Nothing can prepare any parent for the wave of grief that accompanies a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. In the wake of the diagnosis, many parents are even too exhausted, shocked, and grief-stricken to ask questions or press for details that could reveal the cause of the birth injury. But there may be vital information that can get their child the medical help they need.
In these challenging times as a new parent, you need support for the lifetime of your child. In cases involving birth injury that results from medical negligence, you and your child may be entitled to receive financial compensation from the physician or hospital that led to your child’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
In order to secure this compensation, though, it is necessary to file a cerebral palsy claim against the negligent healthcare organization. While filing a cerebral palsy claim may sound overwhelming, it is the best means of making sure that your family has the resources it needs to recover and to help your child move toward a thriving future.
The good news is that you don’t have to go through this process alone. The attorneys at The Oshman Firm have put together this article to help you understand the key factors that go into filing a successful cerebral palsy claim. While every case is unique, there are certain basic guidelines that your cerebral palsy claim must follow in order for you to receive financial compensation.
The attorneys at The Oshman Firm are experts in cases of birth injury and have helped many families just like yours through the legal process of filing a cerebral palsy claim. We understand what you are going through and are here to answer your questions. In addition, we are available at any time to talk over your case, with no obligation to you. Our law firm works on a contingency basis, which means you pay no fee unless your case is successful. We are committed to making this difficult process easier, so that you can focus on giving your child the care they need.
Cerebral Palsy Compensation
In many cases, a birth injury resulting in cerebral palsy is a direct result of careless medical negligence that could have been avoided.
There are several risk factors that could have contributed to your child’s case of cerebral palsy. These factors include:
- A labor that lasted longer than 18 hours
- Failure to perform an emergency C-section
- The child being forcefully pulled out during labor
- The use of forceps, vacuum extraction or other instrument during the birthing process
- The child being deprived of oxygen for too long
One all too common mistake that many parents make in this situation is to avoid asking about the details of the child’s birth. Sometimes they fail to ask simply because it does not occur to them. Other times, they are afraid of causing conflict or feel that pressing their doctor for details may make the situation “worse” in some way.
But nothing could be further from the truth. As a parent, you are your child’s first and primary advocate. When medical negligence results in a life-altering birth injury for your child, the doctors and healthcare system must be held accountable for their actions. Furthermore, it is your right to receive financial compensation that will offset the tremendous cost of helping your child and your family move forward in the aftermath of birth injury.
Nobody likes the word “lawsuit,” but the truth is that filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit is not about getting revenge or even punishing the doctor at fault for your child’s birth injury. Instead, filing a cerebral palsy claim is the most efficient and lawful method of securing the resources you need to provide your child with the medical care they need in order to live their best life possible. A cerebral palsy lawsuit also offers the best form of accountability for the healthcare that failed to take care of your child. By filing a cerebral palsy claim, you can do your part to ensure that future parents and their children will not have to suffer the same grief that you have experienced.
Filing a Cerebral Palsy Injury Claim
If the idea of filing a cerebral palsy claim makes you feel intimidated, you’re not alone. The daunting prospect of facing the legal system is a major cause of many parents failing to fight for the rights and resources their child deserves. This feeling is entirely understandable. After experiencing a birth injury, all you want as a parent is to heal and help your family move forward. Many parents make the decision not to pursue a cerebral palsy lawsuit out of a fear of prolonging the hurt they feel. Others feel that they would rather focus on their child than on moving through a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
While this feeling is understandable, it is one that many parents come to regret later in their child’s life. Helping your child adjust to life with cerebral palsy can prove a tremendous strain on your family’s time, energy and, of course, finances. Parenting a child with cerebral palsy can require immense and costly changes to your lifestyle, your schedule and even your home—not just once, but many times over the course of your child’s life.
In the long run, the effort you put into filing a cerebral palsy claim after your child’s birth injury is likely to be much less strain on you and your family than dealing with your child’s cerebral palsy without the financial resources you deserve.
The good news is that filing a cerebral palsy claim is not something that you have to do alone. By seeking out experienced legal counsel with a proven track record of success in cerebral palsy lawsuits, you can go through the legal process of obtaining compensation with peace and confidence.
Qualifications for Filing a Claim
The key factor in successfully filing a cerebral palsy claim is establishing that medical negligence is the cause of your child’s birth injury.
Medical negligence means that your physician or healthcare provider failed to follow proper and standard medical procedures in caring for you and your child during pregnancy and birth. This can be the most difficult part of a birth injury claim. To prove that medical negligence was at fault in your cerebral palsy claim, your best option is to work with an experienced lawyer who can work with medical experts to establish whether you and your child were treated with reasonable skill and care by the physicians who attended your pregnancy.
