A Missouri cerebral palsy lawyer is an important ally for parents with a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy or suffering from other birth injuries. There are too many cases in which the brain damage that led to this often debilitating condition in a child could have been prevented by better medical care. Doctors, midwives, nurses, and others are responsible for providing appropriate care and can be taken to court when they do not.
The right lawyer will be able to help your family take action against the responsible parties, find evidence to make your case, and jump through all the legal hoops put in the way of victims of medical malpractice. By working with a Missouri cerebral palsy lawyer you will have a better chance of winning justice for your child and of recovering the damages that will provide care for a lifetime.
What Is a Missouri Cerebral Palsy Lawyer and Why Do I Need One?
A Missouri cerebral palsy lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in medical malpractice laws and cases involving birth injuries and resulting disabilities. Cerebral palsy is often caused by medical mistakes, errors in judgement, and failure to provide appropriate care. If you believe your child’s condition could have been prevented, this is the lawyer you need on your side to take your case and navigate the complicated laws and justice system.
Raising a child with disabilities you may also need a lawyer specializing in disabilities for other reasons. As your child gets older you may face battles at school over getting needed special education services, implementing individualized education plans, and having access to playgrounds, fieldtrips, and classrooms. Lawyers who help disabled children will know what to do to ensure your child is not discriminated against and receives the free and appropriate education to which all children are entitled.
How Lawyers Help Families of Children with Cerebral Palsy
Taking action against physicians and hospitals is daunting for anyone without experience in malpractice laws. The laws tend to favor defendants and discourage malpractice lawsuits. The right Missouri cerebral palsy lawyer knows the laws in and out, know how to find the necessary evidence for malpractice, has experts on their side, and has the resources and experience to give you a better chance of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit against the legal teams of hospitals and their insurance companies.
The right lawyer can help you get justice for your child, recognition that their cerebral palsy was triggered by an error. This lawyer can also help you recover the damages to which your child is entitled. This is important because the costs of care for cerebral palsy can run into the several millions for a lifetime.
Lawyers also help families of disabled children with other financial and legal actions. They can help you set up a trust for your child’s care, for instance. They can also help you prepare legal documents for care and guardianship. And, if your child does experience discrimination later, the right lawyer will make sure it stops and that your child has access and opportunity, just like anyone else.
Medical Malpractice Laws in Missouri
It will help you to make better choices with your lawyer if you have some understanding of the laws in Missouri regarding medical malpractice, especially those that can restrict your search for justice. For instance, in Missouri the statute of limitations on malpractice cases is two years from when negligence occurred. But, for minors, you have until their twelfth birthday, which gives you some more time.
The state of Missouri requires that you file an affidavit of merit before beginning a malpractice case. This is where having a good lawyer really comes in handy. Your lawyer can find the expert needed to sign this statement testifying that your case has merit and is not frivolous. Without this affidavit you cannot bring your case.
In 2015 Missouri set a limit on how much you can recover in non-economic damages for a malpractice case. The law set the cap at $400,000, but it goes up by 1.7 percent each year. This limits what your lawyer can get for you in terms of compensating for pain, suffering, and other non-economic costs of the harm caused to your child.
If you need help to ensure your child gets justice for discrimination or gets an appropriate education and access to opportunities, rely on a lawyer who understands the related laws. There are federal laws like the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act that protect your child’s rights. Your lawyer will know whether your case falls under one of these laws or if it should be addressed under a Missouri state law or filed with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.
Cerebral Palsy Cases in Missouri
There are many examples of cases won by Missouri cerebral palsy lawyers for children with cerebral palsy or other disabilities resulting from birth injuries and negligence. In one case, the medical center, Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, settled a lawsuit for $3.8 million. The case was brought by the parents of a three-year-old boy who lives with cerebral palsy because of medical negligence.
The boy’s mother went into labor in 2013 and was admitted to Mosaic. He had high levels of bilirubin, a sign of jaundice, and four days after he and his mother were sent home he was airlifted to a hospital in St. Louis. Jaundice left too long untreated in a newborn can lead to brain damage, which it did in this case. The result is that the boy has severe, lifelong disabilities. The mother’s lawyer successfully argued that the doctor caring for her and the baby failed in his responsibility of care to notice that the baby had developed jaundice.
How to Find a Missouri Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
If you have a baby born with cerebral palsy or your disabled child is facing discrimination, you need a lawyer specializing in these very specific laws. You need legal teams with actual experience winning similar cases for other families. You can start with the state bar association, local community groups supporting disabled children, and anyone you know who has been through a similar experience.
Be sure you choose the lawyer or law firm that has your best interests in mind. Choose someone you feel comfortable working with and that you feel confident has the right expertise for your case. When you work with a good Missouri cerebral palsy lawyer you have the best chance of getting your child justice and the best possible care from resulting compensation.