What Is a Birth Injury Settlement?
A birth injury settlement is money paid by negligent health care providers (defendants) to the parents of the injured child (plaintiffs).
Birth injury settlements can help families afford the best medical care possible for their child. They also allow families to hold careless physicians accountable and prevent them from harming other vulnerable children.
Personal injury lawyers with experience in birth injury cases are best suited to help families pursue birth injury lawsuit settlements. They know how to build a strong case to prove medical malpractice and negotiate with insurance companies and hospital legal teams to obtain maximum compensation.
Who Is Eligible for Birth Injury Settlements?
Parents or guardians of a child who developed a birth injury due to a physician’s medical mistake before, during, or shortly after childbirth are typically eligible for birth injury settlements.
Parents are sometimes uncertain if they qualify for a birth injury lawsuit settlement. They may suspect medical malpractice but do not know for sure.
That’s why LawFirm.com has registered nurses on staff who can help determine if a medical error caused your child’s condition. Contact us right now for a free case review.
- The average birth injury settlement for a 1-month-old child or younger is more than $1 million.
- The birth injury law firms in the LawFirm.com network have recovered more than $862 million in payouts for families of children injured at birth.
- About 95% of birth injury lawsuits end in settlements, according to The Law Dictionary.
- Birth injury settlement values tend to be high because of the severity of injuries and the potential amount of economic damages.
- A settlement can occur at any time in the legal process, even after a trial has started.
Birth Injuries That Result in Settlements
Any birth injury caused by medical negligence could lead to a birth injury settlement.
Here are some common birth injuries that prompt families to file lawsuits:
- Brain damage: Infant brain damage can result in permanent disability.
- Cerebral palsy: This is a group of motor disorders that affect balance and movement.
- Erb’s palsy: This brachial plexus injury (damage to the nerves in the shoulder) causes weakness or numbness in the arm and/or shoulder.
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): Caused by a lack of oxygen before or shortly after birth, HIE is a type of brain injury that can impact a child for the rest of their life.
- Untreated jaundice: Jaundice, which is caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the blood, can lead to a life-threatening condition known as kernicterus if ignored.
- Wrongful death: In some cases, a health care professional’s negligence can result in the baby’s death. Infant wrongful death settlements are never enough to compensate for the loss of a child, but they can help families move forward in life.
Keep in mind that this is not a complete list. Parents may be able to pursue birth injury settlements in many other cases.
LawFirm.com can match you with a top birth injury attorney if you qualify. Contact our team right now for a free case review.
What Is the Average Birth Injury Settlement?
Birth injury settlement amounts tend to be higher than settlements in many other personal injury cases.
A 2019 study of 1,215 neonatal malpractice (birth injury) claims over a 9-year period found that the average payout was $936,843. This includes birth injury settlements (cases settled out of court) and birth injury verdicts (cases resolved during a trial).
When adjusted for inflation, the average payout is as much as $1.32 million in 2023.
The birth injury lawyers that LawFirm.com works with have recovered over $862 million for families affected by birth injuries.
Some birth injury settlements and verdicts our partner law firms have recovered for clients include:
- $10.4 million for a child in Pennsylvania with cerebral palsy
- $6 million for a child in New York with untreated jaundice
- $4.5 million for a child in Illinois with Erb’s palsy
- $4.1 million for a child in New Jersey with fetal distress
Birth injury settlement amounts vary depending on many factors, including the severity of the injury and level of malpractice that took place.
A birth injury lawyer can tell you how much your medical malpractice case may be worth. Get started right now with a free consultation.
How Settlement Money Can Help
A birth injury settlement compensates a family for all past and future costs — both financial and emotional — related to their child’s birth injury.
These costs may include:
- Adaptive equipment
- Home alterations/accommodations
- Lost wages or loss of earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Special education
- Other related expenses
Settlement money can help you afford quality medical treatment and care for your child and allow them to live their best life.
Why Birth Injury Settlements Are Preferred
After families file a birth injury lawsuit, their attorney will try to negotiate a birth injury settlement with each defendant.
About 95% of birth injury lawsuits end in settlements, The Law Dictionary reports.
Birth injury attorneys typically prefer settlements over trial verdicts because they are less risky and allow families to access financial compensation more quickly. A doctor or hospital accused of medical malpractice may be eager to settle to avoid negative publicity from a jury trial.
Learn about the main differences between settlements and verdicts in the chart below.
|Provide families with quicker access to much-needed compensation||Can take several years for a lawsuit to resolve and a family to get compensation|
|Less risk as compensation comes from a predetermined agreement||More risk as a judge or jury may side with the defendant(s), leaving the family without compensation|
|Cannot be appealed||Can be appealed, which can threaten a prior verdict in your favor and extend the length of the case|
If your attorney can’t reach a fair settlement with a defendant, they will fight for you and your child in court.
All cases are unique. Your birth injury lawyer can advise you on the right strategy for your medical malpractice lawsuit.
5 Factors That Affect Birth Injury Settlement Amounts
Many different aspects of a case impact birth injury settlement amounts.
These 5 factors often affect birth injury settlement values:
- Birth injury severity: Children with severe birth injuries who need lifelong care often receive larger settlements.
- Economic damages: This encompasses the child’s past and future medical expenses and future lost income. Economic damages in birth injury cases are often substantial because of the high costs of care and the amount of future lost income that can be claimed.
- Level of medical malpractice: When the medical malpractice is especially egregious, the settlement amount may be higher.
- Number of defendants involved: In some cases, families are entitled to settlement money from multiple defendants, including doctors, nurses, and the hospital where the delivery occurred.
- Skill and experience of your attorney: Birth injury lawyers are experts in this field and can build a strong case and accurately estimate the costs of care. They have dedicated their careers to fighting for maximum compensation for affected families.
Need legal help? Our team can connect you with a top birth injury lawyer. Get started with a free case review.
How Do I Get a Birth Injury Malpractice Settlement?
If you think you’re eligible for a birth injury settlement, you should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
A birth injury lawyer can:
- File your claim before any deadlines
- Consult with medical experts to prove medical malpractice
- Determine your damages and potential case value
- Gather evidence to build a strong case
- Negotiate a birth injury settlement on your behalf
Every state has laws known as statutes of limitations, which specify how much time you have to file a birth injury claim. Since these statutes can vary significantly, it’s crucial to consult a birth injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss your chance for justice.
Get Help With a Birth Injury Settlement
If your child has suffered a birth injury, and medical malpractice or negligence may be to blame, the lawyer you choose can make all the difference for your financial future.
Many law firms are willing to take on birth injury cases, but few have the resources and experience necessary to maximize your settlement.
The best birth injury law firms have the following qualities:
- A track record of successful settlements and verdicts
- Free, no-obligation case evaluations
- Nationwide reach
- No upfront or out-of-pocket costs
- Registered nurses on staff
- Years, if not decades, of experience
We can connect you with a top birth injury firm in our network that is well-suited to help with your potential case. Call us at (888) 726-9160 or fill out our online form right now to take the first step in pursuing a birth injury settlement.
Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlement FAQs
What is considered a birth injury?
A birth injury is a physical injury that a baby suffers around the time of their birth. Some common types of injuries at birth include cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and brain damage.
What are birth injuries due to negligence?
Birth injuries due to negligence are injuries caused by a health care provider’s medical mistake before, during, or shortly after birth. For example, an obstetrician’s misuse of forceps, failure to detect and treat oxygen deprivation, or failure to perform a necessary cesarean section (C-section) can lead to an injury at birth and may be considered medical negligence.
Can you claim for birth trauma?
Yes, you may be able to file a claim for birth trauma if it was caused by a medical professional’s negligence and resulted in harm to your child. Your medical malpractice attorney will need to show that the physician failed to meet the standard of care.
Parents often file a birth injuries lawsuit to pursue compensation for birth trauma injuries and damages.
What determines birth injury settlement amounts?
There are several factors that impact birth injury settlement amounts.
These elements include:
- The severity of the child’s injury
- The amount of care they are projected to need over their lifetime
- The degree of medical malpractice
That said, labor and delivery malpractice settlements on average result in payouts of $1 million or more.