Cerebral Palsy Claims

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Cerebral palsy is a complicated and life-altering neurological condition that can significantly impact a person’s motor skills, muscle control, and general movement. 

While cerebral palsy can arise due to several factors, some of these genetic, medical negligence during pregnancy, childbirth, or early infancy can also contribute to its development. 

Approximately 1,800 children receive a diagnosis of cerebral palsy each year, as reported by Scope, a disability charity. It’s thought that around 8% of the estimated 18,000 new cases reported over the past decade may have been caused by medical negligence.

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What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy impacts movement, coordination, and muscle use. It typically occurs due to damage or abnormal development of the brain.

The severity of cerebral palsy can vary, ranging from mild cases where the person may only experience slight motor limitations to severe cases where significant impairments are present.

In more severe cases, this condition can have a lasting impact on families. This is where financial compensation can be essential to improve a patient’s quality of life.

What Are The Different Types Of Cerebral Palsy?

There are different types of cerebral palsy. These can be distinguished by the area of the brain affected and the associated symptoms. 

In the UK, the main types of diagnosed cerebral palsy are spastic cerebral palsy, dyskinetic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, and mixed cerebral palsy. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy?

There are many common symptoms of cerebral palsy that can impact the life of someone diagnosed with the condition. These can, of course, vary depending on the type of condition and the severity.

Common symptoms include:

  • Difficulties with coordination 
  • Muscle stiffness or floppiness
  • Involuntary movements 
  • Trouble with fine motor skills
  • Challenges with speech and swallowing
  • Impaired balance and mobility

In addition to motor impairments, some with cerebral palsy may also experience linked conditions such as intellectual disabilities, impairments to hearing or sight, seizures, or behavioural issues. This broader impact is something to consider if you are looking to make a cerebral palsy claim.

Can Medical Negligence Cause Cerebral Palsy?

Medical negligence can be a contributing factor in some cases of cerebral palsy. 

Negligence during pregnancy, childbirth, or the immediate postnatal period can result in brain damage, leading to the development of cerebral palsy. 

Examples of medical negligence that may cause cerebral palsy include inadequate monitoring of the baby’s oxygen levels, delays in performing a necessary caesarean section, improper use of delivery instruments, failure to diagnose or treat infections in the mother, or medication errors during pregnancy or childbirth. 

Can I Make A Cerebral Palsy Claim In The UK?

Yes, it is possible to make a cerebral palsy claim in the UK if you believe that medical negligence contributed to the development of the condition. These can be made against NHS services or private medical facilities.

To pursue a claim, you must establish that the healthcare professionals involved failed to meet the expected standard of care and that their negligence directly caused or contributed to cerebral palsy. 

It is essential to consult with a solicitor specialising in medical negligence claims to assess the merits of your case, gather necessary evidence, and guide you through the legal process.

How Much Compensation Can I Get For A Cerebral Palsy Negligence Claim?

Over the past decade, NHS trusts in England have paid out over £4.3 billion in damages as a result of 1,441 clinical negligence claims related to cerebral palsy, so it is entirely possible to make a claim that can help cover the physical, emotional and financial tolls of this condition.

The amount of compensation awarded in cerebral palsy negligence claims can vary widely, as it depends on several factors. These factors include the severity of the condition, the impact on the individual’s quality of life, ongoing care needs, loss of earnings, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and any other related damages. 

Compensation aims to provide sufficient financial support to help cover past and future expenses, as well as to address the pain, and long-term consequences of living with cerebral palsy.

Who Can Claim For Cerebral Palsy Caused By Negligence?

A cerebral palsy negligence claim can be made by an affected individual if they are over the age of 18. 

If the individual with cerebral palsy is under 18, a parent or legal guardian can claim on their behalf. 

Additionally, if the cerebral palsy resulted in the death of the diagnosed individual, their immediate family members may be eligible to make a claim for compensation based on the grounds of medical negligence.

Are There Time Limits For Cerebral Palsy Claims?

Yes, there are time limits for making cerebral palsy claims in the UK. 

Generally, the limitation period is three years from the date of the negligence or from the date when the negligence was discovered. However, there are exceptions to this rule, especially in cases involving children or individuals lacking mental capacity. 

It is very common for parents to pursue claims on behalf of their children to help cover costs incurred due to the condition and any ongoing treatments. When medical negligence leads to the diagnosis of a life-changing condition, this can have a financial toll on families who need to spend more time in hospital or might need to assume the role of a permanent carer. Compensation is designed to help cover these costs.

It is crucial to seek legal advice promptly to ensure compliance with the applicable time limits and to initiate the claim within the specified period.

How Macks Can Help

If you believe that medical negligence contributed to the development of cerebral palsy, consulting with a solicitor experienced in medical negligence claims is crucial. We will thoroughly explore your case and determine the best course of action that is tailored to your specific needs.

Contact us

For more information about making a claim, you can call us on 01642 843 667; alternatively, complete our online contact form and one of our solicitors will be in touch.

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