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.
The process of filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit in Alaska can be lengthy and complicated. It helps to understand some of the state laws that govern medical malpractice cases and the state and federal laws that guarantee your disabled child certain rights and opportunities. Even with a basic understanding, though, you may struggle to get through the process alone.
Rely on an Alaska cerebral palsy lawyer to help you make the right choices about legal actions on behalf of your child. The right lawyer will explain your options, give you expert advice, and make the process of filing a lawsuit easier and less stressful.
Lifelong Financial Assistance for Your Child's Birth InjuryGet Help Now
What Kinds of Lawsuits Can I File on Behalf of My Child?
A child living with cerebral palsy faces several challenges, as do their family and parents. You will have costs associated with treatment and therapy, and your child could possibly face discrimination and denial of opportunities and access. To make sure your child gets everything they need, you may need to file a lawsuit. There are a couple of different types that you may face now, and as your child grows.
- Medical Malpractice Lawsuit. A medical malpractice lawsuit is filed when a medical professional failed to provide an adequate standard of care for a patient and that the patient was harmed as a result. Alaska state laws guide the process of filing. 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. Another kind of lawsuit you may need to file to support your child is over disability rights. Alaska’s human rights laws and federal civil rights laws make it illegal to discriminate against someone for a disability, and yet it happens. You can file a complaint with the state or file a lawsuit 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 in the process. Even with the right lawyer in your corner, knowing the process and the laws will help you make the best choices for your child.
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 decide to go after your former doctor or the hospital where you gave birth. In Alaska, the statute of limitations is two years, either from the time of the actual incident of malpractice or from the time you were reasonably able to 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 the 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 and negligent.
Your lawyer will make the filing, but you will need to provide them with all the necessary information and medical records.
Consider How Much You Hope to Recover in Damages
Your lawyer will also use that 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 are willing to 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 try to 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 kinds 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 you or the other person does not want to mediate or you cannot resolve the conflict this way, 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 a little intimidating, but if you have a lawyer, you trust you can get through it and see justice served for your child.
How to Hire the Right Alaska Lawyer to File Your Lawsuit
Hiring the best lawyer for you and your child is the essential first 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 that has 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
- Aps 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