Cerebral palsy compensation claims
Cerebral Palsy occurs following a catastrophic brain injury that has lifelong consequences. Below, we take a closer look at the causes and effects of Cerebral Palsy and how you can make a claim following a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis.
Last Updated November 8th, 2023.
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How can a Cerebral Palsy solicitor help?
After learning your child has Cerebral Palsy, it is understandable that you may feel confused and afraid. A dedicated Cerebral Palsy Solicitor can offer you the legal support you need during this difficult time.
As specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors, we have the expertise necessary to win your claim. We offer unlimited legal advice and support to help guide you through making a claim.
We also operate on a no win no fee basis. That means if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not need to pay any legal fees. Alternatively, if your claim is successful your legal fees will be deducted from your compensation.
Your child deserves the best care so our team will always seek the maximum award possible. Hopefully, this should ease the financial strain on your family throughout your child’s life.
Cerebral Palsy types
A Cerebral Palsy diagnosis can be devastating for both the victim and their family. There are four different types of Cerebral Palsy that have differing effects. These include:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy is the most common type. It affects the muscles, making them tighter than they should be.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy is the least common type, affecting movement. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy causes shaking, poor balance and low muscle tone. This can make standing and sitting for long periods of time very difficult.
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy affects muscle tone. This can make muscles tight or floppy and also cause involuntary spasms.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy sufferers are impacted by more than one type of Cerebral Palsy.
How to claim for medical negligence
Want to know more about claiming for medical or clinical negligence. Jargon free, we’ll explain your legal rights, letting you know everything you need to know about claiming.
How much compensation can I claim for medical negligence?
Read our medical negligence legal guides to understand your legal rights and how much compensation you may be able to claim.
Cerebral Palsy symptoms
Usually following trauma during birth, Cerebral Palsy will become apparent within the first 2-3 years of a child’s life. This condition causes permanent physical and mental ailments that won’t worsen over time, although can lead to long term strain on the body.
Symptoms may include:
- Muscle issues including tightness, floppiness and weakness
- Involuntary movements and spasms
- Delays in achieving normal development milestones
- Difficulty walking normally
- Issues with vision, swallowing and speaking
- Learning disabilities
These issues can be quite minor or life altering, affecting the victim’s development and quality of life.
Cerebral Palsy causes
There are a few causes of Cerebral Palsy, however, by far the most common is trauma during birth. Cerebral Palsy occurs due to brain injury that can have catastrophic consequences for the child. This condition is highly complex and there may not always be a single reason behind it.
Cerebral Palsy may be caused by:
- Reduced oxygen to the brain, often during birth
- A stroke leading to a brain bleed or lack of blood supply to the brain
- An infection during pregnancy such as chickenpox or rubella
- A severe head injury during birth or soon after
Cerebral Palsy misdiagnosis
Sometimes cerebral palsy in children and babies can be misdiagnosed as another condition, meaning that you are prevented from receiving the correct treatment and potentially leaving the child in greater suffering.
In these situations it can be possible to make a claim for compensation to help with the life-long costs of support and care, and for the suffering caused by the misdiagnosis.
How common is Cerebral Palsy?
Unfortunately, Cerebral Palsy is relatively common with lifelong effects. In fact, 1-4 children out of every thousand will be affected by Cerebral Palsy. This condition is more common in babies that are premature or have a low birth weight. Cerebral Palsy also occurs more frequently in boys and black children.
Cerebral Palsy is not the only motor disability that affects children, however it is the most common.
How negligence can lead to Cerebral Palsy
Medical negligence occurs when care given by medical professionals falls below the expected standard. Cerebral Palsy is often caused due to medical negligence which means in many cases, given proper care the child would likely have been completely healthy.
Examples of medical negligence that can lead to Cerebral Palsy include:
- Failure to detect foetal distress
- Failure to properly monitor the baby’s heartbeat
- Failure to act immediately at the first signs of foetal distress
- Failure to notice the umbilical cord cutting off a baby’s oxygen supply
- Failure to notice any other symptoms of oxygen deprivation
- Failure to diagnose and treat jaundice
- Failure to detect low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
- Failure to deliver the baby by caesarean when needed
- Delay in diagnosis of serious medical illnesses (e.g. meningitis)
- Failure to detect low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Head injury following excessive force during birth
Not every case of Cerebral Palsy could have been prevented with proper care. If you are unsure whether the care your baby received was negligent or insufficient, Express Solicitors offer unlimited legal support and advice.
Can a Cerebral Palsy claim help my child?
At Express Solicitors we understand that you want the very best for your child. This may be in terms of: care, education, health, and quality of life. A Cerebral Palsy compensation claim can help to alleviate your worries about the cost of care, equipment and education needs for your child’s future.
Cerebral Palsy has lifelong effects and requires ongoing care. While this condition has no cure, there are ways of managing symptoms and improving the quality of your child’s life, however, this can be expensive.
Making a Cerebral Palsy compensation claim following medical negligence can help to pay for extra care and support with:
- Occupational therapy and physiotherapy
- Home adaptations
- Specialist aids
- 24/7 care
- Specialist education
Compensation can also be claimed for the pain and suffering you and your child experience due to their Cerebral Palsy.
Unlimited legal support.
That’s right, we provide unlimited legal support for our prospective clients. Not sure if you have a claim, or if you even want to make a claim? You can speak with us for as long as you like and as many times as you like. We’ll let you know your legal rights, completely free of charge and with no obligation to make a claim.
How long do Cerebral Palsy claims take?
Cerebral Palsy claims can be complex cases to settle and, like most medical negligence claims, might take over a year or more. However, we can arrange interim payments to help with ongoing costs of care while the case is ongoing.
What is the limitation period for Cerebral Palsy claims?
Claiming for Cerebral Palsy can help to transform your and your child’s life, providing the care and assistance you need to manage their condition effectively. However, there are certain time limits around making a Cerebral Palsy claim you must follow.
The limitation period on when you can make a claim does not start until your child turns 18. In fact, in many cases the child makes a claim themselves once they are old enough to understand the legal process. After a child turns 18, they have 3 years in which to make a Cerebral Palsy compensation claim.
If the person affected by Cerebral Palsy has a reduced mental capacity there are no limitations on the claim period.
What other birth injury claims are there?
Unfortunately, Cerebral Palsy is not the only type of injury that can occur at birth. It is however, the most common birth injury.
Birth injuries can have a devastating impact on a child and their family. However, making a birth injury claim for compensation can help to relieve the financial pressure from the extra care that’s needed.
If your child has been injured at birth, our specialist team has the experience and knowledge to recover the maximum compensation possible. You can find more information about making a birth injury claim here.
Other examples of birth injury claims include:
- Fractured bones
- Oxygen deprivation
- Spinal injuries
- Facial paralysis
- Erb’s palsy
- Brain injuries