Economic & Noneconomic Damages in Birth Injury Claims

Learning that your child has been born with a birth injury due to a doctor’s mistake seems truly unthinkable, yet it happens to tens of thousands of parents in America each year. Oftentimes, the shock of learning about a birth injury is compounded by the unexpected financial damages that come with it. Most people are entirely unprepared for the increased cost of care required to raise an infant with the birth injury, not to mention the additional medical care the mother may need if the birth injury causes her harm as well.

If a birth injury can be traced to a medical provider’s negligence, though, then the child’s parents will have the opportunity to file a civil claim for compensation. When a claim is successful and all of the damages have been correctly calculated, it can allow the family to find solid financial footing again.

What damages should be considered in a birth injury claim?

  • NICU care: If a newborn suffers a severe birth injury like cerebral palsy (CP), then immediate care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) could be required. Each day a child spends in NICU can be costly, quickly maxing out a parent’s healthcare coverage. In some birth injury claims, NICU care costs are the largest form of damages demanded and awarded.
  • Additional treatments for the mother: When a medical provider’s mistakes hurt a newborn, they can also hurt the mother as well. For example, a baby who is mispositioned during delivery can suffer shoulder dystocia, but the mother may also suffer internal bleeding and other complications due to the complicated delivery. If a mother requires additional hospitalization due to a doctor’s error, then the cost of that care must be added to the damages in a subsequent claim.
  • Lost wages: Along the same line of thinking, a mother who is severely injured due to birth injury complications may miss work for much longer than originally anticipated. Lost wages due to time needed to recuperate can also be a birth injury damage.
  • Future care for the child: It is important to not overlook the future care a child with a birth injury will need. In even comparatively mild cases of birth injuries, like correctable Erb’s palsy, the amount of physical therapy for the child can be extensive, bringing a cost with each session. For severer birth injuries, months or years of specialized care could be required to help the child find comfort.
  • Emotional distress of both parents: When a parent is told that their child has been born with an avoidable birth injury, it is understandably devastating to their mental and emotional states. It might be possible to seek noneconomic damages that reflect the pain and suffering both parents have suffered due to the traumatic event and knowing that their child has been born with a potentially permanent disability because a medical provider had not been careful enough.

If you need help determining if you should file a birth injury claim and how much damages you should demand if you do file, our law firm in Philadelphia can assist you. We proudly help local families handle birth injury claims to the fullest extent, allowing them to focus on themselves and their children, rather than legal procedures. Dial (215) 278-4449 to speak with one of our attorneys today.