With an incidence rate of 1-4 cases per 1,000 births, CP profoundly impacts families worldwide. It is truly disheartening that many of these cases stem from avoidable errors committed by healthcare professionals entrusted with their well-being.
This step-by-step guide will walk you through the essential aspects of filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit. From understanding the concept of medical negligence to assessing damages and engaging with the legal process, each step is crucial in seeking justice for your child’s condition. By arming yourself with this knowledge, you can approach the situation with confidence and clarity.
Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Negligence
Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare practitioner fails to meet the accepted standard of care for their profession, causing harm. In cerebral palsy cases, medical negligence commonly occurs during pregnancy or childbirth, where inadequate monitoring or treatment adversely affects the child’s developing brain.
Regrettably, many families are unaware that medical negligence could be the underlying cause of cerebral palsy in some instances, rendering them eligible for financial compensation.
To understand these possibilities, it is essential first to become familiar with what constitutes medical negligence and explore all available options for obtaining compensation after a diagnosis resulting from such negligence.
Legal Rights of Those Affected by Cerebral Palsy Negligence
Victims of cerebral palsy negligence have the legal right to seek financial relief through various means. Economic damages aim to compensate for tangible expenses directly associated with the condition. These may include:
- Past and future medical care, including doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, emergency room visits, rehabilitation, and medications.
- The cost of therapies for your child, such as recreational, occupational, physical, and speech therapy.
- The cost of mobility equipment, assistive technology, assistive equipment, mobility scooters, wheelchairs, and adaptive vehicles.
- Future loss of income.
- The cost of tutors and special education.
In addition to economic damages, non-economic damages are also available to victims of cerebral palsy negligence. These damages address the intangible aspects of the harm suffered, such as diminished quality of life and emotional distress.
Non-economic damages recognize the profound emotional and psychological toll on both the child and their family and seek to provide compensation for these immeasurable losses.
Seeking legal advice is highly recommended if your child’s debilitating condition was caused by medical negligence. Here are some key reasons why a medical malpractice lawyer is essential in cerebral palsy lawsuits:
- They can assist you in making an informed decision regarding pursuing a lawsuit or opting for an out-of-court settlement.
- They are familiar with the legal requirements, timelines, and procedural aspects specific to your jurisdiction.
- They will handle the legal complexities, advocate for your child’s best interests, and work towards achieving a just outcome.
Understanding the Legal Path: Key Steps in Filing a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
Begin by scheduling a consultation with a lawyer specializing in cerebral palsy cases or medical malpractice. Discuss the details of your case and determine if you have a valid claim for a cerebral palsy lawsuit. Here are the essential steps in pursuing a cerebral palsy lawsuit:
1. Gather medical records
Collect all relevant medical records related to your child’s birth and subsequent treatment. These records will be essential in establishing a connection between medical negligence and cerebral palsy. Your lawyer will help you obtain these records.
2. Determine negligence
Your lawyer will help you establish the legal elements required to prove negligence. This typically involves demonstrating that a healthcare provider had a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused harm to the child.
3. Review the limitation period
The limitation period refers to the time limit for initiating a legal action. Consult the applicable legislation or seek legal advice to determine the specific limitation period that applies to your cerebral palsy lawsuit. The limitation period may be set out in statutes such as the Limitations Act.
4. Assess damages
By thoroughly evaluating damages, you can seek fair compensation that addresses the long-term needs and challenges associated with cerebral palsy. Work closely with your lawyer to determine the extent of the harm you and your child suffered.
This involves assessing the current and future medical needs, therapy requirements, assistive devices, necessary home modifications, potential loss of future earning capacity due to the condition’s limitations, and pain and suffering.
5. Obtain expert opinions
In cerebral palsy cases, expert medical opinions are often required to establish causation between medical negligence and the condition. Your lawyer will assist in finding qualified medical experts who can provide statements supporting your claim.
6. Negotiation and settlement
Negotiation and settlement are standard stages in the legal process of a cerebral palsy lawsuit. These stages involve discussions and agreements between the parties involved, aiming to resolve the case without going to trial.
Your lawyer will assist you in evaluating any settlement offers and negotiate on your behalf to achieve a fair resolution.
7. Issue a statement of claim
Your lawyer will file and serve a legal document outlining the lawsuit’s details, including the parties involved, the facts of the case, and the damages sought. They will follow the necessary procedural requirements and pay any filing fees.
8. Discovery and case preparation
The discovery process allows both parties to exchange relevant documents and information related to the case. Your lawyer will work on building a solid case by conducting examinations for discovery, interviewing witnesses, and further investigating the facts surrounding your claim.
9. Appeal (if necessary)
If the outcome of the trial is either favourable or unfavourable, the next step may involve pursuing an appeal. The appellate court will review the case and determine if any errors during the trial may have affected the outcome.
Contact Sommers Roth & Elmaleh Today for Expert Legal Advice
Seeking legal advice for medical negligence is an essential step towards justice and compensation for physical and emotional damages incurred by victims of negligent care providers.
At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, our team of experienced cerebral palsy lawyers is dedicated to helping families affected by cerebral palsy seek justice from any negligent parties that caused their suffering.
For the past 40 years, we have successfully represented clients in many complex birth trauma cases involving negligence by healthcare providers. Our main goal is to provide families with the rightfully deserved compensation to ensure they can offer their children the best care and support possible.
Are you a victim of medical negligence? Call 1-844-940-2386 today to discuss your case with one of our cerebral palsy lawyers and learn more about your legal options. Additionally, you can contact us here.
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