In medical malpractice law, a birth injury is a preventable injury suffered by an infant in gestation, during labor and delivery, or soon after birth. Birth injuries stem from the negligence or wrongful acts of medical practitioners, such as obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons. A birth injury lawsuit in Philadelphia can reimburse a family for the losses that it suffered due to malpractice. Determining how much a birth injury lawsuit is worth often requires assistance from an attorney.
What Compensation Can My Family Expect From a Birth Injury Case?
Every birth injury case in Pennsylvania is entirely unique. Even if two infants are diagnosed with the same injury or medical condition because of a similar type of medical malpractice, each victim has a different experience; therefore, each case will be worth a different amount. For this reason, it is necessary to speak to a birth injury lawyer about the value of your case before accepting an insurance settlement. Only an experienced birth injury attorney can give you an accurate case evaluation, and only after careful analysis of the facts.
There is no average birth injury settlement value due to the wide variance in how much clients can potentially recover. A recent birth injury verdict achieved by Youman & Caputo, for example, was valued at $57 million. Two other birth injury cases resulted in $7.5 million and $6 million settlements, respectively. Still other clients may receive $1 million or less for their birth injury cases, depending on the circumstances. With these examples, it is clear to see how calculating an “average settlement” would not give you an accurate idea of what your case is worth.
The unique factors that can impact the value of a birth injury case in Pennsylvania include the seriousness of the child’s injury or medical condition, whether the child will experience any lasting or permanent effects from the birth injury, the actions of the defendant (and if they fall into the category of gross negligence), and the number of defendants and amount of insurance coverage available. An attorney can carefully assess your birth injury case to let you know what compensation your family can expect.
What Are the Economic Damages in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Calculating the value of your birth injury case begins with adding up your economic damages. These are the tangible and specific monetary losses that your family suffered because of a birth injury, such as:
- Hospital bills and medical expenses
- Travel costs for appointments and visits with specialists
- X-rays, scans and other medical tests
- Necessary surgeries or medical procedures
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications and medical devices
- Home or vehicle modifications for a disability
- The costs of physical therapy, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, etc.
- The price of special education for a child with developmental delays or special needs
- Any lost wages that a parent suffered from taking time off work because of a birth injury
- The value of a lifetime of lost wages for a birth injury that results in permanent disability
- Court costs and attorney’s fees
Calculating economic damages means adding up all of the bills and receipts connected to the birth injury, as well as projecting future foreseeable costs associated with the injury for the victim’s lifetime.
What Are the Noneconomic Damages in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate in a birth injury lawsuit in Philadelphia. These are the intangible or general losses suffered by the victim and his or her family because of a birth injury. They often include:
- Physical pain or suffering endured by the child
- The victim or family’s emotional distress and mental anguish
- Psychological harm or trauma
- Permanent disfigurement, disability or debilitation
- Embarrassment, humiliation or inconvenience
- Lost quality or diminished enjoyment of life
- Lost value of the victim’s services and care
Estimating the value of your noneconomic damages typically requires assistance from an attorney who knows how a jury in Philadelphia evaluates these cases. For an estimate of the value of your birth injury lawsuit, contact Youman & Caputo to request a free consultation. We will give you a personalized case review to determine how much it might be worth.