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Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claims
The experience of childbirth is exciting and life-changing. However, it comes with significant risks which can lead to injuries such as cerebral palsy. While medical professionals in the UK usually do their best to ensure safe delivery, things can and do go wrong sometimes. Babies are fragile and require high level of care; if you believe your newborn developed cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to pursue cerebral palsy compensation claims.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and can permanently affect body movement, muscle coordination and balance. In most cases, children with cerebral palsy are born with it. However, detecting the condition can happen months or even years after the child’s birth.
Cerebral palsy does not affect everyone the same way. While some may experience mobility problems due to severe muscle spasticity, others may be unable to balance. Treatments such as physiotherapy can help ease cerebral palsy symptoms, but there is no cure to this condition and affected babies will require support in one way or another for the rest of their lives.
If your child has cerebral palsy and you think it has been due to the negligence of a doctor or midwife, you may be able to pursue cerebral palsy claims. You can contact our specialist cerebral palsy solicitors on 0800 644 4240 to find out whether you can pursue a claim.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
The most common forms of cerebral palsy include:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy: This is the most common form of Cerebral Palsy. It is characterized by frequent and painful muscular movements; the muscles become stiff, making involuntary movement awkward and difficult.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Balance and coordination problems are the main features of the form of cerebral palsy. The sufferer’s movement will be clumsy and shaky, and likely accompanied by communication difficulties.
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: This type is characterized by rigid or floppy muscles, and babies who develop this type usually experience problems with feeding.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy: This type of cerebral palsy happens when there is damage to more than one part of the brain, leading to a range of CP symptoms.
Was a Medical Professional Responsible for My Child’s Cerebral Palsy?
In many cases, brain damage leading to cerebral palsy can be linked to the actions/inactions of a medical professional. For instance, a health professional may apply too much force when using forceps, causing bleeding of the brain. A doctor may also fail to notice and diagnose a maternal infection that leads to poor development of the baby’s brain.
What’s more, some babies are at greater risk of brain infections leading to cerebral palsy. It is the responsibility of a health professional to understand and manage these risks. Babies who face increased risk of developing CP include:
- Those born to women in the overweight and obese group
- Those born to women under 20 and over 40 years old;
- Those who contract infections like strep B during from the mother;
- Those whose siblings had difficult births
It is the duty of health professionals like doctors, midwives and obstetricians to properly monitor babies at risk of developing CP – and indeed all births. For instance, frequent antenatal checks should be arranged for mothers to ensure the baby is developing as should. Monitoring should also be done during labor as you can also identify problems at this time and take steps to accelerate the birth process.
If you think a medical professional has failed in their duty of care towards your child and this has resulted in cerebral palsy, our cerebral palsy claims experts can make arrangements for an independent doctor to provide their opinion on the matter. The report provided by this medical expert will help us determine whether your child’s condition was due to negligence and we will let you know whether there are grounds for cerebral palsy claims.
How Much Compensation Will I Get from a Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claim?
Compensation amount for cerebral palsy negligence claims can vary greatly as it depends on the severity of the condition. However, it is not unusual for victims of cerebral palsy to receive lump sums plus payments in installments. But first, let us consider what it takes to qualify for cerebral palsy compensation.
The cerebral palsy claims process is the same for other claims for medical negligence. To be entitled to a claim, you need to prove that:
- The patient received substandard medical care. This means the health professional or hospital failed to properly identify and manage risks.
- The negligent treatment caused the patient harm. Most medical negligence claims for cerebral palsy will factor the pain and suffering endured by the patient. Proving this element is usually difficult, especially in a baby, but specialist solicitors can help you investigate and establish this.
- The health professional acted in a way that falls below what is expected of one with similar qualifications. The claimant should be able to prove that other professionals would consider the standard of care poor. You also have to show that the professionals providing this opinion are reasonable when doing so.
