Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claims
Cerebral palsy compensation claims refers to when an individual files a lawsuit seeking compensation from a hospital or a medical professional for being negligent resulting in your child suffering cerebral palsy.
Most times cerebral palsy claims arise when the medical professional fails to monitor appropriately the condition of the baby either for any prenatal illness or infection or correctly measure the heart rate of the baby.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition which affects the development of muscles and coordination. The condition is caused when oxygen is deprived of an infant during birth or infection to the baby during pregnancy leading to brain damage. It can also be caused by trauma during birth especially from wrong use of tools or from meningitis infection.
Although it can also result from flawed genes (very rare), the accident leading to cerebral palsy may be unavoidable or purely accidental, it may also arise from medical negligence where the doctor or other healthcare professional makes errors which were well preventable either by way of use of wrong tools, failing to detect baby’s distress, allowing labour to linger when it is unprogressive or failing to identify hypoxia.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy are not the same from one person to another. Two sufferers may experience symptoms way different from each other as well different levels or disability or impairment. While some may experience mobility issues and balance, some may have more severe issues such as muscle spasticity meaning that they cannot walk unaided. There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy and so babies who develop this condition will need lifelong care and support. Cerebral palsy statistics in the UK shows that cerebral palsy occurs in one in 400 births.
If you believe you or your child have suffered cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence, then you can make a cerebral palsy compensation claim.
Acts that constitute negligent treatment which may make an individual to make cerebral palsy claims include-
Cases of cerebral palsy mostly arise as a result of negligent monitoring of the pregnant woman and her unborn child. When the child is not properly monitored for any prenatal illnesses, there are chances of having cerebral palsy. Also, children born by older mothers or very young mothers are more likely to suffer cerebral palsy and so should be given special care during the antenatal period to be sure that the baby is in perfect health.
Furthermore, during labour and childbirth, it is vital that both mother and baby be properly monitored to ensure that labour progresses without any problems. When both are monitored properly, then it is possible to notice when the mother and/or baby is showing signs of distress, so that the process of birth can be quickened.
Additionally, when conditions such as hypoglycemia, meningitis or jaundice are not diagnosed and treated quickly, it may lead to brain damage leading to cerebral palsy.
Asides monitoring negligence, other forms of negligence include:
- Failing recognise the need for an emergency C-section, schedule and perform it as urgent as it needs to be done
- Unnecessary delays in carrying out child delivery leading to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) which ultimately causes brain damage
- Negligent or incorrect use of the forceps during an assisted delivery
- Failing to detect umbilical cord problems and arresting the issue promptly.
Cerebral palsy unfortunately is not progressive and therefore is life altering. It is debilitating and affects the individual both physically and mentally. This is why compensation awards for cerebral palsy claims are quite huge as they are meant for the lifelong care of the individual.
Cerebral Palsy Negligence Claims and Risks Factors
Some babies have a higher chance of developing cerebral palsy than others. It is important for medical professionals to be aware of this and take appropriate measures to mitigate this danger.
Risk factors of Cerebral Palsy include:
- Surgical Negligence
- Babies born to older mothers (over 40years old) or very young mothers (under 20years old)
- Premature babies having low birth weights. This actually accounts for 40% of cerebral palsy in children
- Placenta detaching from the baby before birth and then blocking the flow of oxygenated blood
- Transfer of infections from mother to baby during delivery
- Babies whose siblings had difficult births
- Babies born to overweight mothers
Types Of Cerebral Palsy
There are four main types of cerebral palsy which are:
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
This is the most common type of cerebral palsy affecting around 70% of people who have the condition. Characteristics of this type of cerebral palsy includes frequent and painful involuntary muscle movements, stiff and tight muscles making movement difficult.
Sufferers of spastic CP often have an awkward way of walking as well as uncontrollable movements and stiff limbs. Spastic CP arises from when there is damage to the part of the brain responsible for conscious movements.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
This type happens the least frequently and causes coordination and balance problems. The sufferer will show shaky and clumsy movements, occasional tremors and issues as well as issues with communication. The Ataxic CP usually arises when there is damage to the cerebellum.
Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
This type of CP affects only 10% of people with the condition. Sufferers have either rigid or floppy muscles. Athetoid CP results from cerebellum damage affecting balance and coordination, eye movement and voluntary motor function. Infants who have athetoid CP have difficulty in feeding.
Mixed Cerebral Palsy
This is the last category of cerebral palsy arising from damage to more than one area of the brain. This leads to the individual showing different types of symptoms. It may affect all four limbs, one side of the body or just one limb.
Commonly used terms by medical professionals while describing the condition of your child’s cerebral palsy are-
- Hemiplegia- one half of the body is affected by cerebral palsy
- Diplegia- two limbs are affected by cerebral palsy
- Monoplegia- one limb affected by cerebral palsy
- Quadriplegia- all four limbs affected by cerebral palsy and most often the whole body.
Proving My Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claim
There are four main parameters that you have to demonstrate that will strengthen your case and boost your chances of being compensated. These are:
Before you file a cerebral palsy claim, you should first be able to show that a relationship existed between you and the medical professional in question. This means that you need to show that you were his or her patient and that the healthcare professional had a duty of care towards you and your child. Also, if the doctor who performed the delivery wasn’t your primary doctor, this is also counted as a patient/doctor relationship.
Proof Of Breach Of Duty Of Care
After showing that you had a relationship with the medical professional meaning that the said healthcare professional owed you a duty of care, you also have to now establish that the doctor was negligent thus breaching his duty of care towards you by providing you with substandard care or making avoidable and careless mistakes which has resulted in your child suffering cerebral palsy.
This means that in a similar situation, your medical professional failed to perform as another competent medical professional in the same field would have done as per accepted standard of care.
Proof That Cerebral Palsy Was Caused By The Negligence
Very important to prove is to show that the breach of duty of care (negligence) is the direct cause of the cerebral palsy condition your child has suffered and nothing else. Proving that the cerebral palsy was caused by negligence strengthens your case showing the liability of the medical professional.
Proof Of Damages Due To The Negligence
Here you will now show how much losses you have incurred, damages suffered which include physically, financially (medical bills, loss of earnings especially where you had to give up your job), mentally (emotional distress), socially and otherwise.
Starting Your Cerebral palsy Claim
In making your claims, you first need to meet with a medical negligence solicitor who will guide you through what the process of making claims entails.
When you come to us, we will discuss your claims with you, listen to your story and offer you vital pieces of legal advice on how to go about making your claims. This will be after we have made thorough evaluations and are convinced that you have a valid claim.
We will proceed to help you gather information and records which will form evidence to corroborate your claims.
You will need the following
- An official medical report and diagnosis of your child’s condition. Usually, a case of cerebral palsy is diagnosed in children over 1 year.
- Other test and scan results
- Comprehensive statements
- Proof of financial losses and expenses incurred
- Report from a medical expert such as a neurological specialist who will perform a thorough medical examination and determine the severity of your child’s condition and cause. When the brain damage happened during birth and not during gestation period, this is a clear case of medical negligence.
These documents will be needed to make your cerebral palsy claims.
Thereafter, we will inform the defendants by writing of your intention to make claims, ensure that we prove liability of the medical professional involved and then negotiate a favorable compensation amount.
You can be rest assured that our medical negligence solicitors are some of the best in the UK, and are accredited with relevant legal bodies such as the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) panel and the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel.
We have many years of experience in this area of civil law and have secured favorable compensation awards for our clients.
Our Medical Negligence Solicitors are very professional yet friendly, approachable and empathetic. We understand what difficulties you must be passing through and we will ensure that you get the best possible form of legal representation and support you in any way you require.
How Much Compensation For Cerebral Palsy Claims?
The table below gives you an indication of what you can expect as settlement payout as indicated in the Judicial College Guidelines-
|Type Of Illness Or Injury||Severity||Description||Compensation Award|
|Cerebral Palsy||Usually very high compensation amount||Up to £15 million|
|Brain Damage||Very severe||Compensation will depend on severity of injury and consciousness of the patient||Between £214,000 and £10 million|
|Brain Damage||Moderately severe||Where there is Serious disability, meaning that the patient is totally dependent on others for day to day care||Up to £1 million|
|Brain Damage||Moderate||Impaired mobility and ability to carry out daily tasks. Potential for epilepsy.||Between £69,000 and £114,000|
|Brain Damage||Less severe||Here is a possibility for recovery||Between £11,000 and £32,000|
|Petit Mal & Epilepsy||Less severe epilepsy seizures||Between £41,000 and £100,000|
|Grand Mal & Epilepsy||Severe epilepsy seizures||Between £77,000 and £114,000|
What Can I Claim In My Cerebral Palsy Claims?
When making claims, there are several losses, costs and damages for which you can claim for. This is what will determine your final compensation value. The following are the factors which you can claim for and which will determine how much you will get for your claims:
- Severity of the injury suffered and extent of physical limitations or disability
- Degree of sensory and mental impairment
- Claims for avoidable pain and suffering
- Lost of wages/income (parents)
- Future prognosis (including life expectancy)
- Medical expenses and other financial losses due to the injury suffered (this includes past, present and estimated future costs)
- Costs of therapy and rehabilitation
- Special education costs
- Home adjustment costs
- Costs of special equipment and aids
No Win No Fee
To make things easier for you, so that you do not have to put off making claims and seeking justice, we have our No Win No Fee offer (Conditional Fee Agreement).
This policy of ours protects you from having to pay us any upfront legal fees; you don’t even have to pay us even if the claims were unsuccessful.
It is only at the end of a successful case that 25% of your compensation fee will be deducted as “success fee” while you receive the rest.
Contact us today by either calling our phone lines or you fill out our Free Online Claims Assessment Form so that we can schedule a meeting to discuss your claims and start the process of getting you a deserved compensation and justice for the wrong done to you.