Just how expensive and prevalent is birth injury in the U.S.? There are an estimated seven birth injures per 1,000 children born. This converts to one percent, or slightly over 28,000 babies every year.
E-Medicine defines a birth injury as injuries sustained due to “mechanical forces”, such as experienced through compression and traction. The report also suggests that death due to birth injury is relatively rare; limited to 2 percent of all neonatal deaths and stillbirths in the U.S. Risk factors for birth injury included larger infants (over 4,500 grams), instrumental deliveries, vaginal breech delivery and abnormal or excessive traction. However, the majority of circumstances involved in birth trauma are said to be “self-limiting and can have a favorable outcome.” E-Medicine added that “Nearly one half are potentially avoidable with recognition and anticipation of obstetric risk factors.”
Therefore, whenever birth injury occurs, it is usually a minority case and very often involves medical malpractice. Merck reviews several types of birth injuries that can occur, including head and brain injury, nerve injuries, asphyxia, bone injury, shoulder distocia or surrounding tissue injury. Merck verifies the thought that the majority of newborns have only minor injuries due to traction or pressure and most injuries do not require any special medical treatment.
However, when a rare case of serious birth injury takes place a great deal of accountability will rest with the doctor. A doctor doesn’t have the obligation to create a perfect pregnancy, but does have to answer to a high standard of quality care (set by the medical profession, not by patients), that includes advanced diagnosis of potential risk factors and fast treatment when necessary.
What is the average birth injury lawsuit worth? Each case must be decided on an individual basis. All of the circumstances must be taken into account, but in general, there are five factors that can help determine the amount of damages:
- Past Economic and Medical Damages: This refers to past damages already incurred in measurable dollars; charges related to diagnosis, treatment and drugs.
- Past Non-Economic Damages: Immeasurable expenses mainly involving inconvenience, pain and suffering or physical disability.
- Future Economic and Medical Damages: All predictable and measurable expenses that may involve drugs, therapy, surgery, re-diagnosis and rehabilitation. The cost of hiring a nurse or a caretaker (for a lifetime) is usually the heaviest expense.
- Future Non-Economic Damages: Immeasurable expenses that result from mental anguish, pain and the loss of capacity to enjoy life.
- Punitive Damages: This is not so much an expense but a punishment in birth injury cost handed down to the defendant for egregious actions or inactions. It is relatively rare in most malpractice cases, but has been awarded before in cases where a doctor or nurse has shown a conscious disregard for the safety of his patients.
Precedent says that some cases can be settled out of court for as little as $40,000. However, some cases can run upwards of $ 4 million, since a lifetime of nursing care can easily run over a million dollars in its own right. Record
highs for medical malpractice cases have been as high as $40 million.
If your child has been the victim of birth injury malpractice then contact Rasansky Law Firm. You can get a free consultation by calling 1-877-405-4313. You can’t put a price on the happy life of a child but you can definitely send a bill for soaring medical expenses. Call the Rasansky Law Firm today and speak with one of our highly trained Dallas birth injury attorneys.