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As parents of a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may encounter situations in which you need to make legal and financial decisions. If you’re unsure of what to do, and you could benefit from some expert legal advice and guidance.
Whether you think your child’s condition was triggered by medical negligence or if you’re facing discrimination for your child’s disability, a Maryland cerebral palsy lawyer is your best ally. An expert in medical malpractice laws and disability rights can help you make important decisions and take legal action to get justice and recover damages.
Do I Need a Maryland Cerebral Palsy Lawyer?
If you have a child with cerebral palsy, you most likely will need a good lawyer at some point if you think malpractice occurred. You may not be sure a preventable medical error caused your child’s condition, but the right lawyer will know.
You may suspect that your child is not given all the services or technologies necessary at school or that he or she is suffering from direct discrimination in some way. A lawyer who specializes in these kinds of laws can provide valuable guidance.
How a Lawyer Can Help You and Your Child
A Maryland cerebral palsy lawyer can do so much more for you than guide you through a lawsuit, although this can be so important. A lawsuit can help you get justice for your child, help you recover the damages that will provide care and treatment for life, and ensure that your child is getting a good education and access to the same opportunities as other children.
But there are other ways your lawyer can help you, your child, and your family. A good lawyer will be a guide and an ally, providing you with the information and guidance you need to make big decisions. Your lawyer can help you get the funding to which your child is entitled, through disability payments, government sources, or settlements.
If you need to set up a trust or draft legal documents for your child’s care in the future, a lawyer can help you do that, too.
How to Find a Good Lawyer
To find a good Maryland cerebral palsy lawyer, first, make sure to search only for those that do specialize in disabilities and malpractice. The laws regarding these situations can be complicated, and you genuinely need an expert, not a general lawyer.
Start your search with other parents. If you know others who have been through a similar situation, they may have a trusted lawyer or law firm to recommend. You can also search online or through the bar association in the state.
As you search for the lawyer, who will represent your child and your family, ask questions, and make sure you feel comfortable with the person or team you hire. Don’t be pressured into hiring just any lawyer. A good lawyer will be happy to answer questions, provide references, share relevant cases and experiences, and talk about payment.
Maryland’s Medical Malpractice Laws
Every state has its own set of laws governing lawsuits over medical malpractice. They can be restrictive, so it’s essential to understand the rules that could prevent you from getting justice. One consideration is the time limit, known as the statute of limitations.
In Maryland, you cannot file a malpractice suit more than five years from when the negligence occurred or three years from the time you realized it happened.
Before you can file that lawsuit, you will have to get a certificate from a qualified medical expert to state that your case has merit. It can be challenging to understand without the assistance of the right lawyer.
You should also know that state law caps the amount of money you can recover for your child for non-economic costs. This includes things like pain and suffering, and the amount is capped at $815,000.
Disability Rights Laws
You may need to file a lawsuit for your child over medical malpractice initially, but later, you may find that your child’s rights are being violated. Federal and state laws protect people with disabilities and ensure that they have equal opportunities and access to things like education and workplaces.
You can complain to Maryland’s Commission on Civil Rights if your child is experiencing discrimination, but it helps to have a good lawyer on your side. A lawyer with expertise in cerebral palsy and disability rights will understand whether you have a case for the state or if federal laws are being violated.
It can be confusing to know what to do to ensure your child’s rights, but expert legal teams will guide you.
Maryland Cerebral Palsy Cases
All cases are unique, and no past evidence can determine what will happen in yours. Still, it helps to learn more about previous lawsuits to have an idea of what to expect for your child when you take legal action.
One example of a successful case took place in Baltimore, where a jury awarded a boy and his family $21 million. The boy developed cerebral palsy after being born at Harbor Hospital in 2002. His family’s legal team argued that the staff should have performed an emergency C-section to deliver him and that if they had, he would not have suffered the brain damage that led to his disabilities.
During delivery, the boy experienced oxygen deprivation because the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. The staff was aware of the issue but continued with the vaginal birth that ultimately took too long and caused damage.
The boy is now severely disabled, but the money from the lawsuit will help provide for the lifelong care he needs.
If your family is in a similar situation, or if you aren’t sure if medical malpractice played a role in your child’s disability, contact a Maryland cerebral palsy lawyer today. An expert attorney will provide you with guidance, support, and information and will give you the best chance of winning your case.