Cerebral palsy is a term used to refer to a non-progressive condition that can cause physical disability in development, particularly with respect to movement functions. We are perioidically exposed to press reports about children who have received large payouts to compensate them for this condition. However, when should the parents of a child with cerebral palsy think about instructing a medical lawyer?
What is it?
Cerebral palsy causes include damage to the motor control centres of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or after birth up to about three years old. Cases vary in severity, and there is no cure. Children living with cerebral palsy usually require some form of care and specialised medical treatment, as well as additional educational support.
What causes it?
It won’t always be clear what has caused cerebral palsy. Not all obstetric problems or birth injuries arise due to medical errors, but if medical staff are at fault, then the child, through his or her parents, can claim compensation.
What compensation will I get?
Cerebral palsy compensation depends to a large extent on the severity of the condition. Where we hear about payouts of millions of pounds, it invariably means that the child requires constant medical care and may have associated intellectual disabilities as well. The compensation level reflects the cost of providing necessary care and support for the duration of the child’s anticipated lifespan.
Where to find a cerebral palsy lawyer?
These cases are very complex and it may be that your local solicitor, even if he does some personal injury work, may not be sufficiently specialised to conduct a case like this. The best lawyer to get is one who specialises in clinical negligence, birth injuries or catastrophic injury claims. These solicitors usually have specialised knowledge and experience of medical matters, so can understand medical evidence. They are usually sensitive to the needs of disabled or injured clients.
Specialists You can find a lawyer by contacting the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, or doing a search using their Solicitors Online service. Legal directories such as Chambers and Partners or Legal 500 list lawyers who are recommended by other lawyers in their field of specialisation. Both these directories have websites where you will be able to search by specialisation.