Some informal estimates say that as many as 90 to 95 percent of civil lawsuits will settle. While the precise percentage may be a mystery, it is true that your birth injury lawsuit settlement is more likely to settle than to go to trial.
Ultimately, it is your decision as to whether you want to reach a settlement with the negligent defendant. And a major concern for you in making that decision is likely to be how much compensation you might expect.
Just as it is impossible to know how many cases settle, it is impossible to say precisely how much your birth injury lawsuit might settle for.
This does not mean the value of your birth injury case is a complete mystery, though. Examining certain factors of your case can give you a fair estimate of the amount your birth injury lawsuit settlement should be.
Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlements Explained
Settlements are common features in various civil lawsuits. No matter the type of case, settlements have a few features in common. There is a promise by the party accused of negligence to pay you, the parent of the injured newborn, compensation. The compensation award may also cover any injuries you sustained during delivery.
Next, a birth injury lawsuit settlement requires you to give up your right to pursue a lawsuit. This means you agree not to seek additional compensation from the negligent party. Instead, you agree to accept the compensation value agreed upon as a fair payment for your injuries and losses.
If both you and the negligent party agree to these terms, you have reached a settlement. The settlement’s terms will bind you once the other party pays you the agreed-upon compensation.
Factors that Go into a Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlement Amount
When you and the other party in your birth injury lawsuit start to discuss a settlement, the amount of money your case will settle for depends on several factors:
Strength of the Available Evidence
One of the largest factors in determining your birth injury lawsuit settlement amount is the strength of the evidence supporting your claim. The stronger the evidence is in your favor, the more likely the other party will be eager to settle the case. This puts you in a position to demand a higher, more reasonable settlement award.
The Presence of Aggravating Factors
Aggravating factors are those facts that tend to suggest your case is more than a case about deficient care.
For example, suppose your doctor was not immediately available to respond to your bedside when you started developing complications. It took several calls to reach your doctor, who then responded more than an hour later. Such callousness goes beyond mere deficient care and will regularly lead to a higher settlement figure.
Permanency of Injuries
Permanent, lifelong disabilities require a greater amount of financial resources to manage. Thus, birth injuries resulting in such harm can lead to higher settlement awards. Conversely, if you and your child are expected to make a full recovery, your settlement award will likely be lower.
Body Part or Organ Affected by the Injury
Last, some injuries are more complicated to treat than others and will likely lead to a larger settlement.
For instance, bruising on your child’s leg will not result in a high settlement award, as such injuries do not impact your child’s development. On the other hand, the family of a child who suffers a brain injury or nerve damage can expect a significantly larger settlement amount.
The Party with the Least to Lose at Trial
Litigation represents a risk for both parties, which is why settlements are so popular among plaintiffs and defendants alike. But suppose one party feels as if they have nothing to lose by proceeding to trial and incurring the related expenses. This situation can affect a settlement award.
If the negligent party feels a risk of financial annihilation at trial, this is a favorable situation for you. By being willing to go to trial in this scenario, you may get the other party to agree to a better settlement.
Conversely, suppose the negligent party is comfortable taking their chances at trial. In this case, that party may not be willing to engage in much negotiation. You may have to either accept the amount they are willing to offer or be prepared to proceed with a trial.
Typical Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
A settlement amount in your birth injury lawsuit should compensate you fairly and as completely as possible. Your award should address your medical bills, future care needs, and other expenses.
A birth injury lawsuit settlement may also include compensation for harm to your emotional and mental health caused by the negligent care you received.
For a brain injury resulting in a lifelong impairment to your child that requires constant medical care, your settlement award could be measured in millions of dollars. Conversely, a cephalohematoma, which typically resolves on its own, may only lead to a settlement for a few thousand dollars to cover a few follow-up appointments.
You should remember, though, that there is no precise formula for calculating how much your birth injury lawsuit is worth. Nor can anyone tell you specifically how much compensation you will receive through a settlement.
The Joel Bieber Firm Is Available Today to Help
If you or your child suffered harm during your child’s birth, you may have legal rights. Contact the compassionate and dedicated birth injury team at The Joel Bieber Firm. We will work diligently to secure the compensation you and your family deserve for your losses and harm. Reach out to us with your questions and to get started today.