Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that impact the body’s nerves. Children with cerebral palsy may have movement problems and disabilities ranging from mild to severe. Sometimes, they may experience other health problems such as seizures, as well.
When the careless actions of medical professionals contribute to a child developing cerebral palsy, the parents of that child may have legal options. Some families may be eligible to file cerebral palsy lawsuits to recover compensation. Compensation awarded in cerebral palsy lawsuits can help cover the financial costs of medical treatment and other damages.
What is the First Step in Filing a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?
Most people seeking to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit will need help from an experienced lawyer. Consulting with a knowledgeable law firm is often the first step in filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
Many law firms offer free consultations for potential clients. At an initial consultation, a lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine whether the a medical professional contributed to your or your child’s cerebral palsy, as well as whether your family is eligible for compensation.
If you are trying to decide whether you want to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit, Justpoint can review your situation and pair you with a law firm that is best suited for your exact circumstances. This can help you understand your options and what legal options are available in your case.
What Actions Could Result in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?
Sometimes, a child develops cerebral palsy, and it is no one’s fault. Other times, the careless actions of medical professionals can contribute to the development of cerebral palsy in children. Many actions can classify as medical malpractice, such as when doctors fail to follow the standard of care or fail to deal with medical problems within an appropriate time frame or through appropriate means.
The following actions might qualify as medical malpractice or medical negligence in a cerebral palsy lawsuit:
- Failure to diagnose and treat maternal conditions that increase the risk of cerebral palsy: Children born to mothers with infections like rubella and herpes are at a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy.
- Not following standards of care for labor and delivery: Doctors may choose to continue attempting vaginal delivery even when it would be safer for the child to perform a Cesarian section.
- Failure to utilize proper safety measures: A doctor may injure a baby if he or she fails to follow proper safety techniques during delivery.
- Not correctly treating infants for disorders, particularly shortly after birth: Severe infant jaundice can increase a child’s risk of developing cerebral palsy. If doctors miss this and do not treat it, it may constitute medical malpractice.
Sometimes, more than one individual may be guilty of medical malpractice, meaning you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against a healthcare facility or more than one medical professional. The lawyer that Justpoint matches you with can help you hold all liable parties accountable for their negligence.
Components of Medical Malpractice in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
There are a few different components that a lawyer will need to prove in a cerebral palsy medical malpractice case, such as:
- A doctor or other medical professional owed a specific duty of care to your child;
- That doctor failed to meet the standard of care; and
- The doctor’s failure to meet the standard of care resulted caused your child to develop cerebral palsy when they might not have otherwise.
To win a cerebral palsy lawsuit, your lawyer will need to demonstrate that a doctor or other medical professional’s actions contributed to your child developing cerebral palsy. They will need to gather adequate evidence for the court to award you compensation.
Your lawyer may also work with expert witnesses to discuss the standard care that should have been given to your child and how medical personnel failed to meet that standard. For example, an expert witness might be a doctor who practices in the same field as the doctor you are pursing compensation from.
Compensation Awarded in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
If your child developed cerebral palsy due to a medical provider’s negligence or mistake, you may be eligible for compensation. The costs associated with your child’s cerebral palsy can be extensive. For example, you may have expenses related to a variety of medical treatments and rehabilitative therapies. You be able to receive compensation for medical bills related to several areas of your child’s care, including:
- Bills for surgeries, such as corrective surgeries
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Special accommodation needs, such as wheelchair costs or home renovation costs to make areas handicapped accessible
Finally, you may also be able to receive compensation related to your child’s pain and suffering and the impact that cerebral palsy has on your child’s quality of life.
Holding Medical Professionals Accountable in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
For some people who pursue cerebral palsy lawsuits, it is not about the compensation. Pursuing these lawsuits can also be about accountability. For example, cerebral palsy lawsuits often involve holding medical personnel accountable for careless actions or failure to follow proper protocols.
Pursuing these types of lawsuits can help ensure that a doctor or hospital does not commit the same acts that contributed to your child’s cerebral palsy again. By taking legal action, you are helping ensure that other children are not hurt in the same way.
How Can a Lawyer Help with a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?
While working with an attorney to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit may seem daunting, attorneys understand the legal system and the laws and regulations that will apply to your case better than anyone. Having the right legal help on your side increases your chances of recovering maximum compensation. When you work with a qualified attorney, they can help you in the following ways:
- Review how the actions of medical professionals may have contributed to your child’s cerebral palsy.
- Help you determine who may be responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy, such as a doctor or other healthcare team members.
- Go over your legal options with you and the steps you can take to move forward.
- Handle all the communication and legal paperwork involved in your case.
- Gather evidence to support your claims.
- Act as your legal counsel throughout your entire case.
- Answer any questions you may have about your case and how it will proceed.
Does it Cost a Lot to Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
The cost to hire a lawyer will vary depending on the firm you choose to work with. Many attorneys, including medical malpractice attorneys, use a contingency fee structure. What this means is that the attorney takes a percentage of what you recover in compensation to cover the legal fees of your case. If you do not recover compensation, a contingency-based attorney will not charge you for their services. It is therefore important to check the pay structure of the lawyer you want to work with.
Let Justpoint Point You in the Right Direction
Sometimes, cerebral palsy is the result of medical malpractice. Doctors can act in careless ways that contribute to a child developing cerebral palsy. You can contact us for more information on how to move forward.