Before the birth of a child, parents will invest a lot of energy in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. They will likely dream about a future with their unborn child where they teach them to ride a bike, help them put together exciting Halloween costumes and watch them graduate from high school.
When a birth injury occurs during the labor and delivery process, those dreams may never come to fruition. Your entire family will have to adjust expectations to accommodate for the real impact of cerebral palsy or another lasting birth injury.
The emotional consequences of a birth injury are just the beginning. Families will forever feel the financial impact of a child born with special needs caused by a birth injury. Although each scenario involving a child with a serious birth injury is unique, there are generally two kinds of financial consequences that the family will need to absorb.
Ongoing medical and educational expenses
It can cost a lot of money to raise a healthy child and even more money to provide the necessary support and medical care for a child with a significant medical condition.
From routine physician appointments and occupational therapy to help a child develop motor skills to surgery and specialized educational facilities, the overall costs required to provide the basic support that a child with special needs requires can amount to thousands of dollars a year.
Families may have to completely change their household budget to accommodate these expenses.
Lost parental income
As if the excess costs caused by a birth injury weren’t bad enough, families will also have to absorb a reduction in income. Bringing in a private caregiver may be too expensive to afford, and parents may also worry that a nurse won’t give a child the attention and care they truly deserve.
If one parent leaves the workforce, moves to a less-demanding profession or switches to part-time work instead of full-time work, the family will lose out on tens of thousands of dollars each year. Even if you don’t have to leave your job or scale back your work schedule to part-time, you will lose, on average, $3,200 in earnings annually.
It would be highly unfair for individuals who made every possible effort to have a healthy pregnancy to have to deal with massive financial losses because of a medical mistake. Those who can directly connect their child’s birth injury with inappropriate medical interventions or other labor and delivery mistakes, like inadequate fetal monitoring, may be able to make an insurance claim against the hospital or doctor that provided their care.
Pursuing a medical malpractice claim for a birth injury can help a family absorb the losses related to a tragic birth outcome.