Birth injuries can be extremely costly for families to cope with. If a child is deprived of oxygen during the birthing process or if a child otherwise experiences an injury, the child may face a lifetime of impairment and disability. Parents and loved ones may need to cope with getting specialized services for their child, and may be faced with high medical bills and concerns about the child's future.
Florida has attempted to help parents to ensure they can cover some of the costs of birth injuries through the Florida Birth Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association. However, the compensation provided by this association may not cover all injury cases or may not be enough to fully provide for a child's needs.
Parents whose child is harmed during the birthing process must understand their options so they can take appropriate action to get the money they need to best provide for a child affected by a doctor's negligence.
According to research published in the American Journal of Law and Medicine about the birth injury compensation program in Florida: "Virginia and Florida both established their birth injury compensation programs in the late 1980s, in the wake of malpractice insurance crises that hit the field of obstetrics hard. At that time, obstetrician-gynecologists who delivered babies in these states paid annual liability insurance premiums that were among the highest in the country (the highest, in Florida's case), and they were sued often."
Compensation is available through Florida's program in limited circumstances, according to Nica.com. A child is eligible only if the birth happened in a hospital and if the injury occurred due to mechanical injury or oxygen deprivation. The injury must have happened during labor, as the child was being delivered, or when the child was being resuscitated right after being delivered. Only children with permanent, severe mental or physical handicaps are going to be eligible for compensation and only if a physician is participating.
With so many limitations, exceptions and caveats, many families cannot take advantage of Florida's program. For many other families, getting compensation through this program is also not the best solution because a civil malpractice lawsuit against the doctor, hospital, and other care providers could ensure families receive more money in damages to cover costs and to be properly and fairly compensated for the life-changing harm they have endured.
Families who have experienced the tragedy of a birth injury should act quickly in finding legal help following the birth of the child so they can work with an experienced attorney who can offer informed advice on the best way to get full and fair compensation. For many children, quality of life can be improved if parents have the funds to provide the very best in therapy and care. The doctor and hospital who caused the damage should be the ones paying for the child's needs.