When you think of disability cases, you may think of adults who have been hurt at work or in an auto accident. But when a child is permanently injured in an accident, this injury has the potential of affecting that child’s ability to work and earn money when they become an adult and their parents who care for them.
Certainly, the cost of long-term medical care that will be required to deal with the child’s physical impairments may be what first comes to mind. However, in addition to the immediate surgeries, medications and ancillary care, there are the potential cognitive and emotional needs they may have. The impact on the parents and siblings can also be a source of concern.
The effect on the child’s future employability and earnings potential are opinions provided by vocational experts. The severity of disability, age at the time of onset, intellectual and emotional impairments are all part of the earnings capacity equation.
Cost of Raising a Special Needs Child
A child’s disability can also affect their parents’ loss of earnings. For instance, a mother can have a labor force loss of participation between 3 to 20 percentage points, with an average estimated decline of approximately 9 percentage points when they are responsible for their disabled child.
Mothers of disabled children make less money over their work life expectancy because they take time off to care for their child, separate from the financial loss of earnings to the disabled child.
Estimates for the amount of loss to the family vary depending on the methodology, jurisdiction, and data used, but the economic costs are indeed significant. The care for and the financial loss to a family has been estimated to be within the range of $20,000 to $60,000, with an annual average of $30,500 per family per year with a disabled child in 2014.
Dr. Manges has offered opinions on the long-term employment impact of children and their families when the child has experienced a brachial plexus birth injury, physical scarring and disfigurement from animal attacks, cognitive decline due to traumatic brain injury and loss of vision due to a defective toy. Perhaps he can help with your situation.
Dr. Kenneth Manges is a vocational expert who provides earning capacity evaluations and testimony for families whose child has been injured from a birth trauma or due to someone else’s negligence.
He provides evaluation services for seriously injured children in the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia geographical areas. He has extensive experience in evaluating plaintiffs who have suffered catastrophic injuries.