Having a baby or young child diagnosed with cerebral palsy is a big blow. As a parent you may feel lost and unsure what to do next. Your family will be facing big medical and therapy costs, important treatment decisions, special education needs, and even legal decisions. What you need in Minnesota is an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer.
This lawyer knows the laws of the state, understands how to determine if medical malpractice occurred to cause your child’s condition, and can be your advocate as you fight for justice. The right lawyer will give you the best chance of recovering damages from the responsible party. This will help your family provide the care that your child will need for the rest of his or her life living with cerebral palsy.
What a Minnesota Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Do for You
There are many reasons you may want to hire a lawyer for your family and your child after a cerebral palsy diagnosis. Perhaps the most important and pressing is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician or hospital you believe was negligent in causing your child’s disabilities. Medical mistakes are often preventable, and if they are and lead to a condition like cerebral palsy, you have a right to seek compensation for your child.
The laws regarding medical malpractice are complicated and the task of going up against a medical center and insurance company’s legal team is daunting. To do it with the best chance of winning you need a Minnesota cerebral palsy lawyer. This is a legal professional who specializes in medical malpractice and birth injury cases. They have specialized knowledge and experience working with similar clients.
A lawyer can also help you as your child grows, if you need to make important financial decisions, set up trusts, make wills, and have other legal documents. If your child suffers from discrimination or is denied access or an appropriate education, a lawyer specializing in disability rights in Minnesota can help you get justice. They can help your child get access to special education services, assistive devices, inclusive playgrounds, and more.
How to Find the Right Lawyer for Your Child
When looking for a Minnesota cerebral palsy lawyer, don’t settle for just any malpractice lawyer. You need someone who works with parents like you, families of disabled children. They understand the laws involved, can investigate negligence to find evidence, and be compassionate in dealing with your family.
If you know other parents of disabled children, ask for referrals. They may have a lawyer that has been a great advocate. Or, turn to local community and state groups that serve the disabled community. The state bar association can also help you search for a lawyer with the right experience.
In choosing the lawyer who will help your family, insist on getting all your questions answered. Ask for references from past clients and find out all about their specific experiences on cerebral palsy cases. And don’t forget to ask about fees so that you can make the best choice for your family.
Minnesota Medical Malpractice Laws
One of the most important reasons you need a Minnesota cerebral palsy lawyer on your side during this time is that state laws regarding medical malpractice are complex and difficult to understand. They tend to put limits on victims, so that if you don’t have an advocate you can miss your opportunity to get justice and recover damages.
For example, every state has a statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. In Minnesota you have four years from the time the negligence occurred to file a lawsuit. With minors, this can be extended to seven years, but no longer than that. In Minnesota you must also file a certificate of merit before you can start a lawsuit. You will need your lawyer to provide a qualified medical expert to signs this certificate that states your case is valid and not frivolous.
One aspect of Minnesota’s medical malpractice laws that actually supports victims is that there is no cap on non-economic damages. This means there is no limit to how much you can ask for in terms of intangible costs like pain or suffering. Many other states limit it.
Disability Rights and Laws
Children with disabilities, like those caused by cerebral palsy, have rights. There are federal laws protecting those rights. These include the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, among others. These laws ensure that your child has equal opportunity and access in public places and that he or she receives a free and appropriate public education.
States also have disability and civil rights laws that may be invoked to protect your child and ensure a fair education, appropriate interventions and services, and equal access. The right lawyer, who knows these laws and fights for disabled rights, will know how and when to file a claim or lawsuit.
Minnesota Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury Cases
To get an idea of how the right Minnesota cerebral palsy lawyer can help you or your child, consider past cases won by lawyers in the state. They include the case of a family suing Regions Hospital in St. Paul. The parents of a boy born with significant birth injuries say that the staff did not take adequate action when the baby’s fetal heart monitor indicated he was in distress during labor.
There were complications during labor as the mother attempted to deliver the baby vaginally. The parents now believe the staff should have pushed for a Cesarean section. When the boy was born he had suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen and is now disabled.
Another case, settled in 2018, resulted in a $9 million award to the mother of a baby born with serious injuries because of the actions or inactions of her midwife. The mother, from Bradford, took her case to trial with the help of her lawyers and won. The jury agreed that the midwife was negligent in ignoring the fact that her baby was unusually large. During the birth the midwife used excessive force to deliver the baby, and this resulted in torn nerves and disabilities in his arms.
If you believe a negligent act or inaction led to your child’s cerebral palsy, you may have a strong legal case. A Minnesota cerebral palsy lawyer can help you decide if you have a case and guide you through the process of filing and following through with this important lawsuit.