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If your child has cerebral palsy, you have the legal right to seek justice if you feel careless medical mistakes led to the disorder. You can also file a claim if you feel your child has been discriminated against. The process for filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit can get complicated, but an experienced Montana lawyer can help your family fight for the best outcome.
Types of Lawsuits to File for Cerebral Palsy in Montana
Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional fails to provide an adequate standard of care for a patient as established by most experts. When medical negligence causes harm to the patient, it is considered malpractice.
When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Montana, you help hold medical professionals accountable, and you could potentially win damages to help pay for your child’s care and treatments.
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Federal and Montana state laws prohibit discrimination of residents with disabilities.  Yet, disabled children and adults still experience discrimination. The most common discrimination scenarios happen at schools, in public spaces, or even in housing if landlords discriminate against your family.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Filing in Montana?
For your best chances of success, you’ll need a lawyer. State and federal laws that govern malpractice and discrimination cases can be challenging to understand if you aren’t a legal expert. Furthermore, a lawyer who does not specialize in these specific areas will not give you the guidance that a medical malpractice lawyer will.
Rely only on lawyers or law firms who specifically take on birth injury, medical malpractice, and/or discrimination cases. These lawyers have experience working with clients like you and have in-depth knowledge of the laws that apply. They can give you the best possible chance of getting through the filing process smoothly and accurately.
Filing a Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Montana
Every state sets laws for how malpractice lawsuits are presented and how they proceed. A better understanding of this process will help you make the best choices.
- Statute of limitations. The Montana statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits is three years. This means you have three years from the time of your child’s injury to file. Or, you can get three years from when you discovered the injuries. No lawsuit can be filed after five years of the incident. 
- Damages. If you are within the statute of limitations, your lawyer can begin the filing process for you. Provide your lawyer with medical records, bills, and receipts relevant to your child’s disabilities. Montana does not cap what you can ask for in economic damages, but you are limited to $250,000 in non-economic damages.
- Application for review of claim. To file the lawsuit, your lawyer will apply for a review of the claim., which is a document required by state law. It outlines details of your allegations and notifies the defendants of your lawsuit.  Montana requires that you take this information before a medical malpractice review panel. Both sides get access to your medical records, and the panel holds a hearing. The panel decides, based on the evidence, if negligence occurred.
- Settlement. If both sides agree, you can accept the decision of the panel and take the agreement from the defendants. The choice becomes binding only after both parties agree. If negotiation isn’t successful, your case will likely go to trial.
- Court trial. At trial, your lawyer will present all the evidence and expert testimony to a jury. The jury will ultimately decide the outcome of the case.
- Appeal. Either side can appeal the jury’s decision in a trial. An appeal can extend the time it takes you to recover damages.
Filing a Discrimination Complaint in Montana
Discrimination can come in many forms, but the Montana Human Rights Act and several federal laws outlaw discrimination. All of these complaints are handled by the Montana Human Rights Bureau (MHRB). 
- Intake interview. Your first step in this process is to schedule an intake interview with the MHRB, during which they will provide guidance.
- Complaint. If proceeding, you will submit a written, signed complaint outlining the situation and naming those responsible for discrimination. You have 180 days to do this.
- Mediation. You may choose to mediate with the respondents. The MHRB will guide this.
- Investigation. If you don’t want to mediate or the mediation fails, the MHRB will investigate the incident.
- Conciliation. If the MHRB finds there is probable cause for your allegations, there will be an attempt at mediation.
- Formal hearing. The conciliation may fail, in which case your complaint goes to a formal hearing, which will result in a decision.
If you are not happy with the decision, you have a right to appeal. You also have a right, even if the MHRB finds no reasonable cause for your allegations, to sue the respondent in court. Your lawyer can help you start that process.
Filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit in Montana is so crucial for your child’s future. A lawsuit can give your child justice, resolve a situation involving discrimination, and provide compensation for future care. But the process can be challenging to get through.
Rely on a Montana cerebral palsy lawyer to help you with the process and assist you in making important legal decisions.
- 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
- Discrimination. (n.d.). Montana Department of Labor & Industry.
Retrieved from: https://erd.dli.mt.gov/human-rights