The question for this educational article and supporting video deals with how much is my baby’s traumatic brain injury (HIE) case worth? The question of case worth can either reveal itself early in the process when a family is trying to decide whether taking legal action is worth it from their standpoint or it can come later down the line when potential mediation or settlement negotiations arise. In either case this is an issue that parents need to understand.
Before moving forward, it is important that all families realize that all cases are different. The case value for one case may not be the same as another case due to the fact these matters are extremely fact specific.
Why Damages Matter…
When discussing case worth for a traumatic brain injury at birth the concept of damages is a good starting point. The term damage is in this context is the injury or harm done. A baby who has suffered a traumatic brain injury has harm done to them, thus meeting the requirements for the damages element of negligence.
Negligence consists of four elements and if a plaintiff, the person bringing the lawsuit, does not prove all four of these elements the case will fail. Earth trauma cases however, the damage is element is usually not a problem to prove. On the other hand, causation is an element that is generally hotly contested with these cases.
My Baby’s Traumatic Brain Injury Case Worth?
To help determine case worth, birth injury attorneys like myself use medical experts and other professionals to help us understand the critical issues present. One of these experts who is paramount to these types of claims is a certified life care planner. A certified life care planner is an expert who has understanding of injury and disability and how these two impact and injured person’s life.
When we hire a life care planner this person will not only read the medical records, they will also interview and visit the family. A life care planner can also do a day in the life video to help a jury or factfinder in the future get a peek into a typical day for the injured baby and their family.
Life care planners will put a report together which explains what a baby and their family will need as that child gets older. So, for example if a child needs a motorized wheelchair that wheelchair will be put in the report and predicted out for future use. If the child will need a wheelchair ramp added to the vehicle that will also be placed into the report. The same can go for housing. If the family is living in a two-story home now but a ranch is the better way to go a ranch style house will be contemplated for in the report. These things and more will be placed in the life care plan.
The life care plan can also give monetary value to the things needed in the plan. So, in our above example with the wheelchair a cost will be placed in the plan for that wheelchair over the life of a child. This same concept will apply for things like diapers, feeding tubes, in other necessities.
When all is said and done this is how attorneys can have a gauge as to the value or case work period once a life care plan is completed this plan can range between $1,000,000 or $20 million plus. Remember, this all depends upon the needs of that specific child and family. Therefore, as I said above no two cases are the same because no two children’s circumstances are the same.
If your baby has an HIE diagnosis, and/or a subsequent CP diagnosis and you have questions as to the cause of the traumatic brain injury, I invite you to call be at my contact information below. I speak with families like yours all the time about these issues and I would be happy to listen to your baby’s story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP