Cerebral Palsy is the leading cause of childhood disability in the USA, affecting around 10,000 new babies each year. At present, approximately 800,000 people, mostly children, are living with the condition.
The brain injuries that cause cerebral palsy usually occur before birth, during delivery, or in the months soon after. While many cases are considered unavoidable, as many as 20% are related to medical mistakes or newborn injuries caused by a third party.
If your child’s CP is due to an avoidable medical mistake, or malpractice, they may be entitled to significant compensation from a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
Many of the causes of cerebral palsy can be traced back to medical mistakes, including:
In addition, some infants and children suffer brain injury from the actions of others, such as with car accidents, physical trauma or negligent childcare. These families may also be eligible to file a lawsuit.
If you suspect your child suffered brain damage from any of these factors, it is important to have a lawyer investigate your case further.
It can be challenging for families to recognize whether a child’s brain disorder was caused by a natural occurrence or by the mistakes of medical professionals. Even when everything goes as planned, the childbirth process is a hectic experience, and parents don’t know everything the medical team is doing.
In some cases, a complication or mistake during delivery is so clear that parents know the moment it happens. Some signs of birth complication that parents often notice include:
In many cases, the mistakes that occur during delivery are only noticed by medical staff, and even then, they may not be noted in the surgical report. Regardless, busy doctors may not spend the time to give parents an explanation of birth complications.
Lawyers with experience in cerebral palsy lawsuits can obtain the necessary medical reports and perform a detailed review to find out if a mistake was made by doctors or hospital staff during delivery, and whether this contributed to your child’s injury.
Whether your child’s cerebral palsy ranges from mild to severe, you’re entitled to an explanation of the cause, and to seek compensation from a lawsuit.
Cerebral palsy currently has a number of different classification systems that may describe a child’s condition in different ways. Each can be helpful depending on whether they are seeing a certain type of doctor, applying for government assistance or trying to attain proper placement in an educational program.
While the Severity Level Classification system can range from mild to moderate to severe, the Topographical Distribution System focuses on the area of the body affected and whether it results in paralysis or weakness.
Finally, the Motor Function and Gross Motor Function Classification systems focus on the ability to control certain movements.
There’s no doubt even mild cerebral palsy can have a significant impact on a child’s life.
Due to the wide range of classification systems, it’s highly likely that a case of mild cerebral palsy may qualify for a lawsuit based on the areas affected and relative loss of ability to perform certain tasks or functions. To be sure, it is important to have a lawyer review your child’s case.
It costs nothing to speak with a lawyer, have your case investigated, or file a claim. Only in the event you receive a settlement, trial verdict or other award would you owe a portion to your attorney.
In all 50 states, cerebral palsy lawsuits are handled on a contingency basis, meaning there are no attorney’s fees unless there is an award to the client. Most lawyer agreements also say clients are only responsible for legal costs (such as copies, travel, expert fees, filing fees, postage, etc.) if there is an award.
The amount of attorneys’ fees can vary from 33% to 40% of the amount received. This usually depends on how far the case advances and the amount of work to prepare it for trial.
While there are no up-front costs to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit, the percentage for attorneys’ fees can seem excessive to some. It’s important to remember though that your attorney will commit their own time and money to pursue your case, which can be very expensive. And, they get no compensation or repayment if it fails.
Parents should never be asked to pay a retainer fee or hourly attorney fee in order to file a claim.
In every state, there are restrictions on how long you have to file a lawsuit after you or your child are injured. These laws are called Statutes of Limitation, and they can range from 2 to 6 years for adults in most states.
For claims involving minors, however, there is usually more time before legal rights expire. These cases may sometimes be filed up until children reach the age of 18 or 21. Regardless, it is important to know the Statute of Limitations for a cerebral palsy lawsuit in your state.
If you believe your child was injured by a medical mistake and you are concerned about their legal rights expiring, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Even if there is plenty of time to file a claim, it can become harder to recover the necessary medical records or get opinions of medical experts as the case gets older. Therefore, the earlier you begin the process, the better your chance of recovery.
DrugNews can connect you directly with a lawyer today at no cost who can discuss your legal options.
The results of many cerebral palsy lawsuits are bound by confidentiality agreements or aren’t disclosed. However, there have been several verdicts or malpractice settlements in recent years that can give examples of the amounts awarded.
While these cases may be samples of what a cerebral palsy lawsuit is worth, it’s important to remember that every case is different, every court has rules that may impact a case, and every jury will decide a case differently. Therefore, there isn’t an average settlement amount for cerebral palsy cases.
In the next section we've included some examples of recent Cerebral Palsy lawsuit verdicts.
Here are examples of recent Cerebral Palsy lawsuit settlements:
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you’ll need to have a lawyer review all the available evidence to determine their case’s value. Contact us today to speak with a lawyer directly.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it is important to learn whether their brain injury was due to medical mistake. A lawyer can discuss your legal options, investigate your case, and preserve your rights before they expire.
The costs of lifetime medical care and damages from loss of function stemming from cerebral palsy can reach well into the millions of dollars. It is unfair that any family should carry this burden without help if another party was responsible for their child’s injury.
In addition, the lawyer you choose may have a substantial effect on your case. Typically, lawsuits for birth injuries like cerebral palsy require gathering volumes of medical records, hiring and interviewing medical experts, technical research and litigation against powerful companies.
Therefore, It is important that you choose a Cerebral Palsy lawyer with trial experience in these types of cases.
The DrugNews Cerebral Palsy Center works only with attorneys that specialize in cerebral palsy lawsuits and have handled hundreds of cases. Contact us today for more information on the treatments, research or litigation related to cerebral palsy, or to speak with a lawyer. We are available 24 hours a day to help.