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 cerebral palsy lawsuit in Alaska can be complicated, so it helps to understand state laws that govern medical malpractice cases and state and federal laws that provide disabled children with rights and opportunities. An Alaska cerebral palsy lawyer can help you make the right legal choices on behalf of your child. The right lawyer will explain your options, give you expert advice, and make the Alaska lawsuit filing process easier.
What Kinds of Lawsuits Can I File on Behalf of My Child?
Families of children living with cerebral palsy will face several challenges. There are costs associated with treatment and therapy, and your child could face discrimination and denial of opportunities and access. To ensure your child gets everything they need, you may need to sue.
- Medical Malpractice Lawsuit. A medical malpractice lawsuit is filed when a patient is harmed after a medical professional fails to provide an adequate standard of care. Alaska state laws guide the filing laws. If you believe malpractice contributed to your child’s cerebral palsy, this kind of lawsuit can help you get justice and recover damages.
- Disability Rights Lawsuit. Alaska’s human rights laws and federal civil rights laws make it illegal to discriminate against someone who has a disability, and yet it happens. You can file a complaint with the state or sue if necessary.
The Filing Process for a Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Alaska
Medical malpractice laws are different in every state, so it helps to understand Alaska’s regulations before you get started. Even with the right lawyer in your corner, knowing the process and the laws will help you make the best choices for your child.
Get Matched with a Leading Birth Injury Attorney in Your AreaGet Help Now
File before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out
First, understand that there is a time limit on lawsuits. You can’t wait for ten years and then go after your former doctor or a hospital. In Alaska, the statute of limitations is two years, either from the time of the actual malpractice incident or from the time you could reasonably figure out it occurred.
Work with Your Lawyer to File a Complaint
The first step in the actual process of filing your medical malpractice lawsuit is sending a complaint to notify the defendants of the legal action you’re taking. This outlines what you believe happened to your child and how each defendant (if there is more than one) was involved.
Your lawyer will make the filing, but you must provide them with all the medical records.
Consider How Much You Hope to Recover in Damages
Your lawyer will also use evidence and information to help determine the amount of compensation you will ask for in your lawsuit. Alaska caps non-economic damages at between $250,000 and $400,000, depending on the severity of the harm caused.
There is no cap on economic damages, which estimate how much the negligence costs your child over a lifetime, including lifelong care, treatments, surgeries, and travel expenses.
Work toward a Settlement
Once the defendants reply to your complaint, your lawyer can attempt to negotiate a settlement with them. Many doctors and hospitals will settle. Your lawyer will work on your behalf to get them to agree to a fair amount.
Take Your Case to Trial
Settlement negotiations don’t always work out and may come to a standstill. If an agreement cannot be reached, you may need to go to trial. In court, your lawyer will argue your case, call on expert witnesses to prove negligence, and convince the jury to award you damages to be paid by the defendants.
How to File a Discrimination Complaint or Lawsuit
Your child may face discrimination in many forms, from not getting adequate accommodations at school to being unable to access public transportation. These forms of discrimination are illegal based on disability. The process of getting justice for your child begins with the state human rights laws:
- Contact the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. State law prohibits discrimination, and if you believe your child has been a victim, you can begin by contacting and filing a complaint with this state office.
- The Commission will give you the option of mediating with the person or organization discriminating against your child. It is a free and voluntary process that can settle the incident.
- If the conflict cannot be resolved, the Commission will investigate your allegations of discrimination. It will then give a determination.
- If the investigation finds in your favor, the Commission will guide you and the other party through a conciliation process. This is an attempt to come to a settlement.
This entire process can be intimidating, but if you have a talented lawyer, trust that they will fight hard to get justice for your child.
How to Hire the Right Alaska Lawyer to File Your Lawsuit
Hiring the best lawyer for you and your child is an essential step in filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit. Before you do anything else, look for the right lawyer to guide your decisions and the process of filing a lawsuit.
Look for a lawyer or legal firm with specific experience working on cases like yours. The lawyer should specialize in medical malpractice, disability rights, or working with disabled clients. Ask for references from past clients and make sure the lawyer is in good standing with the bar association.
The Alaska cerebral palsy lawsuit filing process doesn’t have to be so complicated that you give up hope. With the right lawyer fighting for your child, not only can you get through the process, but you can win and recover damages for your child’s care.
- 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
- Caps on damages. (2017). American Medical Association | AMA. Advocacy Resource Center
Retrieved from: https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/ama-assn.org/files/corp/media-browser/premium/arc/caps-on-damages_0.pdf