Florida law allows the parents of a child suffering from certain birth injuries to receive financial support regardless of whether the medical staff committed professional negligence. The funds are provided by the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA). NICA allows a child to receive payment if they qualify under the following requirements:
- The injury is due to brain injury, spinal cord injury, oxygen deprivation, or mechanical injury;
- The injury took place during labor, at birth or immediately following birth;
- The birth took place in a hospital;
- The Infant is born alive;
- The weight at birth is at least 2500 grams, or 2000 grams if the child was a part of twins or was a multiple gestation baby;
- The child is mentally and physically impaired in a permanent and substantive way;
- The physician who delivered the child must also qualify in accord with Florida Statues section 766.302(7).
Certain conditions are not covered by NICA, including congenital abnormalities or genetic abnormalities. Reimbursement for services are also not included, if other sources will pay for them such as State or federal benefits or health insurance and any other type of prepaid health plan
Benefits include expenses for medical care, rehabilitation, training, family or professional residential care, travel, and more.
To begin a claim for compensation the parents or guardian must bring claim before the Department of Administrative Hearings (“DOAH”), if the claim is approved by a Florida administrative law judge NICA will communicate with the parents or guardians of the child to determine the extent to which NICA funds will cover the child’s expenses.
Although NICA allows a relatively inexpensive resolution to the burden of costs in caring for a child with birth injuries, some children fall out of NICA’s coverage. Nevertheless, non-qualifying children can seek financial relief from courts.
You can learn more about the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association by contacting a West Palm Beach birth injury attorney. The Law Offices of William E. Johnson, P.A. represents children who have suffered birth-related injuries. To uncover all of your legal options contact a birth injury lawyer by calling 561-832-4848 and scheduling a free consultation today. Our West Palm Beach malpractice lawyers can help get you the justice and compensation you deserve.