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How To File a Lawsuit: Cerebral Palsy Settlements


Cerebral palsy (CP) is often directly caused by negligence on the part of a medical professional or medical provider. It typically involves birth and brain injuries that cause long-term developmental conditions. If you or your family is considering taking legal action in connection with cerebral palsy, this page will help explain the steps you need to take to file for a cerebral palsy settlement.

The goal of cerebral palsy lawsuits is to recover monetary compensation for the costs needed to treat the condition and improve the victim’s quality of life. In many instances, the family of a cerebral palsy victim will need upwards of $1 million to pay for medical treatment, surgical procedures, and assistive medical devices.

Disabled girl sitting in wheelchair, with close-up of leg equipment

We understand the challenges and difficulties associated with filing a complex claim like a cerebral palsy lawsuit. You might not know where to begin, and you may not understand who is liable for your child’s medical condition.

Cerebral palsy lawsuits are a type of medical malpractice case. At The Smith Law Center, we have extensive experience dealing with medical malpractice claims and can assist you in obtaining the highest possible compensation for your case. Contact us at (757) 244-7000 for a free, no-cost obligation to determine your legal rights and next steps.

Compensation in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit: What Does it Cover?

Compensation in a cerebral palsy settlement or lawsuit is intended to address the financial burdens that the victim and their family must shoulder. These expenses can add up over the years, as they are not one-time treatments or surgeries. Cerebral palsy lawsuit awards can cover:

  • Past, ongoing, and future medical treatment
  • Special medications
  • Surgeries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Costs of therapy or rehabilitation sessions
  • Equipment costs such as wheelchairs, wheelchair ramps, and vehicle modifications
  • Special education or courses

A qualified attorney can calculate the lifelong costs and can help the family obtain the highest settlement figure. In fact, the settlement amount often depends on the attorney’s ability to present evidence in court and argue for the most appropriate amount of damages.

Preparing for a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

There are several steps you and your family can take in order to sufficiently prepare for a cerebral palsy lawsuit. These can be accomplished with the assistance of a lawyer and include:

  • Making a timeline of important events and dates (term of pregnancy, birth date, important meetings with a doctor)
  • Compiling medical records that might support your claim
  • Listing potential witnesses who might be able to testify in court
  • If a defective device is involved, recording the product name or model number if possible
  • Creating a catalog of costs and expenses related to CP treatments and equipment
  • Making a note of any other similar cases you may have heard of
  • Preparing a list of questions you might have for your attorney

Handling all the details of a lawsuit can be made easier with the help of a lawyer who has experience in handling cerebral palsy cases. A lawyer will be able to guide you through the filing process and will keep you informed regarding the status of your case.

Here are a few other helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • All CP lawsuits are different: Your case is unique. Every CP case can differ greatly from one to the next. The more information you can provide your attorney, the better they will be able to prepare your case for trial.
  • Multiple parties can be liable: In certain cases, it can be a combination of parties and people acting together in a negligent manner that results in undetected perinatal infection, birth injuries, and other factors linked to cerebral palsy.
  • Payouts can be substantial: Cerebral palsy settlements can involve considerable sums. A qualified lawyer can help ensure you aren’t leaving any money on the table.
  • Time limitations will apply: You may have a limited time window in which to file your lawsuit. Don’t delay, or you may miss your chance at recovery completely.

Remember, insurance companies and agents have their own interests in mind, not yours. Insurance companies or the medical provider may often offer a settlement figure, but such offers typically don’t cover all long-term costs and expenses.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

According to the Cerebral Palsy Research Network, Cerebral palsy (CP) may be defined as a group of permanent disorders related to movement and posture. These are usually caused by disturbances that occur during fetal or infant brain development.

The limitations in physical activity and motor disorders associated with CP typically include:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Disturbances in sensation, cognition, communication, and perception
  • Various psychiatric conditions
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Diseases of the mouth
  • Abnormal perceptions of pain or touch

It is broadly accepted that only brain injuries occurring before the age of two or three years old fit the definition of CP.

There are different types of cerebral palsy, such as ataxic cerebral palsy (caused by a brain injury to the cerebellum before birth, during birth, or shortly afterward) and quadriplegic cerebral palsy (referring to the stiffness of muscles accompanying the condition).

CP is a lifelong medical condition for which there currently is no cure. However, proper management and treatment can help reduce many of the hardships and challenges associated with brain injuries. Again, such management can involve heavy financial costs, which may continue throughout the entire lifespan of the victim.

Causes and Liability in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

One of the most complicated aspects of cerebral palsy settlements is determining which people or parties may be liable for the injuries. Since brain injuries can result from a number of scenarios, it also follows that various parties can be held liable for cerebral palsy resulting from malpractice.

Common causes of cerebral palsy include:

  • Head trauma during pregnancy or after birth
  • Infections of the womb
  • Loss of oxygen (typically associated with a breech birth)
  • Brain hemorrhage due to fetal stroke
  • Premature delivery
  • Mishandling of the infant during birth or other birth injuries

In nearly 90 percent of cases, CP results from healthy brain tissue being damaged rather than from brain development abnormalities.

Such tissue damage is often the result of another person’s negligence. Liable parties may include:

  • Medical professionals, especially those involved in childbirth
  • Other medical workers, such as nurses or supporting staff
  • Hospital administrative staff (for instance, if they negligently signed off on erroneous paperwork or instructions)
  • Medical device manufacturers (for example, if a medical device failed during childbirth, causing a brain injury)

Basically, any party that disregarded or violated their duty to provide care and safety to a patient can be held liable. In the case of CP, the violation must have directly caused the brain injury in order for the party to be held liable.

Most people won’t understand the basics of cerebral palsy liability without the help of an attorney. A qualified cerebral palsy lawyer can examine the medical records and evidence to build a case for liability that can be presented in a court of law.

A Qualified Lawyer Can Help You Obtain the Highest Cerebral Palsy Settlement

The complexity of cerebral palsy settlements requires the attention and skill of attorneys who have a high degree of experience with the subject matter. At The Smith Law Center, we have decades of experience handling medical malpractice and cerebral palsy claims.

Our law firm is one of the most respected firms in the nation when it comes to brain injuries and their effects on people’s lives. Attorney Stephen Smith is President of the National of Brain Injury Trial Lawyers of America, as well as past President of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia.

Get in touch with us today at (757) 244-7000 for a free consultation and review of your CP claim. Our attorneys are on hand to ensure that your family receives the closest attention and guidance for your claim.

Cerebral Palsy Settlements FAQs

What is the average settlement for cerebral palsy?

There is no real “average” settlement amount for cerebral palsy lawsuits. As mentioned, each case is different, and will involve different facts and circumstances. When reviewing cerebral palsy settlement amounts, courts will typically analyze factors like: 

  • The severity of the CP condition and accompanying symptoms
  • The age and projected life span of the brain injury victim
  • The degree of negligence of the liable party
  • Past, current, and future expenses associated with the condition

A skilled attorney will be able to build a case and present evidence in a way that yields the highest settlement amount for the victim. 

Can you sue a doctor for cerebral palsy? 

Yes. Doctors can commit the type of medical malpractice that causes cerebral palsy. These can include making surgery errors, errors in treatment, pharmaceutical errors, or other types of negligence. 

They can also commit other forms of negligence, such as a misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis, which can contribute to and cause cerebral palsy. Failing to follow proper health and safety procedures in treating pregnant patients can also lead to a malpractice claim. 

Can you sue a hospital for cerebral palsy? 

Yes. Other professionals and employees at a hospital can be held liable if they disregard the duty of care they should be held to. These can include nurses, doctor’s assistants, administrative staff, and other personnel. 

A cerebral palsy attorney will be able to trace the trail of causation to determine exactly which parties can be held liable for malpractice. In certain instances, an entire health care organization can be held liable, such as when their overall policies are in violation of health and safety standards.

How can a lawyer help me with a cerebral palsy settlement? 

A lawyer can help by providing the guidance and preparation needed for a successful claim. Depending on the exact situation, different legal theories can be involved in cerebral palsy settlements. An attorney will be able to examine the facts and the laws to ensure that you receive the settlement award you are entitled to. 

At The Smith Law Center, we understand the emotional and mental strain that CP brings into families. We are here to help lighten your load in any way we can. 

If you or a loved one needs legal assistance, contact us at (757) 244-7000 today. Reaching out to us is the first step in obtaining the justice you and your family deserve. 

VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS

Brain Injury Case

Awarded: $2,200,000.00

Summary: Our lawyers obtained an award for $2,200,000.00 for a child who sustained a brain injury during a hospital surgery.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Case

Awarded: $1,175,00.00

Summary: We helped a woman obtain an award of $1,175,00.00 for a mild traumatic brain injury she sustained in the hospital in connection with a surgery. 

Client Testimonials

“I was very happy with The Smith Law Center. They are professional, attentive, and will truly fight for you. The entire office is very nice and communicates throughout the whole process. Mr. Gill is fantastic as well as the paralegals and the other administration team.”

-E. Lovett

“The attorneys and staff are great to work with. They care not only about a successful recovery, but ensuring their clients know what options are available for protecting the recovery long-term.”

-A. Hook

VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS

Brain Injury Case

Awarded: $2,200,000.00

Summary: Our lawyers obtained an award for $2,200,000.00 for a child who sustained a brain injury during a hospital surgery.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Case

Awarded: $1,175,00.00

Summary: We helped a woman obtain an award of $1,175,00.00 for a mild traumatic brain injury she sustained in the hospital in connection with a surgery. 

Client Testimonials

“I was very happy with The Smith Law Center. They are professional, attentive, and will truly fight for you. The entire office is very nice and communicates throughout the whole process. Mr. Gill is fantastic as well as the paralegals and the other administration team.”

-E. Lovett

“The attorneys and staff are great to work with. They care not only about a successful recovery, but ensuring their clients know what options are available for protecting the recovery long-term.”

-A. Hook

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American Board of Trial Advocates
Brain Injury Association
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SPEAK TO US NOW FOR FREE

Your legal questions answered, completely free of charge.

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IF WE DON’T WIN, YOU DON’T PAY

There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.

icon target

DELIVERING RESULTS SINCE 1949

We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU - Tablet View

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU


Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.