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A cerebral palsy lawyer can help your family take legal action against medical professionals and recover damages. Cerebral palsy is a permanent neurological condition that requires lifelong treatment and therapy. As a parent, you can file a lawsuit for medical malpractice, but it’s essential to have an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer guide you.
What Is a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer?
A cerebral palsy lawyer is an attorney who helps clients whose children were born with or developed cerebral palsy. They help parents who want to hold medical professionals accountable and take legal action.
Cerebral palsy attorneys help parents, families, and individuals file lawsuits, seek compensation, and get benefits. They have experience in medical malpractice and disability law.
What Can a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Do for My Family?
An experienced cerebral palsy lawyer can tackle your complicated medical malpractice case. They have the expertise and knowledge to help you navigate the laws and lawsuit process.
Here’s how the expertise of cerebral palsy lawyers can directly help you and your child:
- Determine if you have a strong malpractice case
- Investigate to find evidence of medical negligence and provide relevant medical experts for testimony
- Provide in-depth knowledge of the specific laws in your state related to birth injuries, minors, and medical malpractice
- Offer experience from working on cases with other families like yours
- Give a better chance of winning against influential physicians’ insurance companies
- Provide a way for you to recover monetary damages that will help cover your child’s costs of care and treatment
Medical malpractice law is highly specialized. A general lawyer, or a firm with another area of specialty, cannot provide the expertise you need for this type of case. Don’t settle for anyone without direct experience and knowledge.
How Do I Know if I Need a Lawyer?
If your child received a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, you need to talk to a lawyer at a minimum. If there is a chance malpractice caused their disability, you and your child are entitled to seek justice and compensation.
Medical malpractice laws vary by state and typically don’t favor victims. States also limit the time you have to take legal action, so you must talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Without an experienced legal expert to guide you, the chances of winning are lower.
Defendants in medical malpractice cases generally have experienced legal teams paid for by big insurance companies. Lawyers unfamiliar with the detailed process of starting and working through a cerebral palsy case are less likely to win.
Lawyers specializing in birth injury malpractice cases know how to find the mistakes doctors made, gather expert witnesses, and hold negotiations for a settlement in your favor.
Is Medical Malpractice a Cause of Cerebral Palsy?
Yes, medical malpractice often causes or contributes to the development of cerebral palsy in a newborn or infant. Cerebral palsy is often a birth injury, meaning something went wrong during fetal development, labor, delivery, or early post-natal care.
Ultimately, what causes cerebral palsy is brain damage or abnormal brain development. Many factors can lead to brain damage, such as maternal illness or infection or difficult labor.
A medical professional could make a mistake that leads to brain damage in the fetus or infant. These factors might be considered medical malpractice leading to cerebral palsy:
- Failure to diagnose or treat maternal conditions
- Failure to monitor the progress of delivery or react to complications
- Delay in or failure to order a Cesarean section
- Too much force during delivery, possibly when using forceps or a vacuum extractor
- Mistakes during surgery or with anesthesia
- Failure to diagnose and respond quickly to jaundice in a newborn
What Legal Actions Can a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Help Us Take?
A lawyer will discuss your options with you and guide your decision on what to do next. If they think you have a case for medical malpractice, your lawyer will likely recommend you file a lawsuit against the hospital or specific medical professionals responsible. A lawsuit can end one of two ways:
- Settlement. Many cases end in a settlement because it is less costly for the defendants and their insurers. This is also a faster way for you to get compensation. Your lawyer will seek a settlement by negotiating with the defendants’ lawyers.
- Jury Verdict. If your case is very strong, your lawyer may recommend going to trial. You may also end up in trial if the defendants refuse to settle. In a trial, a jury decides if the defendants are liable and, if so, the amount of damages they owe you. Verdicts are usually larger than settlements, but you run the risk of getting nothing if the jury doesn’t find your favor.
Can Working With a Lawyer Help Us Pay for Treatments?
You can use the compensation to cover early interventions, treatments, and therapies, as well as ongoing care. An experienced cerebral palsy lawyer will give you an honest opinion about your case and your chances of getting compensation from those responsible.
How Much Compensation Can a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Help Us Get?
A cerebral palsy lawyer gives you the best chance of recovering damages in a lawsuit. The amount you may be entitled to depends on several factors:
- The severity of the disability, complications, and symptoms
- Past and future medical costs
- Reimbursement for home accommodations
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Lost wages if a parent can no longer work due to childcare needs
- Special education costs
- Counseling costs
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Loss of independence for a disabled child
Will an Attorney Make Sure I Win My Lawsuit?
There is no guarantee you will win your lawsuit for medical malpractice. Reputable cerebral palsy lawyers will never guarantee a specific outcome. There are too many factors that they cannot control. Only an unscrupulous lawyer would give you a guarantee.
Keep in mind that if you have a solid case of medical negligence that led to your baby’s cerebral palsy, you do have a good chance of winning your case with an experienced cerebral palsy attorney.
Many cases have resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements after plaintiffs hired experienced lawyers.
How Long Does a Cerebral Palsy Case Take?
A cerebral palsy lawyer will work on your case until completion, whatever the outcome. There is no set time for a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the process can be lengthy, typically months to years. Expect your case to take at least 18 months.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer?
Most cerebral palsy attorneys offer payment on a contingency basis. This means that you pay nothing upfront. The lawyer will get paid only when you win your case and receive a percentage of your recovered damages.
Talk about payment percentages for hiring a lawyer. You should know what to expect and not be surprised once the case concludes.
Where Can I Find Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Near Me?
You can easily find a lawyer or firm specializing in birth injuries and cerebral palsy by looking at advertisements. It’s important to be discriminating, though. You don’t have to choose the first firm or the one that advertises the most. Consider these factors in your search:
- Only choose a lawyer that specializes in medical malpractice cases, with a focus on birth injury or cerebral palsy lawsuits.
- Ask for referrals from similar clients or someone you know.
- Check with support groups or local organizations for disabled children for referrals.
- Look for a professional and informational website before working with a firm. They should have contact information and examples of similar cases they’ve won.
What to Look for When Hiring a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Not all attorneys have the same experience and background, and some may not deserve your trust. Here are some things to look for when finding the right lawyer for your family:
- Clear Communication. The law firm’s contact information should be readily available, and they should make it easy to get in touch and ask questions.
- Fair fees. Choose a lawyer who works on a contingency basis and does not require payment upfront.
- Free Consultations. The right firm will be happy to offer you a free consultation and will give you an honest opinion about your case, even if it isn’t good news for you.
- Honesty. A reputable lawyer will never guarantee you a particular outcome or specific amount of compensation.
- Proven Track Record. Ask for referrals from past clients and information on similar cases the firm has won.
- No-Pressure. You have a right to talk to as many lawyers as you want before hiring a firm. A good lawyer will never pressure you or make you feel bad for not hiring them after a free consultation.
How to Work with a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Once you have chosen a firm or lawyer to work with, be prepared to work with them from the beginning to the end of your case. They will need as much information as you can provide. Be prepared with:
- All of your recollections of the incident that led to your child’s diagnosis
- The names and contact information for all medical professionals involved and any witnesses
- Yours and your child’s medical records and bills
- Any other related expenses, such as travel costs or lost wages
- Any treatments or therapies you or your child had after the diagnosis
A cerebral palsy lawyer can connect you with the right medical experts to evaluate your child and determine the care they will need in the future. When taking legal action and deciding on compensation amounts, future care costs are important to consider.
Your lawyer will need you to be available, open, and honest. In return, you can expect your legal team to keep you up to date and get your permission before making decisions about your case.
Talk to a lawyer as soon as you feel like something was off about your medical care. This is the professional you need to provide advice and get the best possible chance of receiving compensation for your child.
- Cerebral Palsy - Symptoms and Causes. (2019, August 17). Mayo Clinic.
Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cerebral-palsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20353999
- Causes and Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy. (2019, September 23). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/causes.html
- The Washington Times. (2014, January 29). Lawyers: $9M Settlement for Boy’s Cerebral Palsy.
Retrieved from: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/29/lawyers-9m-settlement-for-boys-cerebral-palsy/