Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claims

Though giving birth can often be long and tiring, meeting your new baby should be nothing but smiles. Unfortunately, we know that this is not always the case, and occasionally a devastating birth injury as a result of medical negligence can leave a child with permanent damage that cannot be undone.

 

Cerebral Palsy is the name given to a life changing condition that affects the brain and the nervous system; a condition which around 1 in 400 children in the UK are born with each year. While the condition is not life threatening, cerebral palsy is a lifelong physical disability that affects a person's posture, coordination and ability to move, as well as potentially affecting their ability to communicate, eat and sleep normally.

(Source: http://cells4life.com/)

All too often, a baby will be deprived of oxygen at birth due to a delay in delivery following indications of stress, and this will cause irreversible damage to the cerebrum. Failure or delay in recognising and treating other conditions such as jaundice, low blood sugar or meningitis early on can also lead to a baby developing cerebral palsy.

If you believe that your child is suffering from cerebral palsy as a result of malpractice or that their condition was misdiagnosed, you should speak to a specialist cerebral palsy lawyer who can help you make a compensation claim for the physical and emotional pain that this condition can cause. The funds raised by a successful compensation claim can also help you cover the cost of essential medical care, physical therapy, equipment, home modifications and lost income for family members acting as carers.

Our expert team of cerebral palsy compensation lawyers understand the strain that this condition puts on a person’s life and all those involved, such as close friends or family. When you come to IBB for help making a clinical negligence claim, we’ll provide you with a free initial consultation to discuss your case, and we also offer no-win no-fee agreements.  

To start your cerebral palsy compensation claim, call us today on 0333 323 1640. Alternatively, you can email us at enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or use the contact form on the right to request a call back.

How we can help you claim cerebral palsy compensation

Taking legal action in order to be compensated for medical negligence is something you should consider straight away if you suspect it to be the reason behind your child’s cerebral palsy.

After the initial conversation with you in which we will discuss and assess the strength of the claim, our cerebral palsy lawyers will investigate the events and procedures undertaken during the delivery of the baby.

In order to do this, we will consult with medical experts who will thoroughly assess your medical records, the standards of the staff and location of the hospital, as well as the level of care provided before, during and after the delivery.

Most cases are settled outside of court, via negotiation and/or mediation.  However, if we do need to go to court we will often need to engage a barrister to draft the necessary documents.  If the case is particularly complex, the barrister may need to meet with you and your solicitor to clarify some points.

During the process, both the defendant and the claimant can make an offer to settle the cerebral palsy claim at any time. We will be there for you every step of the way to advise whether or not an offer is worth settling for. If there is sufficient evidence to prove negligence, you will either accept an offer from the defendant or the judge.

Why IBB Claims cerebral palsy solicitors are the right choice for you and your family

The team of specialist cerebral palsy compensation solicitors at IBB are experts in handling these kinds of complex negligence claims. We have many years of experience supporting and representing clients with cerebral palsy and their families, helping them get the compensation they need to live full, happy lives.

We understand that each child is unique, and the individual complexities surrounding each birth differ greatly. By taking the time to understand the circumstances and situation in detail, our cerebral palsy lawyers can build a strong case and help you to be compensated for the potential malpractice that took place.

Every one of our medical negligence solicitors is an expert in their field and our team includes several members and a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and members of the Child Brain Injury Trust Directory, as well as a number of other respected professional organisations. This gives us the expertise and connections to ensure your family has the best possible representation for your cerebral palsy claim.

No win no fee cerebral palsy compensation claims

We believe everyone deserves the chance to claim compensation for cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence, which is why we offer no win, no fee representation for many of our clients.

When you first contact us, we will discuss your circumstances with you and establish whether this option is right for you. We will also clearly lay out how our fees work, so you know exactly how much pursuing a cerebral palsy claim is likely to cost.

Ultimately, we want you and your family to get the maximum possible benefit from your compensation claim, so we aim to make to make our fees fair and transparent and will always keep you informed of any change of circumstances that may have an impact on your costs.

Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claims FAQS

Was my child’s cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence?

While many cases of cerebral palsy stem from causes unrelated to the birth, such as an infection caught by the mother during the pregnancy, others come as a result of a birth injury that could have been avoided with appropriate diligence and care.

If you were not informed of any genetic condition, infection or haemorrhage during the pregnancy and the baby was not born prematurely but was still diagnosed with cerebral palsy; there is a chance that this could be as a result of medical negligence at birth.

What do you need to prove to claim compensation for cerebral palsy?

To be able to claim compensation for cerebral palsy, you need to be able to show that the care you and/or your child received was negligent i.e. that serious mistakes were made which meant the level of care was below safe levels.

