Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlements: Trends & Insights

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a lifetime of care for an infant born with cerebral palsy can cost more than $1.6 million

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Understanding Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlements

As mentioned previously, the jurisdiction where a birth injury lawsuit is filed can impact the amount of the cerebral palsy settlement. That’s because medical malpractice laws vary by state. Some factors that differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction include:

  • Statute of limitations. State laws vary on the length of time an injured party has to file a lawsuit in a birth injury lawsuit. For example, plaintiffs in New Jersey have 19 years to file a lawsuit whereas in California, they only have one year to file after discovery of the condition or three years after the date of injury.
  • Damage caps. Some 29 states have enacted tort reform that places a cap on damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits while others have enacted constitutional provisions that prohibit caps. For example, in Louisiana there is a cap of $500, 000 for total damages, plus the cost of future medical expenses, with providers liable for up to $100,000. In Minnesota, however, there are no damage caps.
  • Expert witness requirements. Requirements for witnesses to qualify as “expert” in a medical malpractice lawsuit vary from state to state. Most often though, they are expected to have practiced or taught medicine in the same specialty as the defendant. They may be required to be board certified or hold other credentials. There may also be limits on the amount of time any expert witness spends testifying in birth injury cases.
  • Pretrial screening panels or arbitration. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have laws regarding alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, or settlement conferences) while 17 states require a screening panel to hear medical malpractice cases before trial.

Unfortunately, because there are so many variables that can influence the birth injury settlement amount, it is nearly impossible to calculate an average. Recent notable settlement amounts range from $16 million in an Illinois case to $8.7 million in a case in New York.

Cerebral Palsy Settlement vs. Medical Malpractice Trial

A significant percentage of birth injury lawsuits are settled before they ever reach trial. While plaintiffs can and do often receive larger damage awards from jury verdicts, they could just as easily lose at trial and receive nothing. For this reason and others, cerebral palsy lawsuit settlements are often the best way to proceed. That’s because:

  • The settlement process is not as costly as a trial.
  • A long, drawn-out trial can be stressful and emotionally draining.
  • A settlement agreement ends the case. There is no appeal process if the defendant doesn’t like the outcome as there is in a trial.
  • Settlement agreements give the plaintiff more control over the outcome as the final decision is not left up to a judge or jury.

Legal Strategies for Maximizing Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlements

Lawyers specializing in birth injury lawsuits employ a variety of strategies to maximize a settlement in a cerebral palsy lawsuit. These include:

  • Accurate damage assessment. An experienced birth injury attorney has worked with many cerebral palsy cases in the past and knows from experience how to determine a fair settlement amount.
  • Work closely with experts. Birth injury attorneys will work closely with medical and financial experts to ensure they have an accurate picture of the child’s injuries and potential expenses in the present as well as the future.
  • Gather all necessary documentation. A lawyer seasoned in birth injury lawsuit settlements will gather all necessary and relevant documents to prove culpability in the case.
  • Propose legal action. A defendant, their insurance company, and legal representative who are resistant to a settlement may be more inclined to settle if a plaintiff’s attorney indicates their willingness to proceed to trial.

Contact the Birth Injury Lawsuit Experts at Pintas & Mullins

The birth injury lawsuit experts at Pintas & Mullins are ready to fight for justice for you and your family. We’ve been working with families and caregivers whose children were injured through no fault of their own and now face a lifetime of costly medical expenses and ongoing care. We will provide a free assessment of your case and consult with our vast network of legal and medical experts. Call or text 800-934-6555 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form online today.

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Yes. Please have an attorney, paralegal, or staff member from Pintas & Mullins law firm or their co-counsel contact me as soon as possible to discuss my questions. They may contact me by email or telephone (including phone calls, text messages, autodialed / auto-selected or pre-recorded calls). I understand that message and data rates may apply and that consent to such contact is not required for use of these services. I also agree to the Privacy Policy, Anti Fraud Policy and online Terms, including its mandatory arbitration provision.
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