This article has been fact checked by an experienced birth injury attorney. Sources of information for the article are listed at the bottom.
For any content issues please Contact Us.
A child diagnosed with cerebral palsy is likely to face many challenges throughout life, including medical care expenses, disabilities, and possible discrimination. While your disabled child should be able to live a life as fulfilling as any other child, there may be times when you need to take legal action to ensure it.
If you live in Florida and have a child who suffered from a birth injury or some other type of brain damage that resulted in cerebral palsy, you may need to find a lawyer. A Florida cerebral palsy lawyer is an experienced, knowledgeable professional who can be an advocate for your child and your family, helping you win justice and compensation.
Why Families Need Cerebral Palsy Lawyers
With a disabled child, you may face situations in which you need to advocate for their rights or for justice for the harm that caused the disability. Cerebral palsy is often caused by medical negligence.
When a doctor or other medical worker does not provide adequate care or makes a preventable mistake during pregnancy or delivery, it may be considered medical malpractice. A lawsuit can help you recover damages that will support your child in the future.
As your child grows, he or she may face discrimination. Laws are in place in the state of Florida and at the federal level to protect disabled rights and to ensure access and opportunity in education, transportation, work, and other areas of life. When those rights are violated, it may be necessary to take legal action.
How the Right Lawyer Can Help
If you are facing either of these difficult situations, a Florida cerebral palsy lawyer is the professional you need to rely on for guidance. These cases and the laws that govern them are complicated and require someone with expert and specialized knowledge to proceed. Here are some of the ways a lawyer can help your family in Florida:
- Investigate to determine if your child suffered from medical malpractice.
- Provide expert information on malpractice and disability rights.
- Help you decide what legal steps to take next.
- File a medical malpractice suit and make your case against hospital legal teams.
- Increase the chance you will win compensation to cover your child’s costs of care for life.
- Help you get a settlement rather than going through a lengthy trial.
- Win a verdict in your favor if the case does go to trial.
- Help you go up against schools and other institutions to ensure your child’s access and equal opportunities.
Hiring a Florida Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
It is crucial to hire the right lawyer when you have a child living with cerebral palsy. For medical malpractice cases, you need a Florida cerebral palsy lawyer who has experience winning for similar clients. And for discrimination, you need a lawyer with experience fighting for rights for the disabled.
For either type of case, check with Florida’s bar association to find a lawyer in good standing that specializes in these areas. You may also want to check with other parents of disabled children who have gone through lawsuits. Disability rights organizations in your community can also help you find a good lawyer. Make sure you interview a lawyer before hiring an individual or a firm and get answers about past cases, references from clients, and anything else you want to know before making a decision.
Florida Medical Malpractice Laws
It is essential to understand some of the critical laws governing malpractice cases in the state, although your lawyer can also provide this information. For instance, you should know that you have only two years from when the malpractice occurred or when you discovered it, to file a lawsuit. After that, you may lose the chance to win compensation.
In 2013, the state passed a law that makes it harder for victims to get justice. You now have to file an affidavit of merit before starting a malpractice case, which is a signed expert opinion stating that your claim has value.
Filing an affidavit of merit can be hard for an individual family to do, but the right lawyer has access to experts to provide the document. Florida also had a cap on the non-economic damages you could recover in these cases, but it was ruled unconstitutional.
Disability Rights in Florida
In Florida, your child is protected by many federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
There are also state civil rights laws that protect the disabled, so it can be confusing trying to determine which rule applies in your case. An experienced lawyer helps with this, through a necessary process of filing through the Florida Human Relations Commission.
Florida Cerebral Palsy Cases
Florida has recently seen a few cases related to disability rights and brought by citizens with cerebral palsy. One man lives with cerebral palsy and has related legal blindness, recently sued several businesses in the state for having websites that were inaccessible to him. The sites were not built to work with special software that blind people use to read the content. His lawyer is helping him make his case, and they have already received settlements from some companies.
In another case, a young girl with severe cerebral palsy nearly lost her home before lawyers helped her keep it. The girl’s parents claimed they were misled when agreeing to a high-cost, short-term mortgage they could not afford.
The family’s lawyer helped them win a settlement and agreement with the mortgage company that stopped a planned foreclosure and gave them more manageable payments to allow the girl to stay in the home where she feels comfortable.
Cases like these, and those over medical malpractice, are important in helping disabled children and adults get justice and compensation. If your family needs legal assistance for a child with cerebral palsy, whether in a case of a violation of rights or over medical malpractice, turn to a Florida cerebral palsy lawyer to help guide your next steps.