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If you have a child with cerebral palsy, you may be facing tough decisions. Deciding whether or not to take legal action against your doctors, financial decisions, and others are stressful and exhausting. A North Carolina cerebral palsy lawyer, a legal expert with experience helping children with this condition, can help you.
The right lawyer will have the expertise to guide your decisions and the compassion to be able to help you and work with you and your child for years to come. A good lawyer will make filing a lawsuit easier and will help you make the best, most convincing case that your child suffered birth injuries because of medical malpractice.
When to Hire a North Carolina Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
A diagnosis for a baby of cerebral palsy can be devastating. Your family faces a lot of challenges, including choosing and paying for treatments. You may suspect that your doctor, midwife, or nurse was negligent in some way in your child’s diagnosis, but you don’t know what to do about it. This is the number one reason that you may need to hire a North Carolina cerebral palsy lawyer.
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Medical negligence is dangerous, and those responsible must be held accountable. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is complicated, and proving negligence is even harder. The right lawyer is what you need during this time to help represent you and file that lawsuit.
Even if you ultimately decide not to file a lawsuit over negligence, you still may need a lawyer to help your family. Having a good lawyer, someone whose expertise and judgment you trust is essential. You will likely have a need in the future for this lawyer, so finding one early will make sense in the long run.
Later, legal requirements may include fighting discrimination, fighting schools for special education services, and drafting legal documents for your child’s care.
How a North Carolina Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Help You Now and in the Future
Choose the right lawyer, and you will have an ally for many years to come. Just having this person in your corner, providing advice, expertise, and guidance will take a significant weight off your shoulders. They will help you make the choices that are best for your child’s ongoing care and future.
One of the most critical ways in which a North Carolina cerebral palsy lawyer will help you is by giving you a strong chance of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is important because a win means holding those responsible accountable and also recovering damages. Monetary damages will help you provide your child with the best possible care and could help for many years.
As your child grows older, you may face discrimination and fights for your child’s right to government assistance and benefits. You may have to go up against your public schools to ensure an appropriate education.
A good lawyer will be able to help you in all of these fights and give you a better chance of success. Your lawyer will also help with other, smaller battles, like deciding how to provide ongoing care for your child, making financial decisions, setting up trusts, and drafting necessary documents, such as a living will.
Medical Malpractice in North Carolina
Make the most of your lawyer’s expertise and judgment by learning a little bit about the medical malpractice laws in North Carolina. A basic understanding will help you make better choices for your child.
The statute of limitations in the state, for instance, will determine when it’s too late to file a lawsuit. You have three years from when the negligence occurred or one year from when you realized it happened. 
The laws in the state also make it especially difficult to prove medical negligence in cases of pregnancy care. You have a very high burden of proof, which puts even more emphasis on the need for an excellent lawyer to take your side.
North Carolina also caps the amount of non-economic damages you can recover in a lawsuit to about $500,000 depending on inflation.  Lawyers of a woman severely harmed by negligence are taking her case to the state Supreme Court to challenge that cap.
You also may have to take legal action on behalf of your child over discrimination or denial of rights. Your child is protected under federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act  and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.  These ensure access, opportunity, and free and appropriate education, but sometimes you have to fight for these things.
State laws that protect your child’s rights include the Persons with Disabilities Protection Act. It provides for disabled access to public transportation, public spaces, hotels, stores, and many other facilities. 
Your lawyer will know what to do if any federal or state law is being violated to restrict your child’s rights, opportunities, and access.
Helping North Carolina Residents with Cerebral Palsy
Lawyers throughout the state have been helping children and adults with cerebral palsy and other disabilities for years. They help families file and win medical malpractice lawsuits, fight discrimination, ensure access and opportunities, and help recover damages that provide for treatment and lifelong care.
Children with cerebral palsy face many challenges. Even as they grow into adults, achieving independence can be a struggle. A lot depends on being able to get a job and earn a living. For the most severely disabled, many situations are difficult or impossible. Being able to get and keep a job is essential.
When Walmart recently made a move to change store greeter jobs to require that these workers be able to do more physical tasks, many disabled people faced losing those jobs.  Many of these people were born with cerebral palsy.
In North Carolina, cerebral palsy lawyers went to work protecting this vulnerable population. Individuals and the community took action, too, including starting petitions to help people keep their jobs.
How to Find Your North Carolina Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
The best lawyer to help you and your child will be caring and dedicated to fighting for the rights of vulnerable disabled people. A general lawyer will not be adequate; you need a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice or disability rights for children suffering from birth injuries.
Try contacting the state bar association to find someone with the right area of specialty. Also, try other parents you know from support groups or local organizations that support or advocate for the disabled population in your community. These people are most likely to be able to make qualified recommendations.
- 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
- North Carolina general statutes Chapter 90. Medicine and allied occupations § 90-21.19 | FindLaw. (n.d.)
Retrieved from: https://codes.findlaw.com/nc/chapter-90-medicine-and-allied-occupations/nc-gen-st-sect-90-21-19.html
- 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
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (n.d.). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. U.S. Department of Education.
Retrieved from: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/
- Chapter 168a. Persons With Disabilities Protection Act. (n.d.). North Carolina General Assembly.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bychapter/chapter_168a.html
- Thousands sign petition supporting NC Walmart greeter with cerebral palsy who may lose job. (2019, February 25). Fox 8.
Retrieved from: https://myfox8.com/news/thousands-sign-petition-supporting-nc-walmart-greeter-with-cerebral-palsy-who-may-lose-job/