Cerebral Palsy Settlements: How Much Is a Cerebral Palsy Case Worth?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a serious birth injury that can cause lifelong physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Was your child diagnosed with cerebral palsy? It’s difficult to know what to do next.
You may be eligible for compensation for your child's preventable birth injury by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact an experienced cerebral palsy attorney to find out if you have a case.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC understand cerebral palsy cases' complex nature and work on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm is here to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Contact our cerebral palsy attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private after entering into an attorney-client relationship.
A cerebral palsy birth injury can be a devastating diagnosis for a child, and the parents may feel overwhelmed and confused about their options.
If you believe that your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis was caused by medical negligence, it is important to speak with an experienced birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. However, there are time limits on filing a claim, so don't wait.
At our law firm, we have helped many families receive the compensation they deserve after their child's preventable birth injury. We understand what you are going through and will fight for justice on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Defining Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects movement and muscle coordination due to damage to the brain. It has many causes, including oxygen deprivation during labor, prematurity, trauma during childbirth, and other complications. Cerebral palsy can be mild to severe.
Many people with birth injury cases like this require lifelong care, and some may never walk independently or speak normally. In addition, cerebral palsy is common among children with Downs syndrome.
Classification of Cerebral Palsy
Generally, cerebral palsy is classified as either spastic or athetoid/dyskinetic.
- Spastic cerebral palsy: Involves stiff muscles and awkward, jerky movements caused by damage to the brain's motor cortex region.
Swallowing problems are common in children with this kind of child’s birth injury, and the condition can be fatal if untreated. Spastic birth injury is often treated with physical therapy and medication to control motor function and seizure disorder, which are common in cases of this injury.
Spastic injury can also be helped with orthopedic braces and surgeries such as tendon release surgery. Seeking professional medical advice is highly recommended.
- Athetoid/dyskinetic cerebral palsy: Results in jerky, writhing movements that are difficult to control. Athetoid/dyskinetic cerebral palsy is often associated with seizure disorders.
The cause of athetoid/dyskinetic cerebral palsy was discovered in the 1970s when it was found that this form of cerebral palsy is caused by a lack of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the affected area of the brain.
Medications such as baclofen can treat athetoid/dyskinetic cerebral palsy, which often responds well to treatment.
Accurate Diagnosis and Evaluation of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy cannot be diagnosed before a child is born. There are no prenatal tests or screenings that can detect cerebral palsy, which is why expectant mothers must get regular check-ups throughout their pregnancy.
Cerebral palsy cannot be diagnosed after a child is born either. The symptoms of cerebral palsy do not usually appear without a birth injury support team right after birth. They may not be noticeable until a child is several weeks or months old.
After a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer can help you better understand your options and determine whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice case against the medical center where the injury occurred.
Our lawyers will review the facts of your case to determine whether negligent care during the labor and delivery process caused your child's cerebral palsy.
If you would like to learn more about how an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer can help, please contact us today for a free consultation. In addition, our attorneys will be happy to answer any questions you may have about birth injuries or medical malpractice claims in general.
Possible Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a child’s birth injury that affects movement and muscle coordination due to damage in the brain.
The cause of cerebral palsy is unknown in 50% of cases, but some known factors include:
- Oxygen deprivation during labor
- Trauma during labor
- Other complications during labor or delivery
- Complications due to premature birth
- Infections such as meningitis or encephalitis
- Brain tumors
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Genetic factors
- Maternal illnesses such as rubella or herpes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1,500 babies are born each year with CP in a government institution.
The majority of cerebral palsy cases – around 70% – are spastic, which means that the muscles are stiff and movement is difficult. These muscles often tighten and cause pain, limiting movement in the affected area and poor circulation.
The remaining 30% of cases make up the athetoid/dyskinetic type, characterized by uncontrolled jerky movements. Cerebral palsy affects men, women, and children equally and can affect all races.
How Are Settlements Determined for Cerebral Palsy Cases?
Cerebral palsy settlements are highly dependent on the facts of your child's injury, which can vary depending on how their brain was injured.
For example, suppose oxygen deprivation during labor resulted in your cerebral palsy lawsuit. In that case, you will need to demonstrate that the hospital staff knew or should have known that early delivery was necessary and failed to act.
Any delay in delivery could have further risked your child's health, which can affect your settlement amount.
Part of the risk factors involved whether doctors failed to monitor your child during labor or made mistakes near the time of delivery that contributed to developmental delays. You will need evidence to build your case.
To boost your financial claim, you will need your child’s medical records from the hospital where they were born and talk to witnesses, such as family members or the assisting nurse.
Cerebral Palsy Settlement Amounts and Awards
Cerebral palsy settlements for medical malpractice cases are based on various factors, including:
- The child's injuries, diagnosis, and how long they will need care for the rest of their life
- How the injury occurred and the medical treatment
- The child's life expectancy and expected costs of care for their lifetime
- Types of Cerebral Palsy(some types require more extensive care than others)
- How the parents' lives will be affected (will they need to stop working or reduce hours to take care of their child?)
You might also qualify for other economic damages and some non-economic damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of income or benefits
- Physical impairment beyond the cerebral palsy diagnosis
- Emotional distress
You need to talk to a cerebral palsy attorney to build your case value and agree to a cerebral palsy settlement amount based on the risk factors of developmental damage.
What Will a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Cost?
Cerebral palsy lawsuits are usually based on a contingency fee, which means you won't pay attorneys' fees unless your child's claim is successful and you receive compensation for your injuries.
