What Are “Economic Damages” In A Personal Injury Case?
Few things are more exciting than welcoming a child into the world. For many parents, the day of their child’s birth is something they’ve looked forward to for many years. Unfortunately, for a small percentage of parents, this day turns into something far different than anticipated.
When a birth injury occurs, the joy and hopefulness of parenthood quickly transition into stress and worry. In some cases, grief is almost immediate, even when the child survives but will be negatively impacted by their injuries.
Having a trusted legal team to turn to can make this experience easier to navigate. While nothing will fully erase the trauma of a birth injury, knowing you are in good legal hands will leave you with one fewer thing to worry about.
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What Are Birth Injuries?
A birth injury is a physical injury that takes place during the birthing process. While many infants sustain minor birth injuries that will resolve without treatment, some infants sustain far more serious injuries that can affect them for many years to come, if not the rest of their lives.
Some of the more common types of birth injuries include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Bleeding in or around the brain
- Nerve injuries
- Bone injuries
- Skin and soft tissue injuries
- Perinatal asphyxia
There are numerous birth injuries that can happen. Even worse, there is little an expectant mother can do to prevent these injuries from occurring, and precious little warning once things take a turn for the worse in the delivery room.
What Are “Economic Damages” In Birth Injuries?
In any type of personal injury case, economic damages refer to the financial losses that occur as a direct result of the injury or injuries. These are the costs that are easily quantified.
One example of economic damages is the medical bills that result from the initial injury. These expenses are often not readily apparent in the days, weeks, or even months after the injury. It often takes a long time for all of the medical bills to arrive, and to sort out which expenses are covered by health insurance.
Another example of economic damages in a birth injury case is treatments for the mother. Some birth injures not only harm the infant but also create medical problems for the mother. These injuries can take a very long time to heal, and in some cases, a mother may not be able to carry another child to term.
Future care needs are also part of economic damages. If your baby will need ongoing treatment, physical therapy, or specialized care, those services can be costly. A birth injury case must encompass all of those future needs.
What Are “Non-Economic Damages?”
Non-economic damages are those costs that are harder to quantify. These are things like pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Every birth injury case is unique, and each will carry its own consequences for both parents and child. However, when an injury is so severe that it alters the way a child’s life will play out, emotional distress is unavoidable.
Placing a “value” on emotional distress and a child’s altered potential is never an easy thing to do. Working with an experienced team of legal professionals is a great place to begin and can allow your family to rest assured you are in good hands.
No personal injury lawsuit outcome can change the realities of a birth injury. That said, a fair and proper outcome can give your family improved financial stability and increased resources to navigate whatever the future may hold.
Are All Birth Injuries The Result Of Mistakes Or Negligence?
It’s important to say that not every birth injury is the direct result of medical negligence or mistakes on the part of your doctor or nursing staff. There are cases where nothing can be done to prevent a poor outcome, no matter the training, dedication, or care of the medical team who helps usher your child into the world.
That said, far too many parents are simply told that there were “complications” during the labor and delivery process that resulted in one or more birth injuries. This can be a screen to shield medical professionals from taking responsibility or being accountable for their actions.
Medical malpractice is a costly matter for doctors, medical practices, and hospitals. It’s not surprising that mistakes are concealed, and families are misled. But that’s no excuse for withholding information from parents or painting a birth injury in a more favorable light.
How Does My Attorney Will know How To Maximize Damages In Our Birth Injury case?
These types of personal injury cases can be incredibly complex. They take a skilled professional willing to put in the time and effort needed to determine the extent of damages.
That process begins by meeting with parents to better understand what went wrong and how it has impacted their lives. Your attorney will also review medical records and meet with your child’s medical team to learn the full extent of health issues facing your baby.
It’s also important to learn the estimated cost of future care needs. If these expenses are not included in a birth injury lawsuit, your family could be left in serious financial distress in the years to come.
Fortunately, there are highly skilled and experienced birth injury attorneys who can help you as you move through the legal process to get you the compensation you deserve. Learning the truth of what went wrong during your child’s birth is important, as is securing the financial means of caring for your little one in the years to come.