Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Settlements: Patterns and Outcomes

Between 8,000 to 10,000 babies born in the U.S. each year are diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

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Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Settlement Patterns

Due to medical complexities, evolving medical standards, severity of injuries, and specific jurisdiction, it can be difficult to characterize any one cerebral palsy lawsuit settlement as “typical”. However, some general trends have emerged in the past few years which seem to influence damage award amounts in these cases:

  • Clear evidence of negligence. When there is clear, empirical evidence that a child’s birth injury was the result of medical negligence, damage awards and settlement amounts trend higher.
  • Costs of lifetime care. More often today, settlements take into account the cost of a lifetime of care. This can include long term medical care, therapy, assistive technologies, home and auto modifications, and many more.
  • Structured settlements. Structured settlements are becoming more common. These are periodic payments as opposed to a lump sum payout. This allows for ongoing financial support that can be adapted to meet a child’s future needs.
  • Non-monetary terms. Some birth injury claims incorporate non-monetary terms into lawsuit settlements. These are generally agreements by the defendant (usually a hospital or other healthcare facility) to implement new policy or training to prevent future similar incidents.
  • Tort reform. Recent changes to malpractice laws include caps on settlement amounts. This can have a dramatic impact on damage awards.

The Impact of Lawsuit Settlement Trends

It is reasonable to assume that some recent high profile cerebral palsy settlements have the potential to impact future settlements. These include:

  • A $22.6 million settlement for a U.K. boy born in 2015 and diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy as a result of oxygen deprivation at birth. His birth injuries are so profound that he is unable to sit, stand, walk unaided, or speak and needs at least two people to provide care for him around the clock.
  • A four-year-old boy in Ireland with spastic cerebral palsy from a birth injury settled with a local hospital for more than $8million. As part of the settlement, the hospital was required to issue a public apology.
  • A $35 million settlement agreement for a now 7-year-old girl who suffered a birth injury that resulted in cerebral palsy. The catastrophic injury she suffered at the hands of medical personnel will necessitate constant medical care for the remainder of her life.

Cerebral Palsy Cases: Factors That Influence Damage Awards

Multiple factors enter into the determination of lawsuit settlements for children with cerebral palsy due to medical negligence. These include:

  • The cost of the child’s medical care, therapies, and rehabilitation in the past, the present, and for the future
  • Special education expenses
  • Assistive technologies and modifications to home and automobiles for accessibility
  • Cost of caregivers
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages if the medical negligence was especially egregious

Challenges Faced by a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

A cerebral palsy lawyer can face many challenges when negotiating a settlement in a birth injury case. These can include:

  • Establishing causation. This involves establishing a direct link between the actions or inactions of the medical personnel and the child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis.
  • Understanding complex medical information. Cerebral palsy lawyers must have a thorough understanding of complicated medical information in a birth injury case. For this reason, they often work with medical experts to interpret standards of care and develop a strong argument for culpability.
  • Emotional toll. There is an emotional component in these cases that impacts not only the family of the victim, but the attorney as well. A cerebral palsy lawyer must remain both professional and empathetic to effectively represent their clients.
  • Legal reforms. Damage caps, tort reform, and statutes of limitations can dramatically impact a birth injury case. A cerebral palsy attorney must remain up-to-date on legal issues that could potentially impact the case.

Pintas & Mullins: Meeting the Moment and Up to the Challenge

The cerebral palsy lawyers at Pintas & Mullins have represented thousands of clients, negotiating millions in settlements for those who have suffered birth injuries. We are up to the challenge of fighting for you and your child, and will provide a free assessment of your case, while consulting with our wide network of legal and medical experts. Call or text 800-934-6555 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form online to get started today.

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Yes. Please have an attorney, paralegal, or staff member from Pintas & Mullins law firm or their co-counsel contact me as soon as possible to discuss my questions. They may contact me by email or telephone (including phone calls, text messages, autodialed / auto-selected or pre-recorded calls). I understand that message and data rates may apply and that consent to such contact is not required for use of these services. I also agree to the Privacy Policy, Anti Fraud Policy and online Terms, including its mandatory arbitration provision.
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