If you live in Alabama and have a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you are facing difficult and overwhelming choices that the right lawyer could make easier. In many cases this disability is triggered by negligence on the part of a doctor or other healthcare worker, and your child and family pay the price.
The right Alabama cerebral palsy lawyer can help you fight for your child’s rights, both in winning compensation in a medical malpractice case and in ensuring he or she gets equal access in education and other resources. Know the laws in your state that will protect your child, but let an experienced legal professional guide you through them.
Why You May Need an Alabama Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
If you suspect your child’s disabilities resulted from a medical error that could have been prevented, you may want to file a lawsuit. You may not be sure, but a good birth injury or cerebral palsy lawyer can help you sort through all the information and decide if you have a case. A lawsuit against the responsible party not only holds them accountable, it may also provide your family and your child with much-needed compensation for the costs of care.
Another reason you may need to hire an Alabama cerebral palsy lawyer is to make sure your child is getting all the services and inclusion to which he or she is entitled. There are both federal and Alabama state laws that grant rights to people with disabilities. If one of these is being broken, you may need to sue. For instance, if your child is not being provided with adequate assistive devices at school, a lawsuit may be necessary to push for it.
How an Alabama Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Help
Malpractice cases and disability rights cases can be complicated. There are a lot of different laws guiding them, both federal and state, and for the lay person it can be confusing and overwhelming. A lawyer well versed in Alabama malpractice law and disability laws can provide expertise to help you make sense of everything. A general lawyer will not have the experience or knowledge you need for these cases.
The right lawyer will provide you with expertise and also an honest opinion as to whether or not you have a case and your odds of winning. Cerebral palsy is costly. You face medical expenses, therapy bills, educational interventions, assistive devices, and even home healthcare, but a good lawyer can help you find the right path to take to get financial assistance or compensation through suing a negligent medical provider.
Finding a Good Lawyer
An expert in cerebral palsy, malpractice, and disability will be able to give you the best possible chance of winning any case you start. Take the time to find the right lawyer so you get the expertise and the relevant experience needed to file and complete a lawsuit.
Alabama cerebral palsy lawyers will advertise that they specialize in these kinds of cases. Look for a lawyer or law firm that can prove relevant experience, similar cases they have taken on, and wins for clients like you and your child. Search using the American Bar Association, local agencies that assist children with disabilities, and friends, family and community members who also have children with disabilities.
Alabama Birth Injury and Medical Malpractice Laws
A malpractice suit is likely to be the main reason you seek out an Alabama cerebral palsy lawyer. The laws regarding these types of cases vary by state, so you need an expert right where you live and where the medical error occurred.
The Alabama Medical Liability Act outlines how malpractice cases can proceed. For instance, there are tight restrictions in the state on experts who can testify in these cases. This makes it hard for plaintiffs and their attorneys to find the right medical expert to help prove their case. Another tough part of the law is the contributory negligence rule. This states that if the plaintiff is at all negligent for the harm caused, even by just one percent, there can be no monetary award.
The Act also limited damages that plaintiffs could seek in malpractice cases. The cap was eventually overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court, so that there is now no limit on how much compensation you can seek and how much can be awarded by a jury.
Alabama’s statute of limitations on these cases is set at two years from when the incident that caused harm occurred or six months from when you realized that malpractice occurred. If your child is less than four years old, you have until his or her eighth birthday to file a malpractice lawsuit.
Disability Rights in Alabama
If your disabled child is being discriminated against or is not getting needed resources, you may need an Alabama cerebral palsy lawyer to help fight for those rights. Your child has rights under federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Assistive Technology Act, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, and many others.
There are also state-specific laws granting rights and protecting against discrimination. Alabama’s laws regarding disabilities and rights are actually less inclusive than federal laws. And, the state prevents people from suing to challenge discrimination. This means that you and your child will need to rely on federal laws for protection. The right lawyer can help you figure out your options if you are facing civil and disability rights issues.
Examples of Alabama Cerebral Palsy Cases
Although the laws regarding malpractice in Alabama tend to favor doctors and hospitals, it is possible to win a case in the state. In 2016 a family won a $16 million verdict in their case of a birth injury. A facility called Brookwood Baptist Medical Center offered natural births, and mother Caroline Malatesta went there expecting a medically supervised, safe but natural childbirth experience.
Instead, she had a terrible experience. As Malatesta was in labor with her fourth child, a nurse at the facility pressed the baby back into the birth canal to prevent delivery before the doctor was ready. Fortunately the baby was not harmed, but the mother now lives with a permanent injury. She lives with chronic pain from a nerve disorder called pudendal neuralgia.
A jury agreed that Malatesta would not have been injured during childbirth if not for the negligent actions of the staff. She was awarded the compensation to cover her medical costs, pain, and emotional suffering. Although this was not a case of injury to a child, it does highlight how much can go wrong in childbirth and how important it is to have a good legal team on your side to fight against negligence and malpractice.
If you or your child has suffered because of negligent actions or inactions by a medical provider during pregnancy or childbirth, you may have a case to sue for compensation. If your disabled child is not getting the rights to which he or she is entitled, a lawsuit may be necessary. Let an Alabama cerebral palsy lawyer help your family fight for compensation and justice.