Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy

Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy

Do you know your rights when it comes to medical malpractice and cerebral palsy?  Cerebral palsy a serious injury that occurs before, during, or just after birth; causes include lack of oxygen to the brain, head trauma, infection, or premature delivery.  The cost of caring for a child with cerebral palsy can be great, and you do have the option of pursuing compensation through a medical malpractice suit. 

The symptoms of cerebral palsy might not be present right away, but they should be apparent by age 3 years.  The delay of noticeable symptoms can present a challenge for parents who believe their child’s condition was the result of medical malpractice.

First, to determine if you even have a case, you must be able to prove three things.  You must be able to show negligence on the part of medical professionals for the patient’s care, that the negligence was the cause of the child’s injury, and that damages were caused.  The proof of negligence typically involves medical expert’s testimony that care was below average.  Because this expert testimony is necessary for these medical malpractice cases, the cost of the lawsuit can be extremely expensive -- easily over $200,000 before trial.

Another consideration is the statute of limitations.  There is a time limit during which you can file a claim; outside of this time and you lose the ability to sue forever.  For many malpractice cases, the statute of limitations is one year after injury or death.  However, one huge exception to this rule is for children under age 3, which includes injuries suffered at birth -- you have up until the child’s 8th birthday to file a claim.

Cases can take up to 2 to 3 years to be resolved.  Most cases are settled outside of court, but some do require a trial.  Attorneys receive a percentage of the settlement recovered from the case.

Many attorneys recommend scheduling a consultation if you feel your child’s cerebral palsy is a result of medical malpractice.

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Written by: Candice Evans See other articles by Candice Evans
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