Birth Injury Claims: When to Settle or Go to Trial

A birth injury settlement occurs when the medical professional whose negligence injured a child (the defendant) agrees to pay financial compensation to the aggrieved family (the plaintiff). Birth injury awards are intended to provide families with the financial assistance they need to properly care for a child who sustained a preventable birth injury, often awarding millions of dollars to families in need. Partnering with an experienced birth injury attorney can increase the odds of a fair payout via a birth injury claim. A lawyer who specializes in birth injury cases can build a compelling case and ensure you receive the compensation you need to pay for your child’s care. 

What Factors Affect My Claim’s Value?

Jury verdicts and settlements associated with birth injury cases vary widely based on the facts of each individual case. This is because the award is meant to fairly compensate plaintiffs by accounting for all current and future damages. Factors that will have an impact on the value of your claim include:

Severity of the Injury

The severity of the child’s injury will have a direct impact on the amount of your settlement or jury award. Generally speaking, the more severe the injury, the higher the payout. This is because medical expenses, ongoing care costs, and reduced quality of life are all taken into consideration and are often more significant with serious injuries.

Current and Future Medical Expenses

If your child developed a long-term or permanent disability due to an avoidable birth injury, your compensation needs to cover their medical expenses. For instance, a child with a severe birth injury might need daily medications, multiple forms of therapy, and ongoing, invasive medical treatment such as surgeries.

Your Dallas birth injury lawyer can estimate your child’s treatment costs over the course of their lifetime and pursue compensation that will cover them.

Quality of Life

Birth injuries can have a considerable impact on every aspect of a child’s life. Some will need medical equipment to be able to move without help. Some homes may also need modifications in order to fit a child’s needs. Injured children often require these and other assistive modifications to improve their quality of life.

Lost Wages 

Sadly, it is not uncommon for one or both parents to have to quit working to care for their child, resulting in a substantial loss of income. Although this is necessary to ensure that the child’s immediate medical needs are met, lost wages combined with round-the-clock caregiving places an undue amount of stress on most families.

Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?

Before you agree to a settlement offer, you need to understand your rights. When your child is injured during childbirth due to medical negligence, you and your child could be entitled to financial compensation. The insurance company will likely make you a settlement offer before you have even learned the full extent of your child’s injuries and the impacts they will have on your child now and in the years to come. For this reason, you should always consult with an experienced birth injury lawyer before making any decisions.

Birth injury cases tend to have a higher success rate than other medical malpractice cases, resulting in larger jury verdicts and settlement awards since birth injuries often have life-altering consequences for the injured child. 

Before you accept a settlement offer, you should discuss your case with a lawyer who specializes in birth injury cases. Your lawyer will need to be able to show that the treating physician failed to uphold the medical standard of care when treating either you or your baby and that their failure was the cause of the injury in question. 

Having your case reviewed by a lawyer who has a well-established track record of handling birth injury cases is imperative. The insurance carrier will endeavor to get you to agree to the smallest settlement amount possible. Never enter discussions with the insurer until you have sought the advice of a qualified lawyer. Accepting the first settlement offer is almost always a mistake since it is unlikely that you have had time to fully discover the extent of your child’s injury and all the damages associated with it.  

If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, your lawyer will take the case to trial. However, trials are notoriously expensive and lengthy, sometimes stretching on for years, so reaching a settlement is ideal. Other benefits of settling a birth injury claim include:

  • You will have money immediately available for medical treatments and other expenses related to your child’s injury
  • Settling your claim keeps legal fees down

Once you accept a settlement offer, you waive any right to pursue additional compensation no matter what issues may arise in the future, so this decision is not to be taken lightly or without skilled legal guidance.  

What Happens if I Go to Trial?

While the process of going to trial takes longer and is more costly, it may result in a substantially larger award than you would otherwise receive. According to a publication by the U.S. Department of Justice, the average jury award in a medical malpractice lawsuit is nearly three times greater than the highest settlement offer. Bringing a lawsuit shows the insurance company you are not afraid to take your case to court and may goad the insurance company into making a fair settlement offer if for no other reason than to save time and money.  

Talk to a Birth Injury Lawyer Today

When it comes to deciding whether to settle or go to trial, it is essential to consider the pros and cons before deciding what is best for your family. If you and your family have experienced a birth injury, the skilled Dallas birth injury lawyers at Rasansky Law Firm specialize in navigating these complicated cases and fighting for justice and compensation on behalf of injured families. Call us at (214) 617-1886 or fill out the contact form on our website to schedule your free consultation. 

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Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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