The costs of treating your child’s cerebral palsy will be prohibitively high. In addition to the steep medical expenses, you will also be dealing with other costs, such as therapy and special education. Your present and future medical expenses will be a major financial burden on your family.
Most cerebral palsy cases are the result of medical negligence that caused the injury. When that happens, you can file a medical malpractice claim. Your first step is to contact a cerebral palsy lawyer to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
Children Often Do Not Develop Cerebral Palsy on Their Own
In most cases, cerebral palsy is the result of a brain injury that the child has suffered in utero or during childbirth. One in every 345 children in the United States will be diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The sad truth is that most of these cases are preventable.
Most of these cases are caused by negligent medical professionals who have done something wrong. Usually, they have overlooked high-risk factors or signs of fetal distress.
When that happens, you can file a cerebral palsy lawsuit to recover the medical costs and the damage done to your child.
Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice occurs when the doctor or medical staff fails to uphold the duty of care that they owed to your child as their patient. The doctor and other medical professionals have the legal obligation to act as a reasonable doctor with ordinary training would under the circumstances.
Any medical negligence case will compare what the doctor did with what the average doctor would have done under the circumstances.
Medical malpractice law does not expect doctors to be superhuman. However, it does expect physicians to do what any doctor would and avoid medical mistakes that can injure a patient. When you seek treatment and professional medical advice, you have the right to expect that the doctor will use reasonable care and that your child will not end up injured.
Examples of Medical Malpractice That Cause Cerebral Palsy
Here are some examples of things that doctors may miss or mistakes that they make that can cause your child’s cerebral palsy:
- The failure to perform an emergency c-section surgery when the child appears to be in distress
- Failing to anticipate the risk factors involved with a premature birth
- Failing to provide suitable prenatal care for the mother and anticipate the chances that she may have a difficult delivery
Given the effect of any complication on a developing child, there is no room for error in both the prenatal and delivery process. Even small complications can leave lasting brain damage.
Why You Need a Cerebral Palsy Attorney
Like any medical malpractice lawsuit, a cerebral palsy claim can be difficult. In order to succeed in your cerebral palsy litigation, you must demonstrate that your child suffered a birth injury because of the negligence of a medical professional.
This is a scientific inquiry that requires you to prove that the medical professional did not act as a reasonable doctor would under the circumstances.
Medical negligence cases are among the most complex types of personal injury cases in existence.
Birth Injuries Can Happen on Their Own
There are some cases where birth injuries can happen. Not every traumatic delivery happens because of medical mistakes. That is the challenge that you are dealing with when you file a cerebral palsy lawsuit. You prove that the doctor acted in a way that another doctor would not have and that it caused your child’s cerebral palsy.
Malpractice Claims Involving Children Can Be Worth a Lot of Money
Many lawyers cite a study that finds that the lifetime costs of treating cerebral palsy can average $1 million . We give you a word of caution about that particular study – it is old (dating back to 2009) and medical bills have increased significantly since then. The truth is that your child’s condition may be far more expensive than that.
This figure does not even account for the other damages that both your child and your family have suffered after your child has developed cerebral palsy.
Here are some of the costs that your family would need to bear to treat your child’s condition:
- Some children need surgery to help with their muscle tone, even though it will not fully cure the condition
- Children with cerebral palsy will need a large amount of therapy to treat their condition and help them progress. This would include physical therapy and many other kinds of treatment.
- Children with cerebral palsy will also need complex medical equipment to help them adapt to the tasks in their daily life. This equipment is often not covered by your family’s health insurance.
- Some cases of cerebral palsy also involve other developmental delays and learning disabilities. These could involve other therapies or special education, and the costs of these can add up quickly.
There are just some of the costs associated with treating the case of cerebral palsy. Your family can recover both past and future medical bills associated with the condition. While we do not make any guarantees about settlement amounts, you can expect a large check to pay for the injuries to your child.
Other Damages in a Cerebral Palsy Case
Your child will have to live a lifetime with cerebral palsy. Chances are that they will not be able to live a normal life. The first major aspect of their damages in this malpractice claim is the pain and suffering that they will have to endure. They can be paid for the pain and suffering that they will experience for the rest of their life, and this amount can be considerable.
In addition, your child may not be able to work in the future. Even though it seems far into the future, your child can be paid for lost wages. You can also be paid for your own lost wages when you need to take time off from work to take your child to medical appointments.
How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Will Get Started
Your medical malpractice lawyer will work to establish exactly how the brain damage occurred. In order to get financial compensation for your family, they will need to establish how your child developed cerebral palsy. In other words, they need to learn what caused the birth injury.
