Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits Explained
In most cases, cerebral palsy is caused by birth trauma or injury to the developing brain during childbirth. Negligent doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals who delivered your baby can be held accountable for their actions through a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
The best way to determine if your child’s cerebral palsy was preventable and if you have a valid case is to contact a cerebral palsy lawyer. A lawyer can give guidance and cerebral palsy legal help. These specialized birth injury attorneys have the skills and experience needed to evaluate medical records and documents for any signs of medical malpractice.
If you suspect your child’s injury could have been prevented, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
Benefits to Filing a Lawsuit
One of the main benefits of pursuing cerebral palsy legal assistance to file a lawsuit is to obtain financial compensation. The money won from a cerebral palsy claim can help cover the costs of treatment, therapy, medication, surgery, and more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that the lifetime cost to care for an individual with cerebral palsy is nearly $1 million.
Many parents are not prepared to pay for these unplanned medical expenses. A U.S. study reported that 40% of families of children with special health care needs experience a financial burden due to their child's condition.
If you suspect your child’s condition could have been prevented, you may want to seek cerebral palsy legal aid to learn more about getting compensation.
Another important benefit to filing a lawsuit is that it can provide peace of mind for parents of a child living with cerebral palsy. Parents and caregivers can feel a sense of justice by holding negligent medical professionals responsible for medical malpractice.
How to Know If You Have a Case
It is important for parents and caregivers to know what criteria is necessary to determine whether they have a valid case.
In order to have a strong cerebral palsy lawsuit, you must have evidence that shows your child’s condition could have been prevented. Your lawyer must prove that certain symptoms or events suggest something went wrong in the delivery room that led to your child’s condition.
Preventable brain injuries such as cerebral palsy are often the result of medical negligence and errors during delivery.
Examples of medical negligence or malpractice include:
- Excessive force used by doctors
- Failure to detect infections during pregnancy
- Failing to detect fetal distress or lack of oxygen
- Failing to treat severe jaundice in the newborn
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum delivery
- Neglecting to monitor a mother or child’s heart rate during delivery
- Neglecting to perform a C-section in a timely manner
If any of the items listed above took place before, during, or shortly after your child’s birth, you may have a valid case and should seek cerebral palsy legal advice.
How to Find a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
There are various resources to help you find a specialized lawyer that can provide your family with cerebral palsy legal aid.
The best cerebral palsy lawyers work at national birth injury law firms. These law firms have lawyers across the country with plenty of experience and expertise in birth injury medical negligence cases.
It is important to find cerebral palsy legal help from lawyers with a track record for success, no upfront costs, and expertise in medical malpractice claims.
Parents will be able to start the legal process with confidence knowing they are working with a trusted attorney. Connect with a lawyer today to get a free case evaluation and learn more about taking legal action.
How to File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
There are several steps in the lawsuit process when seeking cerebral palsy legal aid. Your personal injury legal team will be responsible for the majority of research and paperwork needed to file your birth injury claim.
Although each cerebral palsy case varies, most lawsuits follow the same steps in the legal process.
1. Case Evaluation
A free case evaluation is the first step in a cerebral palsy lawsuit. During your initial case review, the lawyer will investigate the details of your case and provide cerebral palsy legal assistance.
This step involves compiling all relevant medical documents, diagnostic imaging test results, birth records, and hospital bills that will be used to help prove your case in court.
Parents should try to keep track of any important documents related to their child’s condition. If there are any medical records you can’t get, your lawyer will be able to request them using Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization.
2. Written Discovery
The discovery phase compiles all relevant information that both sides have about the case.
At the beginning of the lawsuit, both parties typically exchange formal requests to obtain information. This may include interrogatories, which are sets of written questions that each side asks the other side to answer about information that is relevant to the case.
A deposition is an individual’s sworn testimony. The purpose of a deposition is to discover any information the witness has that could be relevant to the case.
Birth injury cases are generally focused on what knowledge both parties have of the events that took place before, during, or shortly after birth. Parents will be questioned about the events surrounding the birth of their child and their child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis in a deposition.
4. Expert Discovery
Some states may require reports from witnesses. Medical professionals are generally the expert witnesses in cerebral palsy lawsuits. These reports are detailed statements about the child’s condition and other facts about the case.
In order to win a cerebral palsy lawsuit, expert reports may be necessary in order to prove that medical professionals were negligent in their care and caused the child’s brain damage.
Mediation is one way to resolve and end a lawsuit. The purpose of mediation is to allow both parties to openly communicate about the case with a third party mediator rather than testifying in court.
Both parties have the opportunity to reach a mutual agreement about how much compensation should be awarded to the plaintiff. If both sides are able to form an agreement, the lawsuit will be settled without a trial. If both sides are unable to agree, the case will be brought to trial.
During a trial, both parties will present their arguments to a judge or jury. Trials will call medical experts and witnesses to the stand to offer their testimony as evidence.
Once both sides argue their case, the judge or jury will determine who wins the lawsuit. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiff's compensation claim, the court will decide the compensation award amount.
Settlements for Cerebral Palsy
A cerebral palsy settlement is a negotiated amount of money that is agreed upon by the family of the child affected by the condition and defendant.
Many lawyers will advise their clients to pursue a settlement rather than going to trial. There are several benefits to settling out-of-court. Trials can add significant time onto the lawsuit timeline.
Agreeing to settlement can greatly reduce the length of time of the lawsuit and get your family financial compensation for your child’s treatment faster.
Settling out of court and avoiding trial can also be less emotionally draining for your family. Parents and caregivers may not want to hear testimonies and relive the traumatic events that led to their child’s injury.
All in all, settlements can be a great way to hold negligent doctors accountable for their actions and help your child get life-changing treatment as soon as possible.
According to a study by the TDC Group, the average medical malpractice claim payout for children under one year old was $936,843.
Determining Cerebral Palsy Compensation Amounts
There are several factors your lawyer will take into account when determining your case value. The value of your medical negligence claim can influence the potential amount of compensation that may be awarded.
Lawyers will determine your case value by calculating the costs of current and future medical treatment needed as your child transitions into adulthood.
To determine your potential compensation amount, your lawyer will calculate the costs of:
- Assistive devices
- Different types of therapy
- Loss of wages and potential earnings
- Mobility aids
- Special educational needs
- Transportation equipment such as handicap accessible vehicles
How to Start the Cerebral Palsy Legal Process
If you believe that your child’s condition could have been the result of medical malpractice, start seeking cerebral palsy legal aid as soon as possible.
Starting the lawsuit process early can help ensure your family receives valuable financial compensation that can pay the overwhelming costs of cerebral palsy treatment. The best way to determine if you are eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is to contact an experienced lawyer.
Get a free case review today to connect with an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer to find out if you are eligible to file a lawsuit.