Birth injury compensation awards - where does the money go? Image

Birth injury compensation awards - where does the money go?

Posted: 19/12/2014

We often hear stories in the media about the millions of pounds an individual receives from the NHS when they make a claim for injuries arising out of the mismanagement of their birth. Accompanying these news stories are often questions about what this money is used for and how so much money could possibly be necessary. 

The answer to this is that the money received comes from a very in-depth assessment of what the child with cerebral palsy or other similar injury needs to make their life as comfortable as it can be. These children, with the correct care, should not have been disabled. Every parent’s real desire in this situation is to restore their child’s health, but, at the very least, through pursuing a claim they can make sure their child has as fulfilling a life as possible.

The assessment is an examination of every element of the child’s life, from working out how big a property they need to accommodate their walker or wheelchair, to how many hours of care they need a day, how many carers should be there to help and where they will sleep. Every part of their and their family’s life is put under the spotlight. 

Until families receive their damages award they cope admirably with their child’s needs as best they can, but inevitably the money makes a life changing difference. It allows them to employ professional carers to help look after their child, taking enormous pressure off them and allowing them to be parents again. There are so many ways the money helps - providing hydrotherapy to a wheelchair bound child, giving them the opportunity to experience the freedom of comfortably using their limbs, making sure they have different types of electric wheelchairs so they can join in with sports and play with their friends, or ensuring they can comfortably holiday with their family and carers.

All of these needs continue throughout their lifetime and are inevitably expensive, therefore explaining why the damages awarded are so high. The very best experts in their fields are asked to consider what the child needs to make sure they receive the exact amount of money they require, no more and no less.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP