Birth injury settlements are higher than ever

There's an interesting trend in birth injury cases that Washington residents should know about. While the infant mortality rate and the number of babies injured during birth are both decreasing, the number of birth injury claims is increasing with higher settlements being reached.

The CDC states that there were 3,945,875 live births and 23,161 infant deaths in the U.S. in 2016, the latest year for which complete data is available. Birth injuries were ranked the fifth leading cause of infant death for that year, behind congenital issues, low birth weight, premature delivery and sudden infant death syndrome. However, between 2000 and 2006, avoidable injuries to mother and baby decreased by about 20 percent.

This is according to the Healthcare Research and Quality Agency. Its Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project came up with other data. For example, the agency claims that those of African-American or Hispanic background suffer fewer birth injuries than Caucasian and Asian individuals. Birth injuries are also less frequent in urban areas.

Some birth injury cases end in settlements ranging from $50,000 to $100,00, but more and more settlements are reaching multimillion-dollar figures. One reason for the increase in claims and the higher figures is that plaintiffs and their lawyers are better able to calculate financial losses, including past and future medical care, and the physical and emotional trauma that may have resulted.

In many cases, a birth injury is caused by negligence. With help from an attorney, a family could obtain compensation that covers damages related to a birth injury. A lawyer could evaluate a case and hire investigators, medical experts and other third parties to build it up with the necessary evidence.

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