How Will A Birth Injury Lawsuit Help With Your Baby’s Future Challenges in New Jersey
December 26, 2018
The effects of birth injuries on children and their families are both costly and long-lasting. If you or a loved one have a child that sustained a birth injury due to medical error, your child may need to receive specialized medical care throughout his or her life. In addition to specialized medical care, your child may also need special housing accommodations and educational services depending on the birth injury suffered. Initiating and winning a birth injury lawsuit on behalf of your child will help to pay for these additional expenses throughout the rest of his or her life.
NJ Life Care Plans
When a birth injury occurs, it is often hard to determine exactly how much money will be necessary to help care for the affected child throughout his or her lifetime. Accordingly, having a life care plan drafted before or after you initiate a birth injury lawsuit against a liable party can help plaintiffs determine the amount of money necessary to care for the injured child throughout the course of his or her life. Life care plans are legal documents drafted by medical experts and specialists to estimate the amount of money and the specific types of care the child will need throughout his or her lifetime because of the specific injury sustained. Oftentimes, life care plans include:
- A list of the child’s physicians
- Educational expenses
- Adaptive equipment and toys needed
- List and costs of home modifications needed
- In-home care expenses
- Occupational, speech, and physical therapy needed
- Transportation costs
- Respite care for the parents
- Lost wages incurred by the parents because of the level of care the child needs
Life care plans can be integrated into your demand in a birth injury lawsuit and can help prove the level of care needed for the child throughout his or her lifetime and the costs associated with providing such care to the child.
Damages To Be Awarded In Birth Injury Lawsuits In NJ
Whether or not you have a life care plan drafted, in all birth injury lawsuits, a plaintiff will have to prove that the affected child has suffered injuries and that those injuries require monetary compensation. Said monetary compensation is typically called compensatory damages. Fortunately, New Jersey is one of few states that does not impose a cap on compensatory damages a plaintiff can receive in a lawsuit. This means that as long as you can prove the child incurred an injury at birth and the child now needs a specific amount of money to cover costs associated with the injury, a jury can award up to that amount of money if it deems a lesser award appropriate. The following are types of compensatory damages a plaintiff can recover in a birth injury lawsuit:
- Costs of past and future medical bills to be accrued because of the birth injury
- Costs of occupational and physical therapy for the baby depending on the type of birth injury suffered
- Costs of special education for the affected child
- Costs of counseling and psychological services for the affected child and his or her family
- Loss of earning capacity
- Non-economic damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering
Winning a verdict for the above compensatory damages will help to ensure your baby will have enough money to receive the specialized care he or she needs for most, if not for all of his or her life.
Moreover, if the injury is the result of particularly egregious conduct, you may also be able to recover punitive damages, which can serve to cover any costs that compensatory damages do not cover. Keep in mind, however, that New Jersey law does impose a cap on the amount of punitive damages you can recover, namely the larger amount of $350,000 or five times the amount of compensatory damages awarded. For instance, if you were awarded $100,000 in a judgment, you would be recovered up to $500,000 in punitive damages.
Contact a Morristown Medical Malpractice Lawyer to Discuss Your Birth Injury Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to birth injury malpractice in New Jersey? Right now, you need an aggressive medical malpractice attorney on your side fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Hoyt & Hoyt represent clients injured because of birth injury in Morris, Middlesex, Sussex, and Union counties, New Jersey. Call 973-828-8187 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 67 East Park Place, 5th Floor, Morristown, NJ 07960.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.