Cerebral Palsy Claims

Cerebral Palsy Claims

A cerebral palsy medical negligence claim alleges that a healthcare provider's failure to meet the standard of care during pregnancy, childbirth, or the neonatal period resulted in a child developing cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder. The claim seeks compensation for the child's lifelong disabilities, medical expenses, and related damages caused by the negligence.

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If your child has cerebral palsy and you believe that this was caused by medical errors during pregnancy or birth, you are likely to be entitled to claim compensation on their behalf.

Cerebral palsy refers to neurological conditions arising from brain damage which affect movement, muscles, balance and posture. It can cause learning and developmental difficulties, problems with eating and issues with vision and speech. It can also be caused later in childhood, for example, if a child contracts meningitis or suffers a head injury. The amount of compensation in a cerebral palsy case is generally substantial, to consider the extent of care that will be needed over a child’s lifetime. 

At P.A. Duffy & Co Solicitors, our medical negligence team can represent your child in bringing a compensation claim. We know how important it is to secure a payment that will support your child for the rest of their life, and you can be assured that we will work tirelessly to achieve the right outcome. 

When can cerebral palsy occur?

It is often the case that the reason a child has cerebral palsy cannot be identified. It may be that it has arisen during pregnancy, for example, because of a bleed on the brain, and no one is to blame. In some cases, however, medical failings may play a part. This is very difficult for parents to hear, and you will no doubt want someone to be held accountable. While there sadly is no way to undo the damage that has been done, by securing the best possible compensation for your child, you can ensure that they have the care they need for the future. 

Circumstances that can give rise to cerebral palsy include:

  • Insufficient oxygen at birth, which could have been avoided

  • Inadequate monitoring of a baby’s heartbeat during birth

  • A delay in delivering a baby

  • An infection in pregnancy that was not diagnosed or was not adequately treated

  • Low blood sugar levels in the baby after birth, referred to as neonatal hypoglycaemia) that was not noticed or not adequately treated

  • Jaundice that was not properly treated

If you believe that you or your baby may have received inadequate care or issues were not spotted and dealt with in time, you are strongly advised to speak to a legal expert. If you ask us to represent you, we will ask our medical experts to look at your baby’s medical history in detail as well as carry out examinations. Where we believe that a valid claim exists, we will prepare a strong case on your behalf and notify your healthcare provider.


How long do cerebral palsy claims take? 

Cerebral palsy is a complex condition, and, in some cases, it can take years to fully understand the extent to which a child has been affected and the level of care they may require. To ensure your child is adequately compensated, it may be advisable to wait to settle the claim until there is sufficient medical evidence available in support. If your child’s claim is likely to be lengthy, we can ask for interim payments to be made in the meantime so that you can afford the help you need and pay for other expenses, such as adapting your home and providing specialist equipment.

How much compensation is paid for cerebral palsy claims?

The amount paid will depend on the level of care your child is likely to require for the rest of their life. Other points will be considered, such as their quality of life and whether a parent has had to give up their career to become their child’s carer.

We can discuss with you the sort of compensation you might receive, as well as issues such as how the payment will be made. For example, you could opt for your child to receive index-linked payments for life, which reassures you of knowing that their care will always be paid for.

How do I make a claim for my child?

The first step in bringing a cerebral palsy claim is speaking to a medical negligence solicitor. If you would like us to take your case, we will start by collecting evidence of what has happened, including medical records, and advising the relevant health authority that you