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In Indiana, you have a right to file a lawsuit if you feel your child’s cerebral palsy was the result of medical negligence. The process can be complicated, though. It helps to understand the process a little bit and to know how to get started.
One of the most important things you can do when filing a lawsuit is to hire the right lawyer. An Indiana cerebral palsy lawyer with experience handling medical malpractice cases, clients with disabilities, and examples of discrimination or disability rights violations, can make the entire process go more smoothly and end with a better outcome.
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Types of Lawsuits to File on Behalf of a Child with Cerebral Palsy
If you live in Indiana and have a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy and living with disabilities, there are a couple of legal situations you may face. You might want to consider filing a lawsuit over the actual medical care that may have caused or contributed to the condition or one over any discrimination your child or your family has faced.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
A medical malpractice suit is filed against medical professionals. You may submit this kind of lawsuit if you believe that you can show your doctor or someone else providing care made a careless mistake that contributed to or caused cerebral palsy in your child.
For instance, a doctor may have used too much force during delivery and damaged your baby’s head. This kind of lawsuit is filed to get recognition from those responsible and to recover damages.
State and federal laws protect against discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and education based on disability.  If your child has experienced discrimination or is not being given appropriate school services or open access and opportunities, you can file a complaint or a lawsuit to get justice and a resolution.
Do I Need an Indiana Lawyer to File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?
Yes. Do not proceed in filing any of these lawsuits without the right lawyer by your side. There are several reasons you need an experienced Indiana lawyer for the process of filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit. A layer can:
- Explain your legal options and help you determine what kind of suit to file.
- Educate you about the laws and how they apply to your situation.
- Make every step of the filing process more comfortable.
- Give you a better chance of winning your case and recovering damages for your child.
- Pinpoint which Indiana or federal law applies in a case of discrimination.
How to File a Medical Malpractice Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit in Indiana
The process of filing a medical malpractice suit must begin within the state’s statute of limitations. Indiana law states that a malpractice case must be filed within two years of the incident. Or, if you discover the negligence later, it can be filed within two years of discovery.  Minors who were harmed under the age of six have until their eighth birthday to begin the process.
File a Complaint with the Medical Review Panel
As long as you are within the statute of limitations, the first step you’ll need to go through for a medical malpractice case is to file with the state’s medical review panel. Your lawyer will prepare a document that details the negligent incident for review by the panel.
The panel has 180 days to investigate and formal opinion. If it is in your favor, you can use the advice in your case, but it is not considered binding or conclusive.
File the Lawsuit
Once you have gone through the review panel, you can go forward with the actual lawsuit. This will proceed as usual for a suit, with a complaint notifying defendants. They then have a certain amount of time to respond and decide if they will participate in settlement negotiations.
Negotiate a Settlement
The best outcome, because it takes the least amount of time, is for the defendants to agree to settle and give your child a fair amount of compensation. Your lawyer will engage in these negotiations on your behalf, but you have the ultimate decision on whether or not to accept an amount.
Go to Trial
Only if the negotiations fail or the defendants refuse to try to settle will you have to take your lawsuit to court. This is not often the outcome, but it does happen. In a trial, your lawyer argues your case and presents evidence and testimony to prove that your child suffered from medical negligence. The jury makes the final decision and awards any damages.
How to File a Discrimination Complaint in Indiana
Many cases of discrimination go through a state agency. Your lawyer will know if your situation should be handled under federal law instead of state law.
- Under state law, the process begins with a complaint filed to the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. You can file this complaint by phone, by mail, online, or in person. 
- The Commission will then review your complaint and help you draft a Complaint of Discrimination Form.
- A Commission officer can then help you determine if you are eligible, and if you are, will assign an investigator.
- The investigator handles your complaint by determining if your case has merit and coming up with a final determination and a recommendation for what should happen next.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of this process, state law in Indiana does allow you to take private action. This means you can sue the responsible person or organization. For instance, if a landlord refused your family a rental because of your child’s disability, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages.
Filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit in Indiana is essential when your child has suffered because of medical malpractice or discrimination. A trial can provide remediation, a sense of justice, and much-needed damages. The process can seem daunting, but if you find the right lawyer to help your family, you can expect a good outcome.
- 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
- 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
- Indiana Civil Rights Commission: Complaint process. (n.d.). The Indiana Civil Rights Commission
Retrieved from: https://www.in.gov/icrc/3091.htm