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Children who have a birth injury shouldn't have to suffer from the consequences of a doctor or medical professional's negligence. They should be taken care of financially and have all of their medical needs compensated.

In New York, there are several ways in which families can recover damages for a birth injury. One of these ways is by enrolling in the Medical Indemnity Fund.

What is the NYSMIF?

As the New York State Department of Financial Services explains, The New York State Medical Indemnity Fund (NYSMIF) was "established in 2011 to provide a funding source for future health care costs associated with birth-related neurological injuries." This includes injuries to the baby's spinal cord and brain that result in:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb's palsy
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Brain damage
  • Nerve damage

How is the NYSMIF funded?

The NYSMIF is funded using a complex equation dictated in Sections 2999-g, 2999-j (6), and 2999-j (13) of the legislation with the same name. Money is deposited by the state's superintendent of financial to the fund annually and may not be transferred to other funds.

Who qualifies and what does the fund cover?

Individuals who are plaintiffs of a qualifying medical malpractice lawsuit are eligible to enroll in the fund. If an enrollee is approved, they will be reimbursed for associated health care costs that can include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical and hospital-based care
  • Medical treatments
  • Medical equipment
  • In-home care
  • Modifications to the home
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Prescription costs

Who can start the enrollment process?

As the New York State Department of Financial Services explains on its FAQ page, enrollees can be:

 

  • Qualified plaintiffs
  • Someone authorized to act on behalf of a plaintiff
  • A defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit

 

This means, if parents are not comfortable handling the application process themselves, the process can be handled by the family's attorney.

How long will an eligible child be reimbursed for medical costs?

Because the NYSMIF is designed to alleviate the financial burdens associated with long-term care of a birth injury, enrollees may receive funding for the rest of their lives.

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