Few things are as difficult and stressful for the parents of a newborn as learning that their child has suffered a birth injury. What should be a joyous time quickly turns into a storm of uncertainty, questions, and fear.
Unfortunately, birth injuries are often the result of delivery room errors made by nurses, obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and others on the medical staff. These errors sometimes lead to irreparable harm.
Birth injuries can result in a myriad of expenses, both in the short and long term. According to the CDC, developmental disabilities caused by birth injuries have an average lifetime cost of nearly $1 million (using the dollar value in 2003). The mental and emotional aftermath of a birth injury is also immense, forcing families to adjust to a different life than they had planned.
If your child suffered a birth injury and you suspect medical malpractice may have been a factor, you should speak to a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Colombo Law for a free case evaluation.
What Is the Most Expensive Birth Injury?
No two birth injuries are exactly alike. Each case requires a different treatment path that is accompanied by different expenses and outlooks.
Some of the birth injuries that are most expensive to treat and manage over the course of a lifetime include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Klumpke’s palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
If your child has been diagnosed with any of these injuries or conditions, it is important to consider your options for recovering compensation. You and your family should not have to face these burdens alone if a medical professional is responsible.
Costs Related to Birth Injuries
The CDC’s study on the lifetime economic costs of developmental disabilities separates expenses into three distinct categories:
- Direct medical costs, including physician visits, hospital stays, medical devices, and more
- Direct non-medical costs, including home and automobile modifications, special education, and more
- Indirect costs, including lost wages from an inability to work or limited ability to work, as well as premature mortality
Indirect costs make up the majority of the expenses associated with cerebral palsy. They account for 80.6% (approximately $742,326) of the average lifetime financial burden faced by families who have a child with cerebral palsy.
Meanwhile, direct medical expenses amount to 10.2% of the lifetime total (approximately $93,942), while direct non-medical costs account for 9.2% (approximately $84,732).
When calculating the cost of a birth injury, the first step is to look at immediate expenses. The majority of the expenses you face now will be related to medical treatment, including diagnosis, surgery, and more.
Medical care for a birth injury can be very expensive, as it usually requires the attention of highly trained specialists. It will likely also require in-patient hospital stays that can lead to significant bills. Injured newborns may also require medical equipment or therapy, all of which adds up.
While immediate expenses are often high, the majority of the cost with birth injuries comes later. In many cases, a birth injury will require long-term specialized care, special education, medical equipment, and more. It may also require modifications to a family’s home or vehicle to accommodate the special needs of their child. These modifications can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
If the condition caused by the birth injury is debilitating and lifelong, the greatest financial toll stems from the inability – or limited ability – to work. This can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and make it difficult for families to provide the support, assistance, and education their children may need as they grow into adulthood.
It is critical that the parents of an injured newborn understand the full extent of these costs. The accuracy of the calculation can greatly impact the amount of compensation families are able to pursue if a medical professional’s negligence led to their child’s injury.
Recovering Compensation for a Birth Injury
These costs might be hard for parents to fathom. In addition to medical bills and loss of income, the financial impact is often exacerbated by the emotional and psychological trauma faced by families.
Some birth injuries are unavoidable, occurring as a result of genetics or in spite of the best efforts of medical providers. However, if the negligence of a doctor or other provider harmed your child, you may have grounds for a birth injury lawsuit.
A birth injury lawyer can assess the circumstances of your child’s birth to determine if a medical error led to his or her injuries. If this is the case, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for your current and future financial damages, as well as non-economic losses.
Birth injury claims are complicated. It is essential to work with an experienced lawyer who has the knowledge, resources, and access to experts to calculate the full extent of your damages accurately.
Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer Today
No amount of money can undo the harm that was done to your child. However, compensation for a birth injury can help you and your loved ones cover expenses and enable your child to enjoy the highest quality of life in spite of limitations.
Colombo Law is passionate about advocating for the rights of children and their families. We recognize the heartbreaking situation you are in, and we will do everything we can to lessen your burden by pursuing compensation on your behalf.
For a free consultation, please call Colombo Law at (304) 599-4229 today. Our birth injury lawyers serve clients in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia.