Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program Lawyer

 

The Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program provides benefits to children with birth-related disabilities caused by oxygen deprivation or mechanical injury during labor and delivery.

 

This article explains the purpose of the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program, what birth-related disabilities qualify, and what benefits are available to infants and children who are disabled by a neurological injury at birth.

 

If you have any questions, or are looking for representation, contact Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program attorney Corey Pollard for a free consultation. You pay no fee unless we help you and your child obtain benefits.

 

What is the Purpose of the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program?

 

The Virginia General Assembly enacted the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program in 1987. The law was passed as a direct response to the difficulty that obstetricians were having obtaining medical malpractice insurance.

 

The Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act, codified at Va. Code Section 38.2-5000, is meant to make sure that affordable malpractice insurance is available to medical providers who deliver babies and to limit their liability exposure. The Act is the exclusive remedy when a lawsuit is filed for a birth-related neurological injury by or on behalf of an injured child against a physician or hospital that participates in the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program. An injured child or his or her parents cannot proceed with a medical malpractice claim in circuit court.

 

More than 150 claimants have been admitted into the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program since its formation.

 

What Injuries are Covered Under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program?

 

Not all children with birth-related injuries and disabilities are covered under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program. A child must have suffered a neurological injury, which is an injury to the brain or spinal cord, caused by the deprivation of oxygen or mechanical injury occurring in the course of labor, delivery, or resuscitation. The injury must leave the infant permanently metrically disabled and (i) developmentally disabled or (ii) cognitively disabled. In other words, the birth injury must leave the infant in need of assistance with activities of daily living permanently. Proving this often requires the use of a Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury attorney.

 

Infants and children who are disabled because of a genetic or congenital abnormality, degenerative neurological disease, or maternal substance abuse are not entitled to benefits under the program.

 

Do All Physicians, Obstetricians, and Hospitals Participate in the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Program?

 

No. Many physicians and hospitals do not participate in the program, either because they do not want to pay or cannot afford the annual assessment fee required to participate.

 

If your child’s physician or hospital does not participate in the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Program, you can file a claim for medical malpractice in circuit court.

 

What Benefits are Available under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Program?

 

A child is eligible for the following lifetime benefits once accepted into the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program:

 

  • Medical expenses
  • Hospital expenses
  • Therapy expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Special equipment or facilities
  • Medically necessary travel
  • Compensation for lost earnings from age 18 to 65 (50 percent of the average private, nonfarm worker earnings)
  • Residential and custodial care

 

Unlike claims brought under the Virginia Medical Malpractice Act, there is no cap on the damages that the Workers’ Compensation Commission can award under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act. The award of benefits should include all medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and other expenses associated with the infant’s health condition and loss of earnings.

 

Further, a claimant may recover attorney fees under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury compensation Act. This is not true in Virginia workers’ compensation claims.

 

Who Decides Claims Brought Under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Act?

 

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission hears claims filed under the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Act.

 

As the claimant, we recommend that you hire a birth-related neurological injury attorney like Corey Pollard. The Office of the Attorney General will represent the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program and attempt to keep you from getting the benefits your child needs.

 

How Do I File a Claim under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Act?

 

You must file a petition and claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission to enter the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program. As stated above, we recommend hiring an experienced birth-related neurological injury attorney to help you get these benefits. The Commission has denied roughly 1/3 of the petitions for entry into the program and will pay your attorney fees if you prevail on the claim.

 

The following takes place once you file a petition:

 

  • Your case is reviewed by a panel of expert physicians from an in-state medical school

 

  • The Birth-Related Neurological Injury Program’s administrative staff reviews the claim

 

  • Your case is heard by a deputy commissioner with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within 120 days of filing the petition

 

  • The deputy commissioner who heard your case makes a decision on eligibility and admission

 

Either side has the right to appeal the administrative law judge’s decision to the full Commission. The full Commission’s decision may be appealed to the Virginia Court of Appeals.

 

You should not file a petition for entry into the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program until you have supportive evidence developed. The panel that reviews your case will determine whether your child satisfies the requirements of the program and make a recommendation. Though the Commission is not bound by the panel’s recommendations, a win at this level can save you the hassle of litigation and reduce your family’s stress.

 

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Act?

 

The statute of limitations for claims for entry into the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program is 10 years from the date of birth.

 

Do I Have to Prove that the Physician or Hospital was At Fault to Recover Benefits through the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program?

 

No. The Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program is a “no fault” system. You need not prove negligence on the part of the physician or hospital.

 

Talk to an Experienced Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Attorney!

 

The birth of a child is supposed to be a time of joy. But if your child suffered a birth-related neurological injury or disability, you likely have feelings of stress.

 

Benefits through the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program cannot give your child back his or her health. But they can provide financial and medical support to you and your family.

 

Call birth-related neurological injury lawyer Corey Pollard for a free consultation. We help injured children and their families across the state, including those in or near Richmond, Roanoke, Fairfax, Prince William County, Fredericksburg, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach.