When to Hire a Cerebral Palsy Attorney

When a doctor or hospital’s negligence is the catalyst for your child’s cerebral palsy (CP), it’s a grave injustice that demands accountability. But don’t expect a doctor to readily admit an error. That’s as rare as seeing a shooting star on a cloudy night. 

Cerebral palsy attorneys can help you hold negligent doctors accountable—you might even call it their “superpower”. They have unique knowledge and skills that help them fight for compensation for kids with preventable CP (and other birth injuries.) 

By working with a cerebral palsy lawyer, you too can “power up” and recover both justice and economic relief. Stay with us to find out how. 

Gavel and scale, representing the pursuit of justice.

Can Malpractice Cause Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and muscle coordination. The main cause is brain damage during or a short time after birth. 

Various factors and birth injuries can lead to cerebral palsy. For example, there could be an issue with the placenta or the umbilical cord. The baby could experience oxygen deprivation for a prolonged period if doctors fail to recognize the problem and treat it. The longer a baby is deprived of oxygen, the higher the chance of developing cerebral palsy or another condition that stems from brain damage.  

What if the brain damage results from a healthcare provider’s negligence? That would constitute medical malpractice, and warrant a lawsuit. So to answer the question at hand, yes, medical malpractice can be the cause or a contributing factor in the development of cerebral palsy.

Here are some examples of how medical malpractice can cause cerebral palsy:

  • Injuring the baby’s brain while using forceps or vacuum extraction to extract the baby
  • Not diagnosing or treating maternal infections 
  • Administering the wrong medications or incorrect doses to a pregnant woman
  • Failing to recognize and treat a condition that causes Inadequate oxygen supply to the baby’s brain during labor and delivery 

Who Can File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?

In most cases, the parents or legal guardians of a child with cerebral palsy initiate legal action. Grandparents or siblings sometimes have legal standing to file a lawsuit if they’re directly involved in the child’s care. If the child has passed away, the executor of the child’s estate may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Let’s suppose you suspect a doctor dropped the ball and caused your child’s cerebral palsy. Do you qualify to file a lawsuit? That depends. 

First, you can’t file suit on suspicion alone. You’re going to need evidence and proof (A cerebral palsy attorney can help you with this).

Other criteria you need to meet include:

  • Your child has an official diagnosis of cerebral palsy
  • The statute of limitations for your case hasn’t passed (this is the “time limit” that states put on filing malpractice lawsuits).
  • You’ve consulted a medical expert, and they identified negligence in your case.
Close-up image of a dictionary page with the word 'diagnosis' highlighted.

Should You Contact a Cerebral Palsy Attorney?

Let’s face it–caring for a child with cerebral palsy isn’t cheap. Over the child’s lifetime, parents end up paying upwards of a million dollars in medical bills.

If your child developed cerebral palsy because a doctor derailed treatment somewhere down the line, you shouldn’t have to cover those costs. 

A cerebral palsy attorney can help you hold the guilty party accountable. You may be eligible for a payout, via a settlement or trial verdict. With this money, you can pay past and future bills. Your compensation may also cover damages like wages you lost while staying in the hospital with your child. 

When should you contact a cerebral palsy lawyer? As soon as possible! In most states, you can’t file a lawsuit after 2 or 3 years have passed since an injury occurred.

Time is ticking—but the good news is that it’s easy to schedule an initial consultation with a cerebral palsy law firm. And here’s some even better news—most firms won’t charge you for this first meeting. 

What to Look For in a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

The first time you meet with a cerebral palsy attorney, you’ll share the details of your case. Then the firm will review the evidence. They may consult with a medical expert to determine whether negligence occurred. If the firm believes they can secure compensation for you, they’ll agree to take your case. 

But you also have to agree to work with a particular attorney. And you must choose wisely. The outcome of your case could depend on it.

Here are a few hallmarks of a quality cerebral palsy law firm to look out for:

  • They only take on medical malpractice cases. They’ll be more likely to understand the nuances of these cases than a firm that handles a “grab bag” of case types. 
  • They don’t charge you for an initial consultation. 
  • They work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no fees upfront. Your attorney only gets paid if you do. 
  • They have accolades/awards and consistently great reviews from clients.
  • They provide evidence of successful verdicts for cases similar to yours. 

How Much Can I Win From a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?

The average settlement amount in cerebral palsy lawsuits is about $1 million. This coincides with the average cost of treatment for a child with CP. 

Of course, as the saying goes, “results may vary”. Each case is unique. For example, the cerebral palsy lawyers at Hampton & King recovered $1 million for a case where a woman’s uterus ruptured, and the baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

 In a similar case of a ruptured uterus leading to cerebral palsy, our firm recovered $3 million. The difference was in the details. Different factors lead to one case garnering more compensation than the other. 

The amount you might win is influenced by factors like:

  • The severity of your child’s condition
  • Your child’s projected future medical expenses
  • The degree of negligence involved
  • The rules of the jurisdiction where you file your lawsuit (some jurisdictions limit the damages you can recover)

Your cerebral palsy lawyer will help you determine how much compensation you’re due. There are two main types of damages you can demand: economic and non-economic. 

Economic damages are measurable financial losses like:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Future medical expenses
  • Special education needs
  • Assistive devices

Non-economic damages are more subjective.

They cover compensation for non-measurable losses like:

There’s one more type of damage you can recover, but only in rare cases. Punitive damages are meant as punishment for egregious negligence. One example of such negligence is the case of the surgeon who burned his initials into a patient’s organ.

Lawyer discussing lawsuit options with a potential client for a cerebral palsy lawsuit.

You Can Discuss Your Case With a Cerebral Palsy Attorney for Free

Your child deserves the best care and quality of life possible. No amount of money can undo a physician’s mistake, but compensation can help your child thrive. 

There’s no price tag on talking with our experienced cerebral palsy lawyers about your case. We’ll answer your questions and let you know what your legal options are.  

We understand the difficulties families affected by preventable birth injuries face. We’re here to help.

Set up your free consultation now and take the first step toward securing justice and support for your child’s future.

Cerebral Palsy FAQ’s

How long after birth can you sue for cerebral palsy?

The amount of time you may have to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit varies by state. The law that dictates this amount of time is called the “statute of limitations.” In Texas, the statute of limitations for cerebral palsy cases is 2 years. 

We encourage you to seek legal help as soon as you’re aware of your child’s injury. After the statute of limitations expires, you’ll lose your right to file a lawsuit forever.

How much compensation for cerebral palsy?

Compensation for negligence-related cerebral palsy can be anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions. The estimated lifetime cost of caring for a person with cerebral palsy is about $1.6 million. Compensation in cerebral palsy lawsuits can cover the cost of treatment. So current compensation for CP is also usually around a million dollars. However, some cases bring in much more. Families can also receive compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. 

Here are some examples of cerebral palsy compensation our firm has obtained for our clients:

– $4,000,000 for negligent administration of Pitocin that led to cerebral palsy.
– $3,000,000 for a ruptured uterus that led to cerebral palsy.
– $1,000,000 for a ruptured uterus that led to cerebral palsy.

What is clinical negligence for cerebral palsy?

The term clinical negligence means a healthcare provider failed to meet the standard of care, resulting in harm to a patient. When it comes to cerebral palsy, this can mean that during pregnancy, birth, or right after birth, the doctors or nurses didn’t take the right steps to keep the baby safe. At some point they made a mistake, leading to brain injury, which in turn led to cerebral palsy.  

Some examples of clinical negligence that could lead to cerebral palsy are:

– Failing to recognize or respond to fetal distress
– Failing to order a C-section when it’s necessary
– Not diagnosing and treating maternal infections
– Not monitoring or treating babies that are at high risk for jaundice, infections, or hypoglycemia.
– Causing a traumatic brain injury with improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors