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Cerebral Palsy Solicitors

cerebral palsy solicitorsDealing with cerebral palsy can be overwhelming, but having knowledgeable Cerebral Palsy Solicitors on your side can make all the difference. 

Across the UK, many families are affected by cerebral palsy, a group of conditions that affects the brain and muscular functionality of an individual for the entirety of their life. Cerebral palsy negligence claims arise following a birth injury or shortly after delivery.

The symptoms of cerebral palsy become evident in the first 18 months to 4 years of age. The full extent of the client’s injury may not be determined until the ages of 14 years old to young adulthood.

As the parent or guardian of a child with cerebral palsy resulting from medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the medical professionals or hospital where this negligence occurred. Our expert team of Cerebral Palsy Solicitors have the necessary experience and knowledge to support you through the compensation process, providing your child with the resources required for lifelong care.

Expert Cerebral Palsy Solicitors

Our experienced Cerebral Palsy Solicitors will endeavour to provide first class service throughout the process. This entails settling the claim, obtaining suitable care, treatment, accommodation, and equipment. Our solicitors will assist with the Court of Protection application, providing independent financial advice and setting up a Personal Injury Trust for the child.

If you are considering pursuing a claim, please get in touch with our Cerebral Palsy Solicitors by calling 0800 086 2929, emailing info@elitelawsolicitors.co.uk or by completing our Free Online Enquiry Form.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is the medical term used for a group of disorders that often occur at birth. The name of these disorders refers to the cerebral function of the body, the brain, alongside palsy, which means problems or weakness of the muscles. Cerebral palsy is caused by problems with the brain that develop before, during and soon after birth and becomes most noticeable several years into the life of a child if it is not spotted at birth.

What are the different types of cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is not a single condition but a collection of different related conditions resulting from similar issues with brain development or damage. As such, there are multiple different categorisations for cerebral palsy that a doctor may diagnose a child with. These include:

Spastic cerebral palsy

The most common form of cerebral palsy, affecting up to 80% of people with this condition. Individuals have increased muscle tone, making them still and their movements awkward. This can affect various body parts, including the legs, arms, a single side of the body or the whole body.

Dyskinetic cerebral palsy

Dyskinetic cerebral palsy makes it difficult for individuals to sit or walk due to poor control of movement in their feet, legs, hands and arms, resulting in uncontrollable movement. In some cases, difficulty speaking, swallowing and sucking can be part of this type of cerebral palsy.

Ataxic cerebral palsy

This form of cerebral palsy affects balance and coordination, making individuals unsteady on their feet. Difficulty with movements that require control, such as writing or picking up objects, is also common.

Mixed cerebral palsy

Mixed cerebral palsy applies to individuals who show symptoms of multiple forms of cerebral palsy. The most common of these is spastic-dyskinetic cerebral palsy, where poor control and stiff muscles make it difficult to handle day-to-day tasks.

What are the symptoms of cerebral palsy?

While cerebral palsy does cover multiple different specific conditions, many of the symptoms for these types are similar. In cases where a baby is born with suspected cerebral palsy, due to lack of oxygen or otherwise difficult birth, doctors may conduct tests immediately and arrange check-ups to monitor their progress. In other cases, such as medical negligence cases where proper care is not taken, some of the symptoms you may notice for this condition include:

  • Delays in particular development milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling or walking
  • Feeling too stiff or floppy when held
  • Weakness in the arms, legs and hands when reaching for food or toys
  • Clumsy, jerky or seemingly uncontrolled movements
  • Random movements that do not seem to have a purpose
  • Walking on tiptoes or with an otherwise different gait
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Having problems with speech
  • Diagnosis of a learning disability that may indicate cerebral palsy

As a highly varied condition, the symptoms for one child with cerebral palsy can vary significantly from another child with the same diagnosis. Cerebral palsy can be relatively mild, requiring few accommodations, or may be diagnosed alongside other health problems and learning difficulties, requiring lifelong care.

Can medical negligence cause cerebral palsy?

Medical negligence can be a cause of cerebral palsy in some cases. Some babies are born with this condition due to other factors, such as problems with brain development in the womb or even an infection contracted by the mother. However, negligence in monitoring and delivering babies are a key catalyst of this lifelong health condition. Some examples of medical negligence resulting in cerebral palsy include:

  • Failure to properly monitor the heartbeat of the baby ahead of delivery
  • Using incorrect instruments during delivery, such as forceps
  • Delay or failure to carry out a caesarean section
  • Delivering a baby too slowly where intervention is necessary
  • Failure to remove a cord from around the neck of the baby
  • Delay or failure in treating signs of asphyxiation in the baby
  • Delay in diagnosis of illnesses causing cerebral palsy, such as meningitis
  • Failure to detect medical concerns such as hypoglycaemia or jaundice
  • Dropping the baby or hitting its head, resulting in a brain injury

Not all cases of cerebral palsy are the result of negligence. In some situations, this condition may be unavoidable or the result of earlier brain development in the womb. If you are unsure whether you have a claim, speaking to expert Cerebral Palsy Solicitors can provide the insight necessary to make the best decision for you or your child.

How do I make a negligence claim? Do I need to instruct specialist Cerebral Palsy Solicitors?

If you feel you meet the above criteria and you have a medical negligence claim to make due to clinical error, you should start by working with experienced Cerebral Palsy Solicitors to determine the next best steps for your case.

The process for cerebral palsy claims begins with a Letter of Claim outlining the reasons you believe medical error or negligence is at fault for this condition. Following on from this, the hospital or medical professional you are claiming against has three months to respond and complete their own investigations. At this point, your compensation claim will either be confirmed and settled or, if denied, it will continue onto the Court for a final decision.

How much compensation could I receive?

Cerebral palsy is a complex medical condition with a wide range of severities and secondary conditions that can result from medical negligence. For example, one individual with minor symptoms of cerebral palsy would have a very different claim than the parents of a child with severe cerebral palsy and learning difficulties, resulting in a lack of mental capacity and a requirement for lifelong care. For instance, compensation may be used to cover the following:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Adaptations to the home
  • 24/7 care
  • Specialist education and resources
  • Wheelchairs and mobility equipment
  • Vehicles and transport

Depending on the needs of each individual, cerebral palsy claims as a result of medical negligence can be in the millions to cover lifelong care, support and equipment. Working directly with appropriately experienced Cerebral Palsy Solicitors is the ideal way to calculate the amount of compensation you should be seeking.

Is there a time limit for bringing a claim?

The time limit in place for cerebral palsy claims longer than in many medical negligence cases, as this condition is usually caused before, during or soon after birth. Due to this, you can begin a claim on behalf of your child as their parent or guardian at any point before their 18th birthday.

For individuals over 18, your time limit will differ depending on your mental capacity. You can claim for yourself before your 21st birthday.

For individuals with reduced mental capacity, there is no limit to when a loved one can make a claim.

How long do cerebral palsy negligence claims take?

As with many clinical negligence cases, cerebral palsy claims can be complex, requiring in-depth research and large amounts of data to complete the claims process.

A typical clinical negligence case for cerebral palsy will take at least one year, though it can take longer. Depending on the claim, it may be possible to arrange interim compensation payments while the case is ongoing. These funds contribute towards the care and support of your child while investigations are ongoing.

It is also worth considering that you may want to wait for a cerebral palsy claim to understand the full extent of medical care your child requires. Even if cerebral palsy is suspected and diagnosed following birth, it can take several years to understand the specific requirements of your child. By waiting, you can ensure the compensation you receive aligns with the reality of the lifelong care your child will need.

cerebral palsy negligence claimsHow our Cerebral Palsy Solicitors can help

At Elite Law, our experienced Cerebral Palsy Solicitors undertake an initial assessment of the circumstances, with a view to ensuring that cases are managed in a timely fashion with a particular emphasis placed on the importance of getting the correct treatment and rehabilitation for the client from the outset.

If you are considering making a cerebral palsy claim, you should be looking to instruct appropriately qualified and experienced Cerebral Palsy Solicitors.

Contact our specialist Cerebral Palsy Solicitors

Get in touch with our team at Elite Law Solicitors today by calling 0800 086 2929, emailing info@elitelawsolicitors.co.uk or by completing our Free Online Enquiry Form. A member of our team will be happy to discuss the complexities and requirements of a cerebral palsy negligence claim with you.

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    Dino Enahoro

    Solicitor & Head of Department
    Clinical Negligence

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