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Mississippi state laws govern the process for filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit, while federal laws agencies can help resolve discrimination complaints. An experienced Mississippi cerebral palsy lawyer will assist you in fighting for justice, but it’s always a good idea to understand the basic steps of the process.
Types of Lawsuits You May Need to File in Mississippi
Having a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy can be devastating, but there are things you can do as a parent to help. While legal action may be far from your mind initially, filing a lawsuit is sometimes the best option for getting justice or recovering damages that will help you provide your child with proper care and treatment.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
A medical malpractice lawsuit targets medical professionals that failed to provide an adequate standard of care for a patient, who then was harmed as a result. In the case of cerebral palsy, it’s possible that a doctor, midwife, or nurse made a mistake during labor or delivery, or even during your pregnancy that resulted in cerebral palsy.
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A lawsuit holds those professionals accountable and can recover damages.
As your child gets older, discrimination may become an issue. Discrimination by disability is outlawed under federal and many state laws.  Mississippi does not have state laws that govern these cases. However, you can still file a complaint with a federal agency to try to resolve the situation or even recover damages if appropriate.
How to File a Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Mississippi
If you believe your child was harmed because of a negligent medical mistake, you have the legal right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The process is governed by state laws that set several requirements you need to meet to get a settlement or go to trial in front of a jury.
- Know the statute of limitations. In Mississippi, you have two years from negligent medical mistakes to file a lawsuit. Exceptions are for instances in which you didn’t know about the errors before then. In these cases, you have two years from when you discovered the negligence to file. If you use this exception, you cannot submit your claim after seven years from the actual incident. 
- Discuss damages with your lawyer. It’s important to manage your expectations when it comes to how much compensation you can get in a medical malpractice case. The state caps non-economic damages so that the amount you can get for things like loss of independence is limited. However, you are not limited to economic costs, so provide your lawyer with information about all relevant expenses so they can determine a reasonable number.
- File a complaint and certificate of merit. A complaint, which is the document that outlines the incident and your allegations, is the basis of a lawsuit. In Mississippi, this must be accompanied by a certificate of merit. Qualified medical experts and state must sign this document and indicate that your case has value. 
- Negotiate a fair settlement. With the complaint filed along with the certificate of merit, both sides will investigate the incident and build cases. Most defendants will be willing to then enter into settlement negotiations. Let your lawyer have all the information needed to make your case and get you a fair amount of compensation.
- Go to court if necessary. If negotiations fail, you can take your lawsuit to court. Here, both sides present evidence and expert witnesses to prove or disprove medical negligence. It is up to the jury to make a final decision and award any damages.
How to File a Discrimination Complaint
Mississippi does not have a state civil or human rights law, so any complaint you have will fall under the jurisdiction of a federal agency, likely the Department of Justice. Your lawyer will know what to do and how to file the complaint and how to take the necessary steps.
Finding a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer to File Your Lawsuit in Mississippi
Find a reputable lawyer to help you get through any legal process to help your child with cerebral palsy. Without the right lawyer, the outcome may be disappointing. A general lawyer or someone with another area of specialty is not recommended. You need someone who explicitly takes on cases related to cerebral palsy, disabilities, and medical malpractice.
The state laws are skewed to limit plaintiffs’ ability to follow through and win, but the right lawyer knows all the ins and outs of the system and can give you the best chance of success. Only settle for someone compassionate, experienced, and ready to help families of disabled children.
Having a child living with cerebral palsy poses several challenges, and filing a lawsuit may become inevitable. If you live in Mississippi, you can get through this process and give your child a better life if you rely on the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable cerebral palsy lawyer.
- 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
- Medical liability/Malpractice merit affidavits and expert witnesses. (2014, June 24). Legislative News, Studies and Analysis | National Conference of State Legislatures.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-malpractice-merit-affidavits-and-expert-witnesses.aspx