In Idaho, as in any other state, children with cerebral palsy and related disabilities face many challenges. The financial costs can also be challenging for most families. These children may need lifelong care, ongoing therapies, and assistive devices. They may also struggle in school and later in life, facing discrimination or by being denied access to services.
Families of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy can find an important ally in an Idaho cerebral palsy lawyer. This professional has expertise in the areas of the law that impact disabled children. Let a lawyer help your family decide what legal action to take, seek compensation for malpractice, get adequate benefits for care, and even ensure your child has equal opportunities at school and beyond.
Why Families Hire Idaho Cerebral Palsy Lawyers
Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by brain damage. The brain damage can be caused by a number of factors, and sometimes the exact cause is unknown. In some cases, it results from medical errors. If you suspect or know that a doctor, midwife, nurse, or other medical staff made a mistake or failed to take action while caring for you during pregnancy or labor and delivery or for your child after being born, medical malpractice may be the cause of your child’s disabilities.
An Idaho cerebral palsy lawyer may be necessary if you suspect malpractice. To get justice and compensation from those responsible, you will need this experienced professional. Another situation in which you may need to hire a lawyer is if your child is experiencing discrimination or is being denied appropriate services at school. Your child has a right to an education, just like any other, and to make sure that happens, you may need a lawyer on your side.
How an Idaho Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Help
Whether you’re facing the possibility that your child’s disability was caused by malpractice, or you worry he or she is experiencing discrimination, a lawyer with expertise in the right kinds of laws can educate you and help you decide what to do next. This is a difficult time with a lot of confusing information and options, but a good lawyer can provide compassionate, expert guidance.
Some of the specific things that the right lawyer can help you with include:
- Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Investigating to find evidence of malpractice.
- Making a strong case to prove negligence and malpractice.
- Negotiating with the defendant’s lawyer’s to get your child fair compensation.
- Establishing a trust for your child’s future care.
- Getting your child access to appropriate educational services at school.
- Ensuring your child’s special education plan is being followed at school.
- Fighting an organization that is discriminating against your child.
- Accessing government benefits for your child.
Finding the Right Lawyer
If you do feel your family can benefit from the services of a lawyer, make sure you hire only one who specializes in cerebral palsy, birth injuries, medical malpractice, or disability rights. This expert knowledge will give you the best chances of getting what your child needs, whether that is compensation or access and opportunities.
Local organizations for disabled people in the community or for disabled rights are great places to start your search for a good lawyer. You can also ask other parents you know who have gone through a similar situation and check with the Idaho State Bar to find an expert lawyer in good standing. Be selective in choosing who will represent your family and work on behalf of your child.
Idaho Medical Malpractice Legislation
When you hire the right lawyer to help your family, he or she will bring expert knowledge of the laws that guide medical malpractice cases. But you should also have a basic understanding of these laws so that you can make smarter choices for your child.
One important law to understand in any state is the statute of limitations. Being unaware of this law could prevent you from filing a lawsuit. In Idaho the law limits you to starting a case within two years of when the negligent incident occurred.
You should also be aware that if you are found to have any negligence in your child’s disability, for instance by not following a doctor’s suggestions, any damages recovered in a case can be reduced. If your negligence is greater than 50 percent, you may not be able to recover any damages. Idaho also has a cap on non-economic damages, restricting how much you can recover for things like pain and suffering to $400,000. This cap is adjusted regularly for inflation.
Before you can file a lawsuit in Idaho, you will have to submit a claim for pre-litigation screening. The panel gets to decide if your case has merit or if it is frivolous, and it can also recommend an amount for damages. This step is difficult to maneuver without a knowledgeable lawyer by your side.
Your child will be living with disabilities for the rest of his or her life. That means possibly facing discrimination and denial of access to education, transportation, housing, and later, work. But there are laws that protect your child. The federal education laws apply in all states and ensure that your child gets a free and appropriate education. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects your child from discrimination and denial of access in public places, in employment, and in other situations.
Idaho’s state laws also protect the disabled. The civil rights laws in the state are similar to federal laws. To make a case you must file a complaint with the state’s Commission on Human Rights. This is something a disability rights lawyer can help you do successfully.
Idaho Cerebral Palsy Cases
Lawyers in Idaho are always fighting for victims of medical malpractice and discrimination. One case involved a child born in Boise with jaundice. While not uncommon in a newborn, jaundice can worsen and lead to a type of brain damage called kernicterus. The mother’s concerns were not taken seriously and the baby was misdiagnosed with an ear infection. When he finally got the right diagnosis and treatment, the baby had suffered enough damage to cause severe cerebral palsy. A lawyer helped the family get a settlement for his care in a medical malpractice case.
An Idaho cerebral palsy lawyer is a professional with very specific expertise but also compassion and sensitivity for working with families of disabled children. You may need one of these lawyers if your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and will be living with this condition for the rest of their lives. They can help you get justice, compensation, and equal opportunities for your child.