Most families hire an attorney to review their case and determine if they have grounds for a cerebral palsy lawsuit because the initial consultation with medical malpractice lawyers is free.
Taking a Child's Cerebral Palsy Claim to Court
When filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit, you must understand the four elements of civil tort law required to prove your case and understand the due settlement process. These four elements are:
- Duty element
- Breach of Duty
- The duty element requires that the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a certain way. For example, hospitals have a duty to provide a safe environment for pregnant women and their unborn children.
If a hospital breaches this duty by failing to provide adequate safety measures, and as a result, the child is born with cerebral palsy, the hospital can be held liable.
- The breach of duty element requires that the defendant did not meet their legal obligation.
For example, if a hospital provides insufficient safety measures and, as a result, an infant is born with cerebral palsy, the hospital breached its duty and can be held liable.
- The causation element requires that the defendant's negligence caused the injury to your child.
For example, if a hospital fails to provide sufficient safety measures, and your baby is born with cerebral palsy. In that case, you can sue the hospital for medical mistakes because their negligence caused your child's injury.
- Finally, damages require that you have been harmed.
These four elements are used to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit against the medical center or medical staff responsible for the mistakes committed.
If you are considering filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit, speak with a medical malpractice attorney at our law firm about these types of malpractice cases.
Examples of Settlements Paid for Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits in Illinois
The average cerebral palsy settlement amounts awarded to people over the years vary significantly. Here are a few past settlements in Illinois:
$14.7 Million Settlement, Cook County, Illinois; 2017
In 2017, a jury awarded $14.7 million to the parents of two children who suffered oxygen deprivation as newborns, whereby an emergency c section had to be conducted and, as a result, developed CP.
The jury found that the babies would need care for the rest of their lives and determined the financial compensation based on how much money their ongoing medical bills and lost earning potential would be worth over their lifetimes.
$3 Million Settlement, Cook County, Ilinois; 2017
A couple received a $3 million cerebral palsy settlement for their daughter, born with spastic quadriplegia, and required 24-hour care.
A doctor at the hospital did not realize that the mother had herpes and could potentially cause birth injuries in her child, so he performed an emergency cesarean section.
The newborn suffered severe brain damage because of herpes, so the family sued their doctor and hospital for medical malpractice.
$2 Million Settlement, Blond County; Illinois; 2020
In this case, the jury awards $2 million to a young man who developed CP after being born prematurely at 34 weeks.
Although medical experts attempted to deliver him via c section, he became stuck in the birth canal and suffered oxygen deprivation to his brain.
$1.5 Million Settlement, Cook County, Illinois; 2015
A jury awarded $1.5 million to a young woman who was deprived of oxygen during her birth at a Long Island hospital, later birthed through a C-section, and was diagnosed with spastic palsy, which requires 24-hour care for the rest of her life.
$1.3 Million Settlement, Will County, Illinois; 2015
A jury awarded $1.3 million to a Will County man who was deprived of oxygen during his birth at a New Jersey hospital and developed cerebral palsy, which requires 24-hour care for the rest of his life.
$1 Million Settlement, Lake County, Illinois; 2018
A jury awarded $1 million to a young Lake County man who, due to medical negligence, was deprived of adequate oxygen during his birth and developed an irreversible brain injury.
$1.35 Million Settlement, DuPage County, Illinois; 2016
After being over-ventilated in the neonatal unit, a young man diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy received a $1.35 million settlement from the doctors and the hospital.
His situation requires 24-hour care for the rest of his life, requiring significant medical expenses over time.
$10 Million Settlement, Cook County, Illinois; 2017
Delay in diagnosing fetal distress in a timely manner caused the child’s condition to worsen. The child will need constant supervision for the rest of her life and will probably never be able to live independently.
The jury awarded the case value to $10 Million in the cerebral palsy settlement amount.
$8.1 Million Settlement, Cook County, Illinois; 2020
A woman became pregnant with her second child and sought care from the same facility she was treated with during her first pregnancy.
The doctor missed several signs that the mother had preeclampsia –The child developed brain injury.
Medical expenses were $750,000 over his lifetime, and jury verdict for the brain injury lawsuit gave a settlement compensation of $8.1 Million
$7.5 Million Settlement, Cook County Illinois; 2018
The mother didn't receive proper prenatal care, and the child was born with cerebral palsy.
Liable for $1 million in medical bills. The family's legal fees were $500,000, maximum amount sued for was $7.5 Million for future medical expenses.
$6.45 Million Cerebral Palsy Settlement, Jefferson County, Illinois; 2019
Medical malpractice case where hospital staff failed to monitor baby's fetal heart rate, which led to cerebral palsy –the child will require 24-hour care for the rest of her life
$6.25 Million Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Settlement, DuPage County, Illinois; 2012
The doctor used forceps during delivery that caused brain damage in the child
$5 Million Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Settlement, Cook County, Illinois; 2012
The doctor failed to diagnose the mother's preeclampsia — The child had seizures at birth that caused fetal distress and brain damage
Hiring a Birth Injury Lawyer for Your Cerebral Palsy Case
Have you or a loved one suffered from cerebral palsy due to the negligence of a doctor or hospital? It is important to contact an experienced birth injury lawyer.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, we have successfully represented many families in cerebral palsy lawsuits and know what it takes to win these cases.
We offer free consultations to discuss your case with an attorney who will help guide you through your best course of action on a contingency fee basis. Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice for more information.