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Filing a lawsuit can be an intimidating process. Along with federal laws, state laws apply, which vary from one state to the next. If you have a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you believe that negligence caused the disability, an experienced lawyer can help understand the intricate process of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In addition to justice for medical malpractice, it’s important to make sure your child has access to opportunities. Discriminating against or denying access because of a disability is illegal. Know the laws that apply in Alabama, and get to know the lawsuit filing process so you can make the best choices for your child’s future.
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Hire an Alabama Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
The best thing you can do to start a cerebral palsy lawsuit filing process is to find and work with a great lawyer. Alabama laws that govern malpractice cases and federal disability rights laws are complicated and confusing if you don’t have the legal experience and expertise.
Rely on a lawyer to help you understand the process and to guide your decisions. Look for a lawyer with:
- Relevant experience working on similar cases
- Past clients similar to you and your child
- References from satisfied past clients
- Expertise in either malpractice laws or disability rights and discrimination
- Fees applied on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to find the money upfront
- Compassion and patience working with clients and their disabled children
Types of Lawsuits You May Need to File on Behalf of Your Child with Cerebral Palsy
Having a child with cerebral palsy means you have important decisions to make about legal and financial actions. Sometimes this means filing a lawsuit or claim to fight for justice for the harm caused to your child or to recover damages you need to provide your child with the best care.
Filing a Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
If you feel that your child would not be disabled if it weren’t for inadequate care provided by a medical professional or team, you may need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare worker or organization fails to provide an adequate standard of care for a patient, resulting in harm.
This kind of lawsuit allows you to hold the responsible people accountable and seek damages.
Filing a Disability Rights or Discrimination Claim
Discrimination against your child can take many forms. Still, you likely know it when you see it: your local schools are not providing full special education services, public spaces are not accessible, or you are denied housing because of your child’s unique needs.
In these and other situations, you may need to file a discrimination complaint or start a lawsuit.
How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Alabama
To file an Alabama medical malpractice lawsuit, you must have a good lawyer on your side. This will make the process much easier, and the outcome more likely to be in your favor. Alabama has some of the harshest laws that favor doctors, so you need every advantage possible.
- Begin the process within Alabama’s statute of limitations. First, be aware of the time limit on this lawsuit. In Alabama, you must file within two years of when medical negligence occurred. However, for a minor, you have until the age of eight to file. 
- File the complaint. The actual start of the process occurs when your lawyer files a complaint. This must contain detailed descriptions of the negligent actions or inactions that harmed your child. You must also list where and when the negligence occurred and the individuals involved.
- Find expert witnesses. Once the defendants respond to your complaint, your lawyer can begin putting your case together. This includes finding expert witnesses to help prove medical negligence. Alabama law requires that these witnesses practice a similar type of medicine to the defendant.
- Negotiate a settlement if possible. The ideal outcome of this process is a settlement because it means recovering damages for your child sooner. Your lawyer will negotiate with the defendant’s lawyers and try to come up with a fair amount.
- Go to trial. If the settlement negotiations fail, your case will go to trial. Both sides prevent evidence, and expert witnesses and the jury decides if medical malpractice occurs and how much, if any, damages your child is owed.
How to File a Lawsuit or Complaint about Discrimination
Except for age discrimination, Alabama does not have state civil rights or an anti-discrimination statute. The state relies instead on federal regulations. This means that if your child has experienced discrimination, you will need to file a complaint with a federal agency. This is usually the first step to take, rather than filing a lawsuit right away.
For disability rights, the laws most likely to apply to include the Americans with Disabilities Act  and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act for school-related situations.  To file a complaint under these laws, you must do so with the U.S. Department of Justice. Your lawyer will know how to start this process.
In some situations, filing a lawsuit may be necessary. If your complaint does not resolve the issue, or if you believe your child is entitled to damages because of an incident, a lawsuit can help.
Your lawyer will file a lawsuit against the person or organization responsible for discrimination or denial of rights and begin the process of investigating, finding witnesses, negotiating, and making your case in court.
The process of filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit in Alabama can be confusing and in the case of medical malpractice, designed to favor the defendants. What you need to get you through this process is an expert lawyer who knows the laws and has experience winning for people like you.
- Medical liability/Malpractice statutes of limitation. (2014, March 20). Legislative News, Studies and Analysis | National Conference of State Legislatures.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-malpractice-statutes-of-limitation.aspx
- What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? (n.d.). ADA National Network | Information, Guidance and Training on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Retrieved from: https://adata.org/learn-about-ada
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (n.d.). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. U.S. Department of Education.
Retrieved from: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/