Frequently Asked Questions
Filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit is a process that can generate a lot of questions from parents and caregivers.
You may be wondering what the cost will be to your family – both financially and emotionally – and what the benefits are to filing a case.
By getting the answers to these questions, you will be left feeling more prepared to take on the legal process.
What is a case evaluation and how will it help my child?
Many parents tend to feel overwhelmed after receiving their child’s CP diagnosis, and it’s hard to know exactly what to do. A case evaluation will provide you with answers about what could have contributed to your child’s CP and whether you should file a claim.
A case evaluation is the first step in pursuing a CP lawsuit. This involves getting in touch with a cerebral palsy lawyer who will assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Most CP law firms will offer a free case review – leaving parents with little to no risk.
Getting a case evaluation can help because the quality of life for a child with cerebral palsy or other birth injuries depends vitally on the resources available to treat their condition. If you believe that your child’s CP could be the result of medical negligence, filing for a case can give you the opportunity for financial compensation. These funds can be used to alleviate the cost of treatment, therapy, surgeries and various other costs associated with caring for a child with CP.
How do I know I have a case?
The foundation of a CP lawsuit is that there is reason to believe that medical mistakes or negligence contributed to your child’s condition.
The link between cerebral palsy and medical malpractice can be demonstrated in many ways. If your child displays any symptoms of a birth injury, you may have grounds for a CP lawsuit.
Various items used to determine if you have a case include:
- Medical records
- The method or treatment used during birth and delivery
- Results from head studies, such as an EEG or CT scan
No two cases are the same and so each set of unique facts needs to be thoroughly investigated by your cerebral palsy lawyers and their consulting medical experts to determine if the care and treatment you received fell below the requisite standard of care. Click here for more information on what is needed to file a case.
How long does a cerebral palsy lawsuit usually take?
The length of a CP lawsuit varies widely depending on the jurisdiction in which the case must be brought. In general, these cases take several years from intake to conclusion.
What are the basic steps of filing a claim?
If you’ve determined there is reason to believe your child was harmed due to medical negligence, these are the basic steps of how your lawyer will proceed:
- Client interview and sign-up
- Collect all the relevant medical records
- Preparation, organization and review of the medical records
- Obtaining medical experts to support the case
- Initiating any required pre-suit procedures
- Filing of lawsuit by cerebral palsy lawyers
Does the legal team conduct the research for my case or do I need to do that myself?
All research will be done by your CP lawyers and their consulting medical experts. Because the parents of the injured child have the most intimate knowledge of the facts surrounding the injury, it is beneficial to work closely with your lawyers in the beginning of the legal process in order to fully evaluate all of the relevant facts.
What are some of the things I should look for in a CP lawyer?
Birth injuries are among the most complex claims to pursue. The area of birth injury law is constantly changing and also varies from state to state.
Due to the nature of these cases, there are 5 main things you will want to look for in a CP lawyer:
- Expertise in handling medical malpractice cases
- Experience with birth injury lawsuits
- A successful track record
- Contingency fees, which means that parents will not be responsible for paying any legal fees unless you win your case
- A client-lawyer relationship
Who is allowed to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit?
Cerebral palsy lawsuits are typically filed by the injured party and/or their immediate family. However, the laws regarding who is able to file a CP lawsuit vary based on your state.
In order to find out if you are able to file a CP lawsuit on behalf of someone else, it is best to contact an experienced birth injury lawyer in your area who will provide an answer based on your unique circumstances.
What will the initial consultation cost me?
Within most law firms, all initial consultations are offered free of charge.
What if I can’t afford a lawyer when I file the case?
Cerebral palsy lawyers usually advance all expenses and represent clients solely on a contingency fee. This means that there are no out-of-pocket expenses or legal fees for anyone interested in pursuing a case unless the CP lawyers are successful in achieving a recovery.
At the end of the case, if there is a recovery, the lawyer is reimbursed for the expenses and receives a percentage of the recovery. If there is no recovery, there are still no out-of-pocket expenses for the client and the CP lawyers will handle all costs and fees associated with pursuing the claim.
What happens after filing a lawsuit?
There are many things that happen after filing a lawsuit that your cerebral palsy lawyers will explain in great detail. It is a process that takes time, patience and cooperation. There will likely be a written discovery phase (acquiring of information in the form of documents and questions), a deposition phase (sitting for formal questioning under oath), an expert discovery phase (exchanging expert opinions which will be used at trial), a mediation (attempt to resolve the case before going to trial) and trial.
What are the chances I win my case?
Every lawsuit is different. There is no general percentage change that can be placed on the likelihood of winning. Cerebral palsy lawyers undertake a rigorous and thorough investigation process prior to filing suit to fully evaluate each potential case. If a lawsuit is brought on a client’s behalf, it is because the lawyers wholeheartedly believe that a meaningful recovery can be achieved for their client and their family.
Do most cases settle or go to trial?
The majority of meritorious cases settle prior to going to trial; however, there is no guarantee that a case will settle prior to trial.
How much compensation can I expect to receive after a cerebral palsy lawsuit?
The damages in these types of lawsuits vary greatly. The facts and evidence surrounding your case will ultimately factor into the amount of financial compensation you can receive.
What can the compensation of a claim be used for?
Among other things, this money can be used for wheelchair accessible transportation, home modifications, mobility aids, therapies, daily attendant care, continuing medical treatment and special education.
What happens if I lose my case?
If the case is unsuccessful, the client is typically not responsible for any costs or fees associated with its prosecution.
If your case is lost there are two possibilities. First, if particulars of the case merit further consideration, an appeal can be filed and the process can be continued in search of a different result.
The second possibility is that although the process did not provide for a meaningful recovery, it can be viewed as a success in determining if someone was at fault. This oftentimes provides families with clarity and peace of mind.
Get The Answers You Deserve
If you still have questions concerning a cerebral palsy lawsuit, get in touch with our experienced legal team. They will be able to answer any questions you may have about the legal process, as well as provide you with a free case review.