Infant Lifetime Care TrustsFebruary 18, 2020
Multi-million-dollar medical malpractice settlements associated with birth injuries are having serious financial consequences for health care providers in Maryland. These huge settlement amounts are making it difficult for hospitals like Johns Hopkins to cover the malpractice insurance costs that continue to skyrocket. Self-insured providers also worry that they will have to cut back on obstetric services, eliminate them completely, or seek other drastic options that could mean having to lay off hundreds of employees. One possible solution to this problem is a proposed Maryland Infant Lifetime Care Trust.
Hospitals that deliver babies would pay approximately $30 million per year to fund the Trust. The patient’s physician would determine the care needed based on the severity of the injury, and the Trust would have to cover the costs of this care. Rather than settle for a lump sum payment, which may not be enough to cover long-term care, the Trust would provide guaranteed lifetime care for the injured infant. This would remove any speculation about future costs or the families receiving inadequate coverage for their infant’s care. If the birth injury was the result of medical negligence, the doctor and/or the hospital could still be held liable for damages, legal fees, and loss of income.
Downside of the Infant Lifetime Care Trust
While the Trust benefits many patients who require expensive, long-term care, malpractice could still offer generous rewards to some, and very little to others. In addition, trial lawyers question whether the Trust will be adequately funded, if victims will actually receive the care they need, and if ratepayers will have too much control. However, a similar system has been in place in New York for nine years and has been extremely effective. There have rarely been any appeals of claim denials. The legislation would place the victim’s doctor in charge of the care, rather than the Trust. Higher insurance costs are already covered by insurance ratepayers, so all parties will pay, even if the reform is not accepted.
Ideally, more broad legal reforms would be passed that would reduce the incidence of costly malpractice lawsuits and the million-dollar payouts. However, the Trust offers a more rational approach to the system of compensating victims of brain injuries at birth. It would ensure that victims receive the care that they need, while reducing the overall cost. It is not a perfect solution, but it can benefit all parties involved.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Birth Injury Victims
If your child was injured at birth, and you believe negligence was involved, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We understand how devastating it is when your child’s health has been compromised, particularly if it was the result of a preventable medical error. Our skilled and compassionate legal team will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.