Part of the challenge of determining how much compensation you are entitled to after a birth injury causes cerebral palsy is determining how much it will cost to raise your child. Birth injury lawsuits do not just cover the cost of past care, but also future care. How much more money will you spend over the course of your child's life because of the cerebral palsy diagnosis?
Every case of cerebral palsy is different, which means the cost for every family is different. Yet, according to the CDC's 2003 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), cerebral palsy costs, on average, $921,000 during a lifetime. Direct medical costs account for 10.2 percent of the costs, or approximately $92,942.
That's a lot of additional funds that most families simply do not have at their disposal -- and one of the reasons why it is important to bring lawsuits against negligent medical professionals whose actions cause birth injuries. Through a birth injury lawsuit, a family may be able to recoup some of the cost and provide their child with the help he or she needs to thrive.
Of course, not all children will receive compensation to cover all of their care. Many will need less care than the $921,000 average quoted by the CDC, and some will need more. In any case, the first step to financial help is determining how much care your child will need through expert medical testimony. By providing the insurance company (or court) with a number that is supported by medical experts, you increase your chances of a reasonable settlement or verdict.
What if your child's cerebral palsy is not the result of a medical error? There are many places that offer financial assistance for children with CP, including government programs and community organizations/nonprofits.