A: Your disabled child needs to benefit from the medical malpractice case. Your child with cerebral palsy or other serious injuries needs to be taken care of for the rest of her life. Your child will probably outlive you - or will live beyond the point where you can physically take care of her - lift her out of the car, carry her up stairs, bathe, dress and feed her.
When you settle a medical malpractice case for a disabled child, for example, a child with cerebral palsy or other injuries from birth, you need to protect the settlement money and maximize the benefits your special needs child is getting.
Most of the time, you should establish a special needs trust for your child. A special needs trust allows the child to continue to receive social security and Medicaid benefits. It allows the settlement proceeds to continue to grow and can use the funds to purchase or renovate a home for the child, buy a wheelchair accessible van or car, and purchase other products or services that will enrich the child's life, like tutors, computer programs, specialized therapies (and that Medicaid and other programs won't pay for).
You should probably put a portion of the settlement proceeds in a structured settlement or annuity. This usually provides monthly income for life and there are tax advantages available in personal injury and medical malpractice settlements that often make these attractive. And they provide a lifetime of income for your child.
You and your child will benefit from not only our experience in medical malpractice cases for children, but we will bring in specialists in both areas - lawyers who draft and manage special needs trusts and a structured settlement broker who works only for people (not insurance companies, HMOs, hospitals, etc.) so you can make sure to maximize all of the available benefits and resources for your spcial needs child.
And you can set this up so it will take care of your child both now and long after you are gone.
We'll help you.
Donahoe Kearney, LLP
1634 Eye Street N.W.
Phone: (202) 393-3320
Fax: (202) 393-3324