Cerebral Palsy Negligence Claims Solicitor
Are you looking for help and advice about making a Cerebral Palsy Claim for medical negligence?
If you are not sure whether you have a valid claim, contact Sheldon Davidson Solicitors and we can talk through the circumstances of your case and help you to decide whether to proceed or not.
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition and can be very challenging. Your child can have a good quality of life, but especially in severe cases, they might need lifelong support to achieve this.
Parents can claim compensation for cerebral palsy to cover the additional costs of providing the care and attention their child needs.
Even in mild to moderate cases, compensation can go a long way towards helping your family make up for the pain and suffering endured as a whole, as well as the specific financial implications of caring for your child or adapting your home to meet their needs.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are a leading medical negligence law firm in Manchester. We have a high degree of expertise in this sensitive and complex area of law that makes us perfectly placed to answer any questions you may have about what has happened to you. Talk to one of our solicitors today.
Why choose Sheldon Davidson Solicitors?
We work closely with our clients to make sure we understand all the circumstances of your case to make the strongest possible claim for compensation.
We can help you to decide if you have enough evidence to prove negligence during birth or immediately afterwards so that we can show that your child's cerebral palsy came from an avoidable brain injury.
In every case, we listen sensitively and sympathetically to whatever you are going through. We know how difficult you may find it to talk about, but it's an important part of building your claim and getting you the compensation you deserve.
Often claimants find compensation not only helps financially but also marks a kind of closure, allowing them to move on and start building a better life with a higher quality of care for their child.
We were established in 1997 and have represented clients across the north-west and beyond during the years since, becoming a trusted law firm for families throughout England and Wales in that time.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a general term given to a collection of similar problems with movement and coordination. There are a variety of possible causes and no single precise definition for the condition.
People living with cerebral palsy might have difficulty communicating. They may have impaired vision or learning difficulties, in addition to mobility problems.
Cerebral palsy has several levels of severity, including mild, moderate and severe, and the exact symptoms can vary between different people.
Importantly, cerebral palsy is not always congenital - it can be caused by a range of complications during pregnancy, including difficulties during the birth that lead to the brain being starved of oxygen.
When this occurs due to medical negligence, Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can help you to claim compensation for pain, suffering and financial hardship arising from your child's condition, so your entire family can have a better quality of life.
Can I claim for a birth injury believed to have caused Cerebral Palsy?
If your child has sustained physical or mental injuries you feel are a direct result of problems experienced during childbirth - especially in the case of premature births – you may have strong grounds to make a medical negligence compensation claim. That claim could perhaps relate to Cerebral Palsy.
However, it might not be clear that your child has the condition until some time later, often a period of some years as they start to reach the common milestone ages for mobility and communication.
At that point, if you receive a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, you might consider making a medical negligence claim if you believe the condition is a result of the way your baby was delivered by healthcare professionals.
Was my Child's Cerebral Palsy caused by medical negligence?
Deciding whether or not your child's cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence is a crucial factor in investigating a medical negligence compensation claim.
As mentioned above, it can take time to diagnose cerebral palsy. It may be several years since your child's birth.
Your medical notes and other records are an important form of evidence, so these can form the basis for a compensation claim.
Expert witnesses will need to be engaged to give an opinion on the quality of care you received during labour, as well as the level of aftercare given to your baby immediately after birth.
Certain conditions detected in the early days of your child's life - such as meningitis, hypoglycaemia and jaundice - can also raise the risk of cerebral palsy, so evidence of these can be an important addition to any claim.
For many parents, part of the motivation to make a compensation claim is a desire to find out exactly what led to their child's condition, and we will always aim to uncover the truth where a belief exists that causation is because of medical negligence.
The way that your child’s labour and delivery was managed could be crucial – perhaps your baby was in distress and their heart rate was abnormal. Therefore, it may be the case that your child should have been born by caesarean section instead of a natural delivery, which may have lessened the severity of your child’s condition.
There may have been indications during your pregnancy, which should have alerted the hospital clinicians or your midwife to the fact that your pregnancy should have been more closely managed. These investigations may not have been undertaken, or clear signs may have been missed.
Can I claim compensation for my own Cerebral Palsy?
If you have been living with cerebral palsy since birth, you may have grounds to make a claim in your own right.
A claim for medical negligence must start within time limits set out by the law in England & Wales. This tends to be 3 years from the date of the incidence, or where the claim is not made by the parents but by the sufferer, the 3-year time limit would start at the victim’s 18th birthday.
We would urge anybody aged 18-20 who believes their cerebral palsy to be the result of a birth injury to get in touch as soon as possible to discuss making a claim.
The sooner you contact one of our experienced Cerebral Palsy Solicitors, the sooner we can examine your case, to make sure your compensation claim is completed before the standard three-year deadline expires.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
When making a claim, we must have confidence that it can be proved, that your child's cerebral palsy is the result of poor practice by healthcare professionals during birth.
For a successful medical negligence compensation claim, it will be necessary to demonstrate that there was no possible cause, other than the actions of the doctors and nurses who delivered your baby.
Cerebral palsy has several potential causes, including:
- Bleeding in the baby's brain due to any reason.
- Fetal genetic mutation during pregnancy that affects the brain's development.
- Infections picked up by the mother during pregnancy.
- A period where the baby was deprived of oxygen.
- Blood supply loss to your baby.
This is more likely in premature births or if your baby had to be resuscitated after being born.
We understand how difficult and distressing it can be to re-live these kinds of events and will always treat each case sympathetically.
But it's important to get the compensation you deserve for that distress, and for the extra costs, you face looking after your child throughout their condition.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are different types of cerebral palsy, depending on the individual's symptoms. They include:
- Spastic cerebral palsy, the most common form of the condition, which can affect the limbs on one side of the body or may only affect the legs.
- Athetoid cerebral palsy, which typically affects all the limbs and some of the muscles in the face.
- Mixed cerebral palsy, which combines some of the symptoms of both of the above conditions.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy, a rare form of the condition associated with brain damage that causes problems with coordination and balance.
All of these different types have elements in common - damage to the brain that leads to problems with muscle movement and coordination - but they also have key differences, such as the particular part of the brain where the damage occurred.
What can I claim for?
We can help you to work out exactly how much compensation to claim, based on factors like the severity of your child's condition and the challenges your family has faced as a result.
The amount of compensation awarded for birth injuries like cerebral palsy include two main parts:
- General damages provide compensation for physical pain, emotional suffering and your child's loss of mobility and other functions.
- Special damages provide compensation to repay any specific costs you have faced, for example due to loss of earnings if you had to stop working to care for your child.
If you have suffered - physically, emotionally, or financially - due to the negligence of healthcare professionals, it is only right that you should claim compensation for your losses.
This can give you the money you need to improve your child's quality of life while making things a little easier for your family as a whole.
Serious injury claims can take a long time to reach a settlement, even when liability has been resolved. If a child is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth, it could be many years before the full extent of their disability can be determined, and so the full value of the claim cannot be determined until that point either. It is vital to factor in the future needs for care, accommodation and so on.
This lengthy timeline can leave the affected child and their family in a difficult position. The child will have immediate needs for therapies, treatment, and equipment to lessen the impact of their disability. The family home may need adaptations, and in the most severe cases, the child may require round-the-clock care.
This is where interim payments can help until the lump sum payment becomes available. In order to cover the costs of these needs we always apply for interim payments whenever possible. Interim payments help to relieve the burden on families, allowing them to access the care they need when they most need it.
We welcome all enquiries, no matter whether you have firmly decided to make a claim, or you want a second opinion on whether to proceed.
After listening to your circumstances, we can help you to decide:
- Whether to make a claim?
- What your claim may be worth?
- How to demonstrate medical negligence.
Because we work on a no-win, no-fee basis, you can be assured we will give you an honest opinion on whether you have sufficient grounds to make a medical negligence claim.
If you choose to proceed, we will work hard to make sure you are awarded the compensation you are entitled to.
From our offices in Greater Manchester, our Birth Injury Solicitors, work with clients across England and Wales, and especially in parts of the North West; like Bury and Bolton, Prestwich, and Oldham, Radcliffe, and Rochdale, and many more.
We are a Lexcel-accredited personal injury law firm. That means you can have confidence that we offer high standards of practice management and excellent customer service.
Finally, we always welcome any enquiries from new and existing clients. We care deeply about the people we represent and will always consider your case on its own merits to get you the best possible outcome from your claim.