For today’s article and supporting video we will discuss birth injury lawsuit settlements, with a focus on the process. The idea is to talk about not only how we begin to figure the value of a birth injury case, but also how would a mediation or settlement negotiation work in general. I have discussed these issues before, but in separate pieces. For today’s article, I am going to combine everything so you can have an idea as to the complete picture of things.
Please remember that the information provided is general in nature. Any specific questions as to your issues should be presented to your attorney.
The Leadup To The Settlement Process…
Before a birth injury case can be settled, there must be a workup as to whether medical malpractice is the cause of the injury. For example, parents of a baby who has an HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy diagnosis must be able to prove that medical malpractice is what caused the injury. So, this can mean that if genetics or say developmental issues are the cause of the brain injury, then a medical malpractice case will more than likely not be successful.
To be able to prove the medical malpractice medical experts are needed to support a court filing for a state like Maryland. These experts will be able to give these opinions through a review of the medical records, which can include fetal heart strips and brain imaging if the injury surrounds brain damage, like HIE.
Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlements…The Process
When discussing birth injury lawsuit settlements one of the most important questions for families is how they know the value of the case and what would be fair numbers for a settlement. One way that this is done is with the help of certified lifecare planners. Lifecare planners are professionals who are trained to understand not only disability, but the impact disability will have on a person not only today, but in the future. A lifecare planner will be used to understand what a baby will need as they grow older. For example, if a baby will need a motorized wheelchair, that wheelchair will be included in the lifecare plan. Other experts like economists can be used to place a value on that wheelchair today, in 5 years, and in 10 plus years if needed.
One other thing that must be remember about case value, not ever case will be valued the same. This is because the value is based on each individual client and situation. For example, one child might have a more profound HIE injury versus another child with a mild injury. The needs between these two children may not be the same in all aspects.
As for mediation, this process will vary in specifics from jurisdiction, especially in light on COVID. With that said, for mediation or settlement the purpose is to attempt to negotiate an agreement as to the value of the case. Will every settlement or mediation be successful? The short answer is no there can be no guarantee that mediation or settlement will be successful. However, it is important to prepare for mediation and understand the issues which are present in your case beforehand. Talking with your attorney before mediation and understanding your child’s needs and lifecare plan is a good way to get the most out of your mediation/settlement negotiations.
If you have more questions for me regarding birth injury lawsuit settlements, or your child’s HIE diagnosis or, even a cerebral palsy (CP) diagnosis, pick up the phone and call me. I talk with families all the time about these issues and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP