How Experts Help To Determine A Settlement In A Case Of Negligence During Childbirth

To help determine a settlement, medical experts offer evidence concerning the additional requirements of this child as he or she is growing up.

We might consult a specialist in artificial limbs, for example. Most of the time, these situations are not unique. They have happened before and experienced professionals can tell you what the needs will be.

Everything has to be translated into dollars and cents, because the only way to compensate somebody for a deficit or for a loss is financially. We have to be able to assess what the child’s needs are now and in the future and how those needs are going to continue to be paid for. So actuaries play an important role. They take the cost numbers supplied by the healthcare professionals and estimate what the future cost may be. For instance, if the child needed an artificial limb, the actuaries help calculate the cost of these artificial limbs and how many would be needed over a lifetime. This would be factored into present dollar values and there would be a fund set up. There may even be provisions for taxes, if taxes were going to have to be paid, so that we would know exactly what was going into the individual’s hand in order to pay for these expenses. For example, if a $500,000 settlement today is put into a one kind of structure, the tax free money generated by the settlement would then generate taxable income. If you structure it with an insurance company, you can create a situation where there are monthly payouts that are very specific and are all tax free.

Many factors come into play when you have a settlement. The quantification of the settlement is reached with the help of experts who can give us general ideas about the present and future cost of care or of any type such as equipment needed or special home renovations, elevators or other similar factors. This need is then translated into present dollars. If the settlement is structured, then we can avoid the future tax consequences with regard to money generated by the settlement funds. Together, medical experts and actuaries are invaluable in determining what the settlement should be.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Tkatch & Associates

This article is taken from a May 27, 2008 interview with Murray Tkatch, LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer in Toronto, a Personal Injury Law Firm.

Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.