Birth injury compensation – how is it calculated and awarded?
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:
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.
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.
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.
The above areas are not exhaustive, as every case is different. However, lawyers should work together with an occupational therapy expert to calculate the cost of your child’s specific needs.
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.