Birth injury compensation – how is it calculated and how much are you likely to receive?

When your claim for birth injury is successful, it is a lawyer’s job to ensure that the correct level of compensation is paid in order to meet your child’s needs for the rest of their life. These calculations are very complicated.

In the event of an injury, your lawyer will seek compensation to pay for:

Care
It is likely that your child will require some degree of care for the rest of their life. Your lawyer will calculate both past, present and future care costs. A care expert will assess the past care already provided by the parents, the level of care required currently and determine whether these needs are likely to increase in the future. Future care costs are usually calculated on the basis of a commercial care team.

From this, the expert will put together a costed plan. This may include daytime carers, night-time carers, and/or case managers to coordinate care plans.

Accommodation
It is highly likely that you will need to move to a new house which will need to be adapted to meet the needs of your child. Lawyers, with the assistance of an architectural expert, will calculate how much this will cost alongside the ongoing costs involved with maintenance.

Therapies
It is likely that your child requires a number of therapies, which they struggle to access on the NHS such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or speech and language therapy. We will include the costs of all therapies required on a private paying basis, as part of the claim for birth injury.

Loss of earnings
Your child’s brain injury may mean that they are unable to work in any capacity in the future, or that they are limited in their choice of work. Lawyers will consider what losses arise from the inability to earn any or a higher wage, as a result of the injury.

Equipment and Transport
It is likely that your child will need specialist equipment throughout their life, for example, a powered wheelchair, or as they get older special hoists to get them in and out of the bath. The initial costs, the maintenance costs and the replacement costs for these items will all be costed.

Likely compensation amounts for cerebral palsy

The way that damages are calculated means that no two cases are the same and any financial losses you and/your child may incur will have to also be taken into account, however the Judicial Guidelines for compensation can give you a good guide to how much you or your child might receive in general damages (damages for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) in a cerebral palsy claim.

The total value of a cerebral palsy claim is likely to be between £15 to £25 million depending on the severity of the injury, where the family live and the level of care required. Each case will be individually assessed to ensure the maximum compensation levels are claimed.

Severe Brain Damage in a child:

Level of injury Compensation guide
Very Severe Brain Damage – your child may be able to follow basic commands, open their eyes and return to sleep and waking patterns, and have some postural reflex movement. However, they will demonstrate little meaningful response to their environment and little to no language function. They will also have double incontinence and need full-time care.

The top bracket will be appropriate for a child only when there is a significant effect on their senses and they are severely limited physically, e.g. ‘locked in’ syndrome. They will also have substantially restricted life expectancy, e.g. under 15 years.

The amount will be affected by:

  • the degree of insight, if any;
  • life expectancy;
  • the extent of physical limitations;
  • requirement for gastronomy for feeding;
  • sensory impairment;
  • ability to communicate with or without assistive technology;
  • extent of any behavioural problems.
£247,280 to £354,260
Moderately Severe Brain Damage – your child will be very seriously disabled and dependant on others for their care, both professional and otherwise.

They may have physical disabilities such as limb paralysis, or cognitive disabilities with marked impairment of intellect and personality.

Any risks of further developmental issues will also have an effect on the value of the claim, alongside:

·         the degree of insight, if any;

  • life expectancy;
  • the extent of physical limitations and potential for future deterioration;
  • the degree of dependence on others;
  • ability to communicate;
  • extent of any behavioural problems;
  • epilepsy or a significant risk of
  • epilepsy (unless a provisional damages order provides for this risk).
£192,090 to £247,280

 

Moderate Brain Damage: (where dependency is markedly lower)

Level of injury Compensation guide
Your child has moderate to severe intellectual deficit, a personality change, problems with their sight, speech and senses, and is at significant risk of epilepsy with no prospect of employment. £131,620 to £192,090
Your child has moderate to modest intellectual deficit, their ability to work is greatly reduced if there at all, and they are at risk of developing epilepsy. £79,530 to £131,620
Your child has trouble with concentration and memory, their ability to work is reduced, and they have a small risk of epilepsy. Their dependence on others is limited. £37,760 to £79,530

 

These compensation amounts are strictly guidelines for general damages only and do  not represent the total value of the claim, which could be settled for much more than above depending on your child’s personal circumstances. However, as mentioned above, our solicitors will work to secure the maximum level of compensation for  your child to ensure their needs are looked after for life.

How can you ensure that a child’s compensation will meet their needs for the rest their life?

Compensation for a child brain injury is usually awarded by way of a lump sum, and an annual periodical payment which is index-linked in line with inflation. This goes to ensure that your child has enough money to last the rest of their life.

As mentioned, payments are ‘index-linked’. This means that even if the cost of employing carers or some other expense increases significantly, your child’s annual payments will rise in order to meet that cost. This gives many parents peace of mind, to know that their children’s care and other requirements will be met in the event that they’re no longer able to care for their child themselves.

Where your child will lack capacity on reaching adulthood, the Court of Protection will appoint a professional Deputy to manage the child’s financial affairs going forward.

Our dedicated Court of Protection team, who have a number of experienced Deputies, is able to assist with financial management and protection of funds throughout your child’s lifetime, giving you peace of mind for the future.

Contact us If you think you have a claim for a birth injury, and want to speak to a member of our specialist team, please contact us on

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