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If you live in Alabama and have a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may be facing difficult and overwhelming choices. In many cases, cerebral palsy is triggered by medical negligence, and your child and family pay the price.
An experienced 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 they get 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 have the legal right to seek compensation against the responsible party. A birth injury or cerebral palsy lawyer can help you sort through all the information and help you decide if you have a case.
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A lawsuit against the responsible party not only holds them accountable, but it could also provide your family and your child with much-needed compensation for care costs.
Another reason to hire an Alabama cerebral palsy lawyer is to make sure your child is getting all the services and inclusion they are entitled to. There are both federal and Alabama state laws that grant rights to people with disabilities. If your rights are being denied, seek legal help.
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, on both federal and state levels. For the average 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.
Keep in mind that a general lawyer will not have the experience or knowledge you’ll for the best chance of winning your case. The right cerebral palsy lawyer will provide you with expertise and honest opinions about your case and your odds of winning.
Cerebral palsy is costly. You face medical expenses, therapy bills, educational interventions, assistive devices, and even home healthcare. An experienced attorney will lead you down the right path to possibly obtaining financial assistance or compensation.
Finding a Good Lawyer
An expert in cerebral palsy, malpractice, and disability will give you the best possible chance of winning any case you start. Take 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 generally advertise that they specialize in these kinds of cases. Look for a lawyer or law firm that can prove its relevant experience, and show proof of similar cases they have taken on. Search the American Bar Association, local agencies that assist children with disabilities for an expert lawyer.
Ask friends, family and community members who have children with disabilities for recommendations.
Alabama Birth Injury and Medical Malpractice Laws
A malpractice suit is likely the main reason you seek out an Alabama cerebral palsy lawyer. The laws regarding these types of cases vary by state; an expert right in your state and where the medical error occurred can help you understand the legalities.
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 rule states that if the plaintiff is at all negligent for the harm caused, even by just one percent, there can be no monetary award.
In 1991, the Alabama Supreme Court overturned a cap limit on malpractice cases.  What this means is that there is now no limit on how much compensation you can seek and how much can be awarded to you by a jury for a malpractice case.
Alabama’s statute of limitations for malpractice cases is set at two years from the time the incident caused harm occurred, or within 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
As mentioned earlier, if your 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 the federal 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 that protect against discrimination. Alabama’s laws regarding disabilities and rights are less inclusive than federal laws. The state also prevents people from suing to challenge discrimination.
What this means for you is that you and your child will need to rely on federal laws for protection. The right lawyer can help you figure out options if you’re 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’s absolutely possible to win a case in the state.
In 2016, a family won a $16 million verdict for their birth injury lawsuit. According to Al.com, Caroline Malatesta chose the Brookwood Baptist Medical Center in Homewood for the birth of her child. The medical center claimed it offered natural birth options. 
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. The baby wasn’t harmed, but Malatesta was. She now has a permanent injury and lives with chronic pain from a nerve disorder called pudendal neuralgia.
A jury agreed that Malatesta would not have been injured if not for the negligent actions of the staff. She was awarded 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 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.
- 2015 code of Alabama :: Title 6 - CIVIL practice. :: Chapter 5 - Actions. :: Article 29 - Medical liability Act of 1987. (n.d.). Justia Law.
Retrieved from: https://law.justia.com/codes/alabama/2015/title-6/chapter-5/article-29
- Caps on damages. (2017). American Medical Association | AMA. Advocacy Resource Center
Retrieved from: https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/ama-assn.org/files/corp/media-browser/premium/arc/caps-on-damages_0.pdf
- Caroline Malatesta opens up about birth trauma, bait-and-switch advertising of Alabama hospital. (2016, August 9). Al.com.
Retrieved from: https://www.al.com/living/2016/08/malatesta_opens_up_about_birth.html