If you think your child has suffered cerebral palsy due to medical negligence, you may be able to make claims for:
- General damages: This compensates for the direct effects of the negligent treatment, that is, the harm it has caused you.
- Care costs: If your condition now means you need help to perform routine tasks around the house, you can file a care claim for compensation.
- Loss of earnings: If it is you who has suffered cerebral palsy and have had to cut down work or give it up altogether, you can make a claim for loss of income. You can also file a loss of earnings claim if you have given up work to care for a child who has developed cerebral palsy due to medical negligence.
- Medical expenses: This compensates for the out of pocket medical expenses you have incurred due to the negligent treatment.
- House/car modifications: Your car and house may require adjustments to fit your new situation. You may be able to claim compensation for the costs involved.
- Travel expenses: If you have had to travel for medical appointments due to your condition, you may be able to pursue a claim.
It is important to note, however, that a cerebral palsy compensation is not an avenue for financial gain. Winning large sums at the end of a cerebral palsy claims process is not a sign of luck; it is a legal recognition that you suffered injustice and deserve compensation to carry on with life.
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Time Limits for Making Cerebral Palsy Negligence Claims
Usually, there is a three-year time limit from the date the medical negligence occurred or the date of knowledge of the negligent treatment. However, when children are victims, the three-year time limit does not begin to run until their 18th birthday.
The time limit does not apply where the victim suffered a severe brain injury which limits his/her ability to pursue a claim. Our advice is to start the cerebral palsy claims process as early as possible. Even if diagnosis for the implications of your child’s condition has not yet been determined, starting a claim early enhances your chances of a successful claim as evidence will be fresh.
Our Cerebral Palsy Solicitors
In many cases, a claim for cerebral palsy compensation will be made by a family member, relative, partner or appointed individual on behalf of the victim. At Medical Negligence Direct, we work with a panel of specialist cerebral palsy experts who provide a free, no obligation consultation to answer initial questions about your chances of making a claim, your rights and steps you could take to make a successful claim.
When pursuing medical negligence claims for cerebral palsy, we will obtain a detailed account of the incident, including your version, witness statements and the opinion of medical experts. Cerebral palsy cases require the specialty of cerebral palsy solicitors; they are usually complex cases that require large compensation amounts. As a result, you need the right legal support in order to secure the compensation you deserve.
No Win No Fee Cerebral Palsy Claims
We offer to work with most victims of medical negligence on a No Win No Fee basis. We strongly believe that everyone should have access to quality legal representation when they have faced injustice in the form of medical negligence. If we think you have valid grounds for a cerebral palsy claim, we will represent you without requesting advance payments prior to the conclusion of the claim. If you lose, you will not pay any fees.
If your claim is successful, an agreed percentage (success fee) of your final compensation award will be deducted.
A No Win No Fee agreement is the most affordable way for victims of medical negligence to claim compensation. It is especially helpful if you want to minimize the financial risk you incur.
Why Choose Us?
If you are considering pursuing a cerebral palsy claim and need solicitors you can trust to get justice, then you can count on us. With years of experience fighting on behalf of those who have suffered negligent treatment at the hands of health professionals, we understand how difficult a time this is for you. We also understand how tough it can be to care for a child with cerebral palsy, as well as its financial implications.
Our specialist cerebral palsy claims solicitors always strive to walk clients through the claim process to ensure they do not go through any hassle as they come to terms with the troubling diagnosis. Our No Win No Fee policy eliminates any worry you may have about the heavy financial costs associated with cerebral palsy claims. It also gives you the assurance that we will only agree to take on your case if we believe you have a chance at success.
If you are now faced with an uncertain future as a victim of cerebral palsy due to negligence or as a parent of a child who has developed the condition after a health professional wrongly handled the pregnancy or birth, please do not hesitate to give us a call now on 0800 644 4240. Our cerebral palsy Negligence solicitors will extensively review your case and give you an idea of the compensation amount you can expect.