Your lawyer will start with your child’s medical records. These should document the medical care that your child received and what happened both in the prenatal care and the labor and delivery.
The doctor may make it difficult for you to get pregnancy medical records on your own because they know that the records hold the key to your cerebral palsy lawsuit.
Your lawyer will then work with medical experts to review the care that your child received to establish that it was unreasonable and fell short of what an average doctor would have provided under the circumstances.
Negotiating a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Settlement
In every cerebral palsy case, you are dealing with an insurance company that has agreed to pay the doctor’s liability up to the amount of the policy limit when their policyholder was negligent.
When it comes to financial compensation, all insurance companies are the same. They have to be dragged into paying money. Then, they will always try to underpay the amount of damages.
It is likely that it would take a considerable period of time to negotiate a settlement in your medical malpractice case. When you are dealing with large damage amounts, it takes time to reach an agreement because the insurance company will only slowly raise its settlement offer.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits May Go to Court
In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit will go to a jury trial. Nonetheless, it is rare. In some medical malpractice cases, the doctor has made a serious mistake that has caused the child’s injuries. The last thing that the defendant wants is to face a jury because a severely injured child makes a very sympathetic plaintiff.
However, there is a natural tendency for a jury to respect doctors. They have grown up watching medical dramas on television and have seen doctors as the authority on medical issues. It takes a lot for a jury to drop their doctors as powerful and not prone to medical mistakes.
An experienced birth injury attorney knows how to tell your child’s story in court. The birth injury lawyer will both explain how the doctor erred and why it caused your child’s condition. Then, your medical malpractice attorney will explain the extent of the damages to persuade the jury to award their client enough financial compensation.
In reality, if you have a strong medical negligence case, the defendant will want to settle before your case gets to a jury. Most cases will reach a settlement for exactly this reason. The insurance company and the practice or hospital that employed the doctor know that they will be hit hard by a jury when they see the extent of the doctor’s negligence and what it did to your child.
Why File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
Financial compensation is a large part of the reason why you would want to file a medical negligence lawsuit against the responsible doctor. Children with cerebral palsy are living their life with brain damage, and there are considerable expenses involved. Your family will be impacted by medical negligence for the rest of your life, and your child will be impacted by the condition forever.
Beyond money, you would also want to file a birth injury lawsuit to get justice for what the doctor did. When you hold them accountable, it sends a message that they cannot provide deficient medical care for anyone. A healthcare professional cannot continue to practice medicine and attract patients when they have a long record of medical malpractice. This may save other families from having to go through what you are dealing with as a result of medical malpractice.
Experienced Attorneys Filing Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits
When your child has cerebral palsy that was caused by medical malpractice, the legal team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will fight for your family to get the money you need to care for your child. Our law firm can offer you a free consultation to discuss your case.
To reach a cerebral palsy attorney with our firm, you can call us at (888) 424-5757 or contact us online. We can help you get justice for your child’s birth injury when it was caused by negligence in the birthing process. We value our attorney-client relationship with you and will help your family take strong legal action.
Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit FAQs
Here are some questions that we are commonly asked about a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
What Is the Average Cerebral Palsy Settlement?
Most cerebral palsy attorneys will tell you that you should not focus as much on the average cerebral palsy settlement as you should on getting the right amount of money for your medical malpractice case. If you focus on the average settlement, you may end up leaving money on the table when your claim is worth more than the average. Our legal team will help you come up with a value for your own cerebral palsy lawsuit and work towards a settlement or jury award that fairly pays you.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?
Each state will have its own time limit for a cerebral palsy lawsuit. If you miss this limit, you will not be able to file a claim. You would have a certain period of time after a cerebral palsy diagnosis to begin the legal process. In reality, you should not wait this long to begin the work. Cerebral palsy lawsuits can take time to develop because they rely on complex facts and a medical analysis of what the doctor did and should have done.
How Long Will a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Take?
Cerebral palsy lawsuits will take time from start to finish. The average cerebral palsy lawsuit will take years to complete. There are numerous steps of the lawsuit process that will take time to work through, including discovery and depositions. Then, you will need to wait time to get a date on the court’s docket. If you win your case, you can count on the doctor to appeal the verdict, which will add additional time. The bottom line is that you need a cerebral palsy lawyer who will be in your corner for a long period of time.
How Much Will a Cerebral Palsy Attorney Cost Me?
It will not cost you anything out of your pocket to begin the process of filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our birth injury attorneys do not ask you for any money upfront. We will also not send you hourly bills while your case is pending. We are only paid at the end of your case, and only if you win your case. If you do not win your case, we are not paid.
Resources:  PubMed