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Cerebral palsy is sometimes caused by a failure to provide an adequate standard of medical care. If you believe your child’s disorder was caused by medical mistakes, a West Virginia cerebral palsy lawyer may be able to assist you. An experienced lawyer can also assist you if your child has faced discrimination.
When Do I Need a West Virginia Cerebral Palsy Lawyer?
An experienced cerebral palsy lawyer can help you figure out if your case is valid and if your child was harmed by negligence. Figuring out if medical malpractice caused your child’s cerebral palsy isn’t easy, but with qualified legal guidance, you’ll know the best actions to take.
As your child gets older, whether or not you ever file or win a medical malpractice suit, you will need a good lawyer for other legal actions.
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For instance, if your child experiences discrimination, if the local schools fail to provide appropriate special education services, and if you need to draft legal documents for your child’s protection, you must have the right lawyer there to guide your choices.
How This Lawyer Will Help You and Your Child
The first way in which your lawyer can help you is by providing information, guidance, and expert advice. The right lawyer will take some of the burdens off your shoulders and help you get through this process more smoothly.
You’ll also get peace of mind, and your child will get a better chance at the best care. An expert West Virginia cerebral palsy lawyer can give you the best shot at winning a lawsuit that will result in a monetary award.
A lawyer will also be by your side, guiding other difficult decisions, such as how to fight against discrimination or in getting better school services.
A lawyer can draft essential documents for you, including a living will, setting up a trust, or starting a conservatorship.
Medical Malpractice and Disability Rights in West Virginia
A medical malpractice lawsuit is likely to be the most significant legal battle you face on behalf of your child. All states have their malpractice laws, and most favor medical professionals, not victims.
In West Virginia, for instance, you can only file this kind of lawsuit within two years of having discovered that medical negligence occurred. 
Another limitation is that non-economic damages are capped in the state, so you can only recover a certain amount for things like pain and suffering. And, within 30 days of filing your lawsuit, you must also notify all defendants with a thorough explanation and provide a certificate of merit. 
A certificate of merit is a document signed by an appropriate medical expert that states your case is valid and that malpractice likely occurred.
The laws protecting disabled individuals from discrimination are more favorable. There is the West Virginia Human Rights Act, which can be applied if your child is denied access and opportunities. 
There are also federal laws, which are particularly important if your child is dismissed appropriate education services and accommodations.
Birth Injury Cases in West Virginia
West Virginia cerebral palsy lawyers are always fighting on behalf of the young victims of medical negligence. They are often able to win justice for their clients and compensation, as was the case for one family that received a $7.1 million award from a judge in their case in 2018.
A U.S. District Judge agreed with the family’s lawyer and found that the doctor cited in the evidence failed to meet an appropriate standard of care. 
The baby in the case was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia in 2013 and suffered brain damage. The doctor in the case failed to transfer the struggling newborn to a hospital better equipped to help her.
The judge decided on the amount for the damages based on the fact that this little girl would never be able to walk or live independently.
Another case is ongoing in the state in which a family blames Raleigh General Hospital staff for their child’s birth injuries.
The baby was born at the hospital in Beckley, West Virginia, in 2016 and was later diagnosed with microcephaly and other conditions related to the difficult delivery. 
The family believes the baby’s health problems could have been prevented with better care. Their lawyer is taking their case to trial to prove that the staff failed to monitor fetal well-being during labor accurately.
Finding Your West Virginia Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
If you can find a great lawyer like those fighting on behalf of families in these successful cases, you stand a good chance of getting justice for your child.
Only choose a lawyer who has experience with these kinds of situations because the laws tend to favor the defendants, not the victims. Medical malpractice cases are not easy to win.
Look for a lawyer or a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice, birth injuries, and cerebral palsy. A general lawyer will not have the expertise you need.
Look for the best lawyer through referrals from other parents or community groups that work on behalf of disabled children.
Interview lawyers before you commit to hiring the one you feel is best for your family.
Finding out that your child has this lifelong condition and will live with cerebral palsy and disabilities forever is devastating. Knowing that inadequate medical care is to blame for this is upsetting.
With the right West Virginia cerebral palsy lawyer, you can take steps to protect your child now and in the future.
- 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
- West Virginia code. ARTICLE 11. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION. (n.d.). West Virginia Legislature.
Retrieved from: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/wvcode/code.cfm?chap=05&art=11
- Umstead, M. (2018, April 5). W.Va. judge awards $7.1 million in medical-care negligence case. Herald-Mail Media.
Retrieved from: https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/tri_state/west_virginia/w-va-judge-awards-million-in-medical-care-negligence-case/article_113b15da-378e-11e8-a807-778e2e7e9bca.html
- Gonzales-Abella, K. (2019, March 5). Parents accuse Raleigh general of negligence in son's birth. West Virginia Record.
Retrieved from: https://wvrecord.com/stories/511765596-parents-accuse-raleigh-general-of-negligence-in-son-s-birth