Cerebral palsy legal questions are common. Parents question their situation, the law process, their legal rights and what to expect for the future. You may place blame on yourself for not taking care of your baby better. , Or, you may place blame on a doctor or nurse. You may be unsure if anyone is to blame at all.
In any case, you likely have a ton of questions about cerebral palsy. If you have any of these questions, take a look at the following information.
Common Cerebral Palsy Legal Questions
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Above all, it is important to recognize that you didn’t cause cerebral palsy. cerebral palsy is a birth injury that happens in the brain and causes brain damage. This form of brain injury happens right before or right after delivery, and is usually the result of two different causes:
- The brain is compressed for too long in the birth canal.
- The child suffered oxygen deprivation at birth (usually from a kinked or prolapsed umbilical cord).
Cerebral palsy is a disability, not a disease, because the effects of cerebral palsy on the child are responses to the injury, not a biological response to a disease. While doctors don’t know all of the causes of cerebral palsy yet, doctors do know that it’s not the mother’s fault. In fact, in about 10% of cases, it’s due to medical malpractice.
Could Cerebral Palsy Have Been Prevented?
It is very likely that cerebral palsy is a preventable disability. Often children born with cerebral palsy would have otherwise been born as normal, healthy children because cerebral palsy is an injury and no child is genetically predisposed to get cerebral palsy. To that end, cerebral palsy could have been prevented. Sometimes it is a matter of what measures the medical staff took, and sometimes it’s other conditions or complications with pregnancy that should have been diagnosed and treated before delivery.
How Do I Know My Doctor is Responsible for My Child’s Cerebral Palsy?
Only an expert can decide if your doctor is responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy, and one form of an expert could be a cerebral palsy lawyer who has seen several different forms of cerebral palsy, and several cases all related to medical malpractice. One way of knowing if you’re the victim of medical malpractice, however, is to consult an expert witness. An expert witness is someone who saw something abnormal happen, or can critique your doctor’s work and report whether he or she upheld the standards of accepted medical care. Expert witnesses are qualified healthcare providers and specialists.
How Long Should a Cerebral Palsy Case Take?
One of the most common cerebral palsy legal questions is “how long does the case take?” Cerebral palsy cases are generally long episodes that involve a process of:
- Gathering paperwork
- Gathering testimonies from experts and specialists
- Communicating with healthcare providers
- Various waiting periods and requirements depending on what your state requires for such cases
Generally these cases take 18 months to two years to go to court from the filing date. Sometimes cases can go by faster if the defendant is willing to settle, preventing the process from going to court.
What Will the Settlement Be Like?
Your settlement amount is a figure based on the lifetime costs of your child’s care. These needs are calculated in a document called the Life Care Plan. Your family will work with a group of experts to take all of your child’s needs into consideration. The experts then create a list of the therapies, medications, treatments and aids your child may need at various stages of his or her life. The costs of these needs are part of the plan.
Your court settlement, then, aspires to not only meet that bottom line figure, but to get a little more in an effort to match cost inflation over the years. It may also include an additional amount to cover unforeseeable circumstances.
Get Answers to Your Cerebral Palsy Legal Questions
If you have cerebral palsy legal questions, contact Birth Injury Guide. Our team of legal professionals can help you sort through your questions and find the answers you need. Furthermore, if your situation constitutes medical malpractice, we can help you build your claim.
Find out more by calling Birth Injury Guide at 1-877-415-6603. You can also reach us online via our online form.