It’s also important to understand who may be found at fault in a cerebral palsy claim. A birth injury claim may only be filed against a physician with whom you had a patient/doctor relationship prior to or during the injury. This may be your primary care doctor, a doctor with whom you consulted during your pregnancy, or the physician who delivered your child. (Examples of who may not be found at fault include physicians or other healthcare providers who offered you “friendly advice” outside of an established medical consultation, writers of pregnancy or healthcare advice on the Internet, or
In most states, a statute of limitations specifies the amount of time a parent has to file a birth injury claim. This means that parents or legal guardians of a child with cerebral palsy are best advised to get started with filing their cerebral palsy claim soon after the child’s birth, in order to have the best chance of receiving financial compensation.
What to Expect from the Claim Process
Navigating the legal system can bring a great deal of stress and confusion—truly the last thing your family needs in the aftermath of a birth injury. By hiring a knowledgeable law firm with years of experience in pursuing birth injury claims, you can be assured of the smoothest possible experience in filing your cerebral palsy claim. While birth injury claims can take many months, and sometimes years, to be resolved, your experience will be vastly improved by having a capable attorney to handle everything for you.
Here are a few of the steps your lawyer will help you take in the process of filing a cerebral palsy claim:
Your lawyer will collect all medical records needed for your case. This may include information you did not expect to be relevant. In addition, certain requests must make mention of the law that allows them to be released to patients or authorized third parties. This makes it all the more important to have a lawyer on your side.
Your lawyer will consult with medical experts. These experts will meet with you and ask questions that establish whether your child was the victim of medical negligence, and how your child’s condition is likely to develop over the course of their life. As part of this process, they will also help you understand the specifics of your child’s condition and even assemble a plan for their future care. This plan will be of immense value in guiding you and your child’s future healthcare providers as they grow into adult life.
Your lawyer will determine whether there are any notice requirements restrict when and how your cerebral palsy claim may be filed. If the medical provider in your case was connected with the government (such as a county-run hospital), specific information must be submitted within certain periods of time in order for a birth injury lawsuit to move forward. An experienced lawyer will know whether these rules apply in your case and how to work within them.
Your lawyer will determine the best way of pursuing compensation. For some cases, going to trial will yield a higher payout from the defendant than settling your case. In other situations, the best results will come from settling for a specified amount. Again, this is where it helps tremendously to work with a lawyer experienced in cerebral palsy claims. Your lawyer can work with you to understand the pros and cons of going to trial or settlement, and help you determine the course of action that would yield the best outcome for your child with the minimal amount of effort and stress on your family.
Covered by the Cerebral Palsy Claim Compensation
There are two kinds of compensation that cerebral palsy claims may receive: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages address the actual financial costs associated with your child’s cerebral palsy case. These include:
- Medical expenses, including doctors’ visits, medication, etc. (This includes expenses you have already incurred, as well as those estimated for the future)
- Wages lost by the parent during time taken away from work
- Therapy and rehabilitation for your child
- Special education
- Assistive equipment and technology, such as wheelchairs and soundboards
- Home accommodation (such as a ramp to accommodate a wheelchair)
- Transportation (This includes the cost of getting to and from doctor’s appointments, as well as adapting your vehicle to accommodate your child’s special needs.)
- Hiring a caregiver for your child
Non-economic damages address the emotional and mental suffering you and your family have suffered as a result of your child’s birth injury. You should also be aware that not all states allow non-economic damages, and those that do sometimes have a “cap limit” for how much you can claim. In the state of New York, there is no non-economic cap limit.
Your cerebral palsy attorney will help you assess your situation and determine an amount that justly addresses your situation.
Contact New York Cerebral Palsy Attorneys
When your child is the victim of birth injury, it brings a great deal of change to your family’s life. Finding a lawyer to represent your cerebral palsy claim should not be an additional source of stress. As you search for a solid, experienced attorney to represent your child’s case, be aware that the best lawyers will offer you an initial consultation with no fee or obligation. In addition, many of them work on a “contingency fee,” which means that they only get paid when your case is successfully won or settled.
If your child has been the victim of birth injury resulting in cerebral palsy, you need to know that there is hope. While cerebral palsy does not have a cure, there are many ways that it can be addressed through superior medical care and ongoing therapeutic support. The key to giving your child the support they need to live the best life possible is to secure the services of an experienced lawyer who can help you receive the financial compensation that will allow your child to receive the best possible care.
Contact our New York cerebral palsy attorneys for a free, no-obligation consultation about your cerebral palsy claim. We are here to talk and ready to help.