The Financial Impact of Birth Injuries in Children
As we’ve discussed before, when a child suffers a serious birth injury during delivery, the physical, mental and emotional consequences can have a devastating effect on parents and other family members. As if that wasn’t bad enough, many families also end up struggling financially, too.
Surprisingly, many parents in this situation can be (at least initially) reluctant to file birth injury lawsuits. Some don’t want to accuse a trusted medical provider of wrongdoing or negligence, while others just want to avoid the hassle of a long and drawn-out court case after what they’ve already been through.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to realize that seeking damages for medical malpractice is not simply a matter of assigning blame or punishing someone – it’s about making sure you can provide for your injured child and the rest of your family. Even the most extensive health insurance will not cover all of the expenses of caring for a child who suffered a serious birth injury.
That’s why at GreeningLaw, P.C., we work hard to get parents and families the resources and compensation they need to afford things like the costs of extensive medical treatment, loss of income and benefits, as well as other services that will most likely be needed, both in the short term and the future.
Costs of surgical care to treat birth injuries are high
Findings from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that medical costs for children with severe birth injuries and intellectual disability are as much as 26 times greater than those of children without these complications.
In addition, many children with birth injuries will require surgery to correct or treat their condition, and the costs for these surgeries can range in the tens of thousands of dollars – even hundreds of thousands.
Here are a few examples of surgeries that may be required and the estimated immediate costs:
• Inpatient orthopedic surgical procedures can range from $25,000-$30,000, while outpatient surgeries may cost as much as $15,000-$20,000.
• The average cost of cochlear implants (hearing surgery) can be anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 without insurance.
• A corneal transplant (vision surgery) can cost roughly $13,000 for an outpatient procedure and up to $28,000 for an in-hospital surgery.
• Surgery to repair neuropathy (damage or dysfunction to nerves) can cost $20,000-$90,000 or more depending on the severity.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that surgery is almost always just the first step.
After that, patients often require extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy, with associated costs for follow-up appointments and procedures, medical equipment, travel back and forth, etc. Factoring in these kinds of additional costs, estimates can easily run up to $200,000 or more.
Long-term expenses can top millions
Surgery and short-term medical and rehabilitation costs can be surprising, but estimates for medical-related expenses over the long term are truly staggering. Many new parents simply don’t grasp the extent of these costs and discover too late that they can’t get additional financial help they need later on in the child’s life.
For children with birth injuries, long-term medical and living costs may include:
• Doctor’s visits – including specialists such as:
• Occupational, speech and physical therapists
• Pain management doctors
• ENTs (ear, nose, and throat doctors)
• Special dentists
• Prescription drug costs
• Special medical equipment
• Extensive home modifications
• Early intervention and special education needs
• Additional medical care, including
• nursing care,
• home health care,
• long-term care, and
• day rehabilitation services.
The CDC’s estimates for the lifetime costs of certain birth injuries and resulting complications (such as intellectual, developmental disability) show the high cost of supporting a child with one of these lifelong conditions:
• $383,000 for persons with hearing loss
• $601,000 for persons with vision impairment
• $921,000 for persons with Cerebral Palsy
• $1,014,000 for persons with mental retardation
Why do parents need to understand these costs as soon as possible?
The way that our system works, you only get one chance to negotiate financial terms with medical providers and insurance companies. So, it’s absolutely critical to understand the extent of expenses you’re likely to incur over time, as well as the kinds of damages you can collect on.
Damages may include things such as:
• Past and future economic and medical expenses. This includes surgeries, prescription drugs and other medical expenses, as well as economic losses as result of having to take off work.
• Past and future non-economic damages. This can include things like inconvenience, pain and suffering, physical disability, mental anguish, and the loss of capacity to enjoy life.
• Punitive damages. In cases involving egregious actions or inactions that constitute gross disregard for safety, responsible parties may also incur additional monetary penalties.
GreeningLaw, P.C. wants to help families
Serious birth injuries can leave families shaken and unsure of what to do next, and as the realities of the financial burden sets in, many stress over how they’ll be able to pay for all of the care necessary to give their child the life they deserve.
If you believe that your child’s birth injuries were caused by medical negligence, the best way to get the appropriate compensation for your case is to hire an experienced birth injury and malpractice lawyer like the ones at GreeningLaw, P.C.
Our compassionate legal team has extensive experience negotiating birth injury and medical malpractice cases. We’ll work with you and with independent medical experts to determine future costs and make sure your claim will cover these expenses as well as any you may have already paid.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. Our team will go over the elements of your case with you, discuss possible options and the level of compensation you can expect, as well as suggest the best course of action for you and your family.
All of the attorneys at GreeningLaw, P.C. work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t have to pay anything unless we win your case.
Call us at 972.934.8900 or visit our contact page today.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal. We will get you through this.