Children born with cerebral palsy will live with disabilities for the rest of their lives. If your child was diagnosed with this condition, you will be facing a number of difficult decisions about therapy and treatment as well as the costs of care. Legal action may not be on your mind, but it should be.
A medical professional may have been negligent in your child’s disability. A Georgia cerebral palsy lawyer can help you investigate and determine if you have a valid medical malpractice case. If you do, this professional can guide you through the process and help you recover the damages that will help provide care for your child for decades to come.
Who Needs a Georgia Cerebral Palsy Lawyer?
Anyone who has a child born with and newly diagnosed with cerebral palsy may need a Georgia cerebral palsy lawyer. Sometimes the reason that a child suffered brain damage that led to this condition cannot be determined. But in too many cases the cause is clearly medical negligence. Filing a malpractice case without legal representation is not recommended, so you may need a lawyer to help you move forward.
As your child grows and you try to provide him with a full, satisfying life, you may come up against discrimination. Under federal law and Georgia state laws, disabled people have right to equal access and opportunity in many areas of life. While your child is in school you may come up against institutions that deny this access. Without an experienced lawyer to guide you, it can be difficult to know what to do about this discrimination.
How a Lawyer Can Help Your Family
A Georgia cerebral palsy lawyer can help you, your family, and your disabled child in a number of ways. The first and most important is determining if you have a case and a lawsuit to file. It can be overwhelming sorting through medical records trying to see if you can prove medical negligence in your child’s injury. An experienced lawyer specializing in these kinds of cases know how to find the evidence and can tell you if you have a strong enough case.
That lawyer can then help you go up against the very powerful legal teams working for insurance companies. The right law firm will have the expertise and experience to give you a good chance of proving your case and winning compensation that will help your family cope with the high costs of care for a disabled child.
If your child is later discriminated against, a civil rights lawyer can help you get justice. They can also help you ensure that the institutions denying access to your child will be challenged and forced to change. This kind of legal help can be life-changing for a child facing discrimination.
Finding a Georgia Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
To get the best help for your child’s legal needs, be sure you work only with a lawyer or law firm that specializes in medical malpractice or disability rights. These cases are complicated and require special expertise. The state bar association can help you find a lawyer with the right qualifications as can anyone in the disability community, including other parents and community organizations.
As you search for the right Georgia cerebral palsy lawyer, take some time to interview more than one. You want to act quickly but also find the lawyer you feel comfortable having on your child’s side. Ask questions, ask about experience in similar cases, and insist on references to help you feel good about your choice.
Medical Malpractice in Georgia
Medical malpractice laws are set by each state. They are notoriously complex and often favor the defendants, not the victims. This is one reason you need a good lawyer on your side, but it also helps to have a basic understanding of what they are. For instance, the statute of limitations on malpractice cases is two years from the negligent action or from when it was discovered. If you are unaware of this law, you may miss your chance to file a lawsuit.
Georgia also requires that plaintiffs in these cases file an affidavit before beginning a malpractice suit. This is testimony from a qualified medical expert stating that your case has merit. A lawyer can help you find the expert to do this. A cap on the amount of damages you can recover for non-economic costs was deemed unconstitutional by the Georgia Supreme Court.
Disability Rights in Georgia
Understanding disability rights in the state is essential as you raise a child with cerebral palsy. Even so it can be difficult to understand the laws and what it means for your child. This is why a lawyer with civil rights expertise can be helpful. Many laws apply here, including federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act. Some state laws may also apply.
Birth Injury Cases in Georgia
Lawyers in Georgia dedicated to helping families victimized by the negligent actions of medical caregivers have won numerous cases. They have helped children and their parents recover damages and hold the responsible hospitals and doctors accountable for their mistakes.
One such case began in 2013 and ended with a $13.9 million verdict for the plaintiff in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The staff at the hospital was found negligent when they failed to perform adequate fetal monitoring on a woman during delivery. Nurses responsible for that monitoring didn’t detect that the baby was being deprived of oxygen. The baby nearly died after being born. She was resuscitated but left with severe brain damage and cerebral palsy. The jury award was appealed, but the family’s lawyers were able to ensure it was upheld.
Another case also originated in Gwinnett County and involved cerebral palsy of a baby that suffered brain damage. A jury in Lawrenceville, Georgia awarded the child and her mother a total of $30.5 million in 2016. The mother went to her doctor complaining of not feeling her baby move at 35 weeks. The doctor performed tests and found troubling signs of complications but failed to deliver at the time. Instead he sent her to the hospital for more monitoring. There a miscommunication led to delays in her care and a delayed delivery. The baby was born with brain injury and now has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy among other disabilities.
These cases are just some of the examples of the ways in which a Georgia cerebral palsy lawyer can be a family’s best ally when you get the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. The right lawyer can help your family get justice and the compensation your child will need to cover care for years to come.