What Is a Birth Injury Settlement?
Birth injury settlements can be reached when the plaintiff and defendant (the parents and the doctor or hospital) agree to a fair compensation amount before the lawsuit proceeds to trial.
A settlement often means that you will receive a smaller amount of money than you would receive if you went to trial. However, it also means that you will receive payment sooner and will not incur further court-related costs.
A birth injury settlement can provide parents with the financial resources necessary to care for their child with cerebral palsy or other birth injuries. Birth injuries can be temporary or permanent. In either case, there will be certain costs associated with the injury, such as taking time off work or modifying the home to suit the needs of the child.
Whether your case is settled or goes to trial, it is essential to proceed with the help of a lawyer experienced in birth injuries to achieve the best possible outcome. Having a lawyer represent you will strengthen your case and increase the likelihood of a fair settlement.
How Is a Birth Injury Settlement Reached?
When parents file a birth injury lawsuit against a doctor or hospital for medical malpractice or medical negligence, a settlement is usually the preferred outcome for many reasons. Going to trial incurs additional legal fees and travel expenses. It also increases stress levels as cases can take months or years resolve.
Lawyers work on their client’s behalf to ensure the best possible outcome for parents. This may mean that your lawyer will recommend reaching a settlement with the defendant. Settlements are reached through skilled legal negotiations between the two parties’ lawyers. Experienced lawyers know the range of factors to consider when negotiating a settlement.
Some factors that birth injury lawyers look at when negotiating a settlement include:
- The child’s current and future medical costs
- Loss of income to the parents
- Loss of quality of life to the child and the family
- Any lifestyle changes and home modifications needed to support the child’s disability
- Legal fees, including lawyer’s fees and expenses they incurred to build the case
A settlement is reached when both sides agree on a fair compensation amount to cover the costs associated with the birth injury. One factor that is almost always involved in a settlement is a non-disclosure agreement. This prevents the details of the settlement from becoming public.
Both parties’ lawyers will seek to get the best deal possible for their client, which requires cooperation, compromise and, most of all, a trustworthy advocate.
How Can a Birth Injury Settlement Help?
When your child’s wellbeing is endangered, money may be the last thing on your mind. However, whether your child sustained temporary or permanent injuries, it will take much of your time and medical resources to ensure they have the best possible quality of life.
Birth injury settlements can help your child and your family by:
- Covering immediate and ongoing medical costs, such as surgeries and medications
- Paying for occupational and physical therapy to improve mobility and strength
- Providing compensation for parents’ time off work
- Installing home assistive devices and equipment to support the injured child
- Repaying for emotional and psychological distress
A birth injury settlement can help ensure that these factors and more are covered for you and your family, so you can focus on providing the best care possible for your child. Reaching a settlement—as opposed to going to trial—can also alleviate stress and help you receive payment sooner.
Birth Injury Settlement Payments
When pursuing a birth injury lawsuit and negotiating a settlement, it is normal for parents to wonder what a fair compensation amount might be. Lawyers consider many details when determining a fair settlement amount on a birth injury case. Because no two cases are the same, compensation amounts vary with each lawsuit.
Birth injury settlement compensation amounts are based on things like:
- The type of birth injury, such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy or spinal cord injury
- The severity of damage and how likely the child’s long-term health will be affected
- Any distress to the mother due to the incident
- The degree to which the doctor or hospital demonstrated negligence
Most settlement amounts are never revealed to the public due to non-disclosure agreements. Settlement amounts can range from several hundreds of thousands of dollars to multi-million dollar agreements. However, each state has a capped amount, so it is best to ask your lawyer for a more accurate range.
No two birth injury lawsuits are the same, and settlement amounts vary depending on the case. Each state has a cap on medical malpractice settlement and award amounts.
In medical negligence settlements, the compensation comes from the hospital or doctor and their insurance coverage. Once a settlement is reached, the payment is made to your law firm, which is then passed to you within, generally, a few weeks to a couple of months. The payment amount you receive is the remainder after legal fees and firm expenses. It will be paid by check or deposited into your bank account.
As with any transaction, there may be delays with birth injury settlement payments. Some cases require more preparation, taking longer to resolve. Additionally, if you have any current liens (claims) against your assets, you may find the process slower. How quickly you receive your settlement payment depends on the circumstances. Your lawyer will be there to help guide you.
Contact a Child Birth Injury Lawyer Today
If your child has suffered from an injury caused by a doctor or medical professional, it is essential to seek legal advice immediately. Choose a law firm with experience in birth injury cases and ensure that you ask them about their success rates. Your attorney will guide you through matters like costs, timeline and the potential case outcome before you go ahead with your claim.
To work with an attorney experienced in birth injury cases, contact the Birth Injury Justice Center today. Call us at 800-914-1562 to get a free legal case review.