically have insurance that covers medical malpractice claims, so in many cases, it’s ultimately an insurance company that pays for the damages you have incurred.
We understand how difficult a birth injury is for families. There is no cost for speaking to our team, and our experienced birth injury lawyers know how to calculate the total compensation you will need. Contact Nurenberg Paris today for your free consultation.