A cerebral palsy diagnosis can seem like the worst thing you could hear when your child is born. You want a healthy, happy baby, but damage caused during pregnancy or childbirth can leave your child with permanent disabilities. An Arkansas cerebral palsy lawyer is a legal professional with expertise on birth injuries who can help you get justice and compensation for your child.
Not all cases of cerebral palsy have a known cause, but too often it is preventable brain damage that triggers the condition. Let an experienced lawyer help you figure out if a doctor’s mistake caused your child’s disability and then work with you to seek justice.
Why You May Need an Arkansas Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
As you come to terms with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy for your child, it may not even cross your mind to have a lawyer on your side. But if your child was born in the state, an Arkansas cerebral palsy lawyer may be what you need to decide your next steps.
Many cases of cerebral palsy are caused by medical malpractice, preventable mistakes made by medical professionals. For instance, your doctor may have used too much force in delivering your baby and damaged her brain, or you may have worked with a midwife who did not properly monitor your health or treat conditions that impacted the development of the fetus.
Malpractice laws and cases are complicated, and you may struggle in deciding what steps you can and should take next without some expert advice. If you are struggling with expenses related to caring for your disabled child, this is another reason to rely on a lawyer. They understand sources of funding for disabled children. Finally, your child may end up a victim of discrimination. There are laws in place to protect the disabled from this, and if your child’s rights are violated, you may need a lawyer.
How the Right Lawyer Can Help Your Family
If you find the right lawyer to work with you on your child’s case, the benefits can be huge. One of the most important is getting compensation. Your disabled child will need care for the rest of his life, and that costs money. If a doctor or other healthcare worker was responsible for your child’s injury, a malpractice case can bring a settlement that will help support your child.
The laws are complicated, though, and require that you go up against big insurance companies. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the process and give you better odds of success. You may not even be certain if malpractice played a role in your child’s diagnosis, but the right lawyer can figure it out for you and let you know if you have a case.
Medical Malpractice and Birth Injury Laws in Arkansas
The laws that govern malpractice cases, such as those against doctors whose negligent actions caused a birth injury, are complex and don’t always favor the victims. For instance, you need to understand that if a court finds you to be even partly negligent in your child’s diagnosis, no matter how serious the mistake the doctor made, your compensation can be reduced.
It’s also important to understand the statute of limitations on malpractice cases in Arkansas. You have just two years from the negligent action to file a lawsuit. Or, if the error wasn’t immediately obvious, you get just one year from the time it was discovered.
Rights for the Disabled in Arkansas
You may also want to hire a lawyer in Arkansas in the future if your child is discriminated against for his or her disability. Federal laws ensure access and educational opportunities for people with disabilities. They also protect against discrimination. If your child is not being given fair access at school, for instance, this may be a situation in which a lawyer can help you make a case and sue the district for equal rights. In addition to federal laws, disabled people in the state are also protected by the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993.
Arkansas Birth Injury and Cerebral Palsy Cases
Many families have already filed lawsuits against healthcare professionals in Arkansas over cerebral palsy and other birth injuries. In one recent example a mother sued a midwifery service for the harm caused to her baby born with cerebral palsy.
The mother is accusing the midwives of several instances of malpractice. She was diagnosed with a kidney infection and a strep infection during pregnancy and has stated that the midwives did not take these diagnoses seriously. The infections have the potential to harm the unborn child.
During labor and delivery, the woman filing the lawsuits claims that the midwives failed to monitor fetal heart rate; they did not call 911 when she requested it during the home birth; and they failed to notice the baby was distressed. The newborn girl had seizures immediately after birth and struggled to breathe. After treatment at the hospital the baby was diagnosed with meningitis, brain damage, and cerebral palsy.
The midwife who failed to manage this birth and whose inactions caused a serious and permanent disability in the baby has had her license revoked in the state of Arkansas. Whether the mother will win her case against the midwife remains to be seen.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Child
Finding the best Arkansas cerebral palsy lawyer to work on behalf of your child is essential in getting the best outcome. As you search for a good legal team, keep in mind that you need someone who is an expert in malpractice laws and birth injuries. Your lawyer should also have a proven track record of helping families like yours.
You can search through the state bar association for a lawyer with the relevant experience. Another good way to find the best lawyer is to talk to other parents of children who have been in this situation. They can probably recommend a professional who has the proof to back up claims of specializing in birth injury cases.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or another type of birth injury, you may feel as if your options are limited. But with the right lawyer you can fight for your child’s rights and for the compensation he or she will need to provide care for years to come.