You also need to be able to show that this substandard care directly caused or worsened your/your child’s condition.

What types of medical negligence can you make a cerebral palsy compensation claim for?

Parents of children born with cerebral palsy have obtained compensation due to medical negligence have done so on the following grounds:

  • Inadequate treatment at birth, or a delay in delivery usually following an indication of stress, leading to asphyxiation.
  • Misdiagnosis of cerebral palsy at birth, meaning that accurate treatment was not given to the child when it was most needed.
  • Delayed diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
  • Failure to correctly use forceps.
  • Failure to identify umbilical cord problems.

Each case is unique, however, and we will be happy to discuss the specifics of your situation with you to help you establish whether you are likely to have a case for claiming cerebral palsy compensation.

What types of cerebral palsy can you claim compensation for?

There are three levels of cerebral palsy:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy – causing muscles to be tight, stiff or weak and leading to difficulty controlling those muscles
  • Athetoid cerebral palsy – causing muscles to be affected by spontaneous movements and leading to issue with posture
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy – causing issues with balance, shaky hands and/or feet and issues with speech

It is possible to claim compensation for any of these types of cerebral palsy, as long as it can be shown that the condition was caused or exacerbated by medical negligence. The level of compensation you can claim will usually be influenced by the severity of the symptoms and impact on the individual’s life, as well as a number of other factors.

How long do I have to make a cerebral palsy claim?

You may have heard that there is a 3-year time limit to make a medical negligence claim and while this is generally true for adults, for children this time limit does not come into effect until they turn 18. This means in most cases you will have until your child turns 21 to start a cerebral palsy compensation claim. However, if your child is judged to lack the ‘mental capacity’ to bring a claim on their own, there is no time limit for you to bring a claim on their behalf.

With that said, it is worth bearing in mind that the longer you leave it to start the claims process, the harder it can be to collect the necessary evidence for a successful claim. We therefore recommend starting claims for cerebral palsy as soon as possible to give the best chance of a successful outcome.

Where required, we can usually arrange a conditional fee arrangement (no win no fee) as a form of funding, meaning that a lack of financial support should not normally be a reason to delay pursuing a claim.

How long will it take to make a cerebral palsy claim?

The duration of the process differs greatly between cases and depends on a number of factors, such as the strength of the claim and whether or not the defendant makes an offer for a settlement early on in the process.

Whatever it takes, our cerebral palsy compensation lawyers have a thorough knowledge of the legal system and will keep you informed every step of the way as to how your case is progressing and how much longer it will take.

The determining factor is your child. We are unlikely to recommend settlement of your child’s claim until it is clear what their future needs will be.

What information will I need to claim cerebral palsy compensation?

In order to build a strong claim for you to receive cerebral palsy compensation, it might be necessary for us to have access to your medical records. This will allow us to prove that there were no underlying issues in the pregnancy or risk factors that could have caused the brain injury in your child.

How Much Will it Cost to Make a Medical Negligence Claim for Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy claims can usually be funded by Legal Aid with no parental contribution, since it is the child’s income that will be taken into account rather than the parents. Therefore, regardless of your income or assets and eligibility for Legal Aid, it is highly likely that your fees will be taken care of. An alternative to legal aid is a no win - no fee agreement.

Do you need to go to court to claim compensation for cerebral palsy?

The vast majority of medical negligence claims are settled out of court, but depending on the circumstances and whether the relevant NHS Trust or other body admits liability you may need to go to court.

We will advise and support you at every stage of the process of making a cerebral palsy claim and, if you are required to go to court, we will inform you at the earliest opportunity. We will then help to prepare you and represent you so your case is presented in the strongest possible light.

What can cerebral palsy compensation be used for?

While making a claim for cerebral palsy due to medical negligence is partially about compensating you and your loved ones for the pain and suffering caused by a hospital’s mistakes, the funds a successful claim unlocks can have a significant positive impact on your and your family’s life.

Funds can be used for essentials including:

  • Meeting the cost of on-going personal care
  • Medical treatment
  • Physical therapy
  • Equipment
  • Home modifactions
  • Replacing lost income for family members acting as carers

Get in touch with our expert cerebral palsy claims solicitors today

Cerebral Palsy is a serious condition and is the most common physical disability amongst children. If you feel that your child is suffering from cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence during the delivery, please get in touch with one of our cerebral palsy compensation lawyers for a free consultation.

To speak to one of our expert cerebral palsy solicitors now, call us on 0333 323 1640, email us at enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or use the contact form on the right to request a call back.