Understanding Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Settlements

Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder brought on by abnormal brain development before birth, during birth, and within a month to a few years after birth.

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The Cost of a Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

A family with a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy faces a lifetime of physical, emotional, and financial challenges, including:

  • Emotional and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
  • Intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and issues with schoolwork
  • Mobility issues
  • Communication challenges
  • Pain that affects their relationships and social interactions
  • Hearing and/or vision impairments
  • Sleep issues
  • Bladder and bowel control issues
  • Spine and hip abnormalities

Most of these issues require costly ongoing medical and therapeutic interventions, often for the lifetime of the child. Filing a cerebral palsy malpractice lawsuit can help defray some of these costs.

What is the Difference Between a Malpractice Settlement and a Court Verdict?

Once you file a cerebral palsy malpractice lawsuit, quite often, the defendant and their attorney will offer to settle the suit outside of court. A settlement is an amount negotiated and agreed upon between the parties to compensate the victim for damages, such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Special education needs
  • Assistive technologies and home modifications
  • Caregiver expenses
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

The advantage of a settlement agreement is that it is an agreed-upon amount awarded to the plaintiff. A settlement is often faster and less stressful than going to trial. And while a jury award can often exceed the settlement amount, there is no guarantee that it will. In fact, a trial can and often does drag out for longer and is more costly than pursuing a malpractice settlement. However, if the proposed settlement seems inadequate to compensate for damages or the two parties cannot agree upon a settlement amount, the case will need to be decided by a judge or jury in court.

What Factors Influence Cerebral Palsy Settlement Amounts?

A cerebral palsy malpractice settlement amount is determined by several factors, including:

  • Medical costs
  • Severity of the child’s condition
  • The healthcare provider’s level of negligence
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress

What is the Process for Filing a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?

Should you choose to pursue a cerebral palsy lawsuit, you can expect the case to proceed as follows:

  • Determine if your case meets the criteria for medical negligence. If the cerebral palsy diagnosis is a result of medical negligence, it should encompass medical care administered during pregnancy, labor and delivery, as well as during postnatal care and whether the injury occurred to the baby, the mother, or both.
  • Meet with a cerebral palsy lawyer. Consult with a cerebral palsy lawyer. They will assess your case and determine if you should proceed with a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
  • Obtain relevant medical records. Gather all medical records relevant to prenatal care, labor, delivery, and postnatal care to support your claim.
  • Consult with medical experts. Typically, a cerebral palsy lawyer will have medical experts in their professional network. A medical expert will review medical records to determine if there was medical negligence. They can also act as an expert witness in your lawsuit.
  • Have your attorney file a cerebral palsy lawsuit. If your attorney determines there is sufficient evidence to support a cerebral palsy claim, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
  • Negotiate a settlement. Your attorney will work to negotiate the best possible settlement with the defendant, their attorney, and their insurance company. As the plaintiff, you are not obligated to accept a settlement if you feel it is insufficient to cover your damages.
  • Trial. Should settlement efforts fail, your case will likely go to trial where both sides will present evidence and make their arguments before a judge and/or jury. The judge or jury will then decide if damages are due you and the amount of the award you should receive.

What Legalities Should I Consider When Filing a Malpractice Lawsuit?

As you move forward with your cerebral palsy malpractice lawsuit, there are several legalities to bear in mind:

  • Statute of limitations. While laws differ from state to state, most families generally have between 1 to 2 years to proceed with legal action.
  • Damage caps. Some states have passed laws that limit the amount of medical malpractice damages that can be awarded. Your medical malpractice attorney can provide you with insight in your jurisdiction.
  • Hiring an attorney. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and technical. This is one of those instances in which you’ll want an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.

Pintas & Mullins Medical Malpractice Lawyers Are Here to Help

Our cerebral palsy malpractice attorneys offer free consultations and case evaluations. We’ll come to you, whether that’s at home or in the hospital…we’re here to help. We’ve been fighting for justice and compensation for families like yours for decades. Call or text 800-970-4884 to schedule a case assessment or complete a Free Case Evaluation form online.

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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.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.