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Understanding the real cost of birth injuries

Virtually nothing comes close to the emotional toll of a birth injury - but the financial toll should not be overlooked, either.

When a medical professional's negligence causes injury to your newborn, you may need time to grieve. But at the same time, it is essential that you begin thinking about how to give your child the best life possible.

According to the CDC, lifetime medical costs for children with intellectual disabilities are more than 25 times higher than costs for children without disabilities. Can you rely on your health insurance to cover the difference? Do you need to file a lawsuit so you can afford to give your child the care he or she deserves? To decide the best course of action, it is important to have a handle on the true costs of raising a child after a birth injury.

These costs may include:

  • Doctor visits, often including specialists and multiple corrective surgeries
  • Additional medical care, including home health care, nursing care, long-term care and day rehabilitation services
  • Ongoing special education needs
  • Lost income and benefits for parents who have missed work to care for an injured child

Special service costs can add up over years

In addition to securing ongoing medical care for your child, you may need to make modifications to your daily life to accommodate his or her needs. Many new parents underestimate these costs only to discover that they can't get the financial help they need later in the child's life. If your child was injured before or during birth, consider his or her potential need for:

  • Medical equipment -- wheelchairs, tracheostomy tubes, medications, feeding tubes, pain pumps, standing frames, walkers, adaptive highchairs and beds, bathtub chairs, lifts, roll-in showers and car seats
  • Other supplies - including special educational materials, food, vitamins and adaptive toys
  • Home and vehicle modification - making your home wheelchair accessible, widening doorways, redesigning bathrooms and kitchens, building ramps, adding hand rails, and installing wall corner guards and intercom systems

Why do you need to understand these costs now?

When negotiating a settlement with a negligent hospital or its insurance company, you only get one chance to pursue the money it will take to give your child the best life possible. An experienced birth injury lawyer can help you determine the future cost of your child's injuries and pursue a medical malpractice claim for an appropriate amount.

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