Cerebral palsy is a condition that causes a variety of disabilities, most related to movement, that range from mild to severe and debilitating. If your baby or young child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may have a lot of questions. You may be wondering if someone is to blame, if your child’s injury or illness that caused the condition could have been prevented.
In Alaska you have the right to sue for medical malpractice if you believe a healthcare provider was negligent in your child’s disability. The best and most experienced Alaska cerebral palsy lawyer can help you determine if you have a malpractice case and take you through the steps of filing a lawsuit and seeking the compensation your child needs to get treatment and lifelong care. An Alaska lawyer can also help you in case you believe your child’s rights as a disabled person are being violated.
You May Need an Alaska Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
A diagnosis of cerebral palsy, a lifelong condition, may come as a big shock. You only hoped your child would be born healthy and whole and now your family is living with this condition that can cause all kinds of disabilities. Your child may be cognitively impaired, physically impaired, have learning disabilities, and be in pain. They will need treatment, therapy, and if severely disabled, lifelong assistance and home care.
You may need to work with an Alaska cerebral palsy lawyer if there is any chance your child’s disabilities were caused by medical malpractice and negligence. The costs of ongoing care for a disable child are high, and a malpractice case can provide you not only with the money your child will need for the future, but will also allow you to hold the responsible people accountable for their mistakes.
You may also need a lawyer if your child is disabled and is being discriminated against or is not getting his or her needs met at school. There are federal and state laws in place that prevent discrimination, guarantee access, and provide for special education. Sometimes a lawsuit is necessary to ensure a child’s rights are not ignored.
How a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Help Your Family
If you do feel like you could benefit from legal action to help your disabled child, you need an Alaska cerebral palsy or birth injury lawyer. Many cases of cerebral palsy are a result of an error made by a doctor or nurse during pregnancy, labor or delivery, or right after birth. A lawyer with experience in these cases can help you by investigating and finding the proof necessary to hold the responsible individuals or hospitals accountable.
With a disabled child you will be facing the costs of treatments, like surgery, medication, and various therapies. Your child may also need educational interventions or assistive equipment. You may be looking at giving up work to be able to care for your child, depending on the severity of disabilities. Your family will need money to cover all these costs, and a good lawyer with relevant experience in medical malpractice and cerebral palsy cases can help you have the best chance of winning compensation.
Finding the Right Lawyer
In pursuing a case in Alaska for medical malpractice or disability rights, it is important to hire the right legal team. Not all lawyers have the knowledge and experience to win your case. Look for Alaska lawyers who specialize in malpractice and either birth injuries or disabilities. Ask to see evidence of past cases with similar clients and their outcomes.
You should also be sure you hire a lawyer or law firm that you feel comfortable working with. This team will be helping you for months or years. You need experience but also lawyers who have your child’s best interests in mind and who understand your family’s unique needs. Try looking for a lawyer by asking people in your community who have had similar situations, or by searching the Alaska Bar Association for a lawyer with the relevant experience.
Alaska Birth Injury and Medical Malpractice Laws
The main reason you are likely to need the help of an Alaska cerebral palsy lawyer is to start a malpractice case. A child may end up with this condition because of mistakes made during pregnancy care, in childbirth, and immediately after birth. Preventable mistakes that led to disability are considered negligent and examples of malpractice.
The laws regarding malpractice are set by state governments and can be confusing for those not expert in them. For instance, it is important to know that in Alaska the damages you can receive from a malpractice case are limited by your own degree of fault. If you are found to have ignored a doctor’s advice, for instance, and if this contributed at all to your child’s disability, the compensation you can receive will be reduced.
Also important is the law the state passed in 2014 known as the “I’m sorry” law. It states that any expression of apology from a medical worker cannot be used in a malpractice case to prove negligence. This can make it harder for victims to make their cases. You will also be limited as to when you can file a case. Alaska’s statute of limitations states that you have just two years to file malpractice lawsuits.
Alaska Disability Rights
A child with cerebral palsy is protected by federal and state disability and human or civil rights laws. The Americans with Disabilities Act, for instance, makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals with disabilities and guarantees access to all public spaces. There are also several federal laws that guarantee children with special needs receive the educational services they need, such as special education, assistive technology, and inclusion. In Alaska, the State Commission for Human Rights also protects people with disabilities from discrimination.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you feel that a mistake that caused it could have been avoided, you may have a valid malpractice case. If your disabled child is experiencing discrimination, you may have a disability rights case. In either situation, be sure to rely on a lawyer who understands Alaska’s malpractice and disability laws and has experience winning cases for families like yours.