I need to make a claim for a spinal cord injury to a baby during birth in order to afford medical treatment and to recover lost earnings from having to leave employment. Can I recoup these expenses?
When you make a claim for a spinal cord injury to a baby during birth on behalf of your child, you are entitled to make a claim for special damages to recover costs that have already been incurred, or will need to be covered in the future.
The medical care that must be provided after a baby suffers a spinal injury during birth can be considerable, especially if the injury requires a life time of treatment and medical care. If your baby has suffered a spinal cord injury during birth that was caused by the negligence of a medical professional, you should not have to bear any financial cost as a result.
You are therefore entitled to claim any expense which can be directly associated with the spinal injury, be that medical treatment, home care help, modification of a vehicle, changes to a home, costs of surgery and any other justifiable expenses. Provided that a cost or future expense can be substantiated by receipts or invoices, or by medical opinion, it should be possible to incorporate it into the compensation claim for a spinal birth injury under special damages. It may also be possible for interest to be claimed on the compensation that is awarded, although this will be decided by the courts at a level stipulated by a judge.
The calculation of special damages in spinal birth injury claims is arbitrary and it does not require involvement of the courts. However, you should seek legal assistance from a medical negligence* solicitor to ensure that all conceivable expenses are included in the compensation claim for a spinal birth injury. While it is possible to calculate past expenses without legal assistance, it is all too easy to omit future costs.
A solicitor will consult medical experts to determine future medical treatment costs which will need to be covered and will ensure they are included under special damages. If a future expense is not included in spinal birth injury claims under special damages, once the case is resolved it will not be possible to claim additional costs – which is why it is important that the claim for special damages is diligently prepared.
The second part of a claim for a spinal injury to a baby during birth is made for the pain and suffering caused by the injury and for future loss of amenity and loss of quality of life. The calculation of general damages can only be made by a personal injury* solicitor, and a judge will need to authorise any settlement of compensation for a spinal injury to a baby during birth to ensure that it is adequate and appropriate.
However, before compensation for a spinal injury to a baby during birth can be calculated, your solicitor must conduct a full investigation of the case in order for eligibility to take legal to be confirmed. Your solicitor will also obtain medical opinions in this regard and also to verify the extent of the injury suffered and its implications for future health to ensure that adequate amount of compensation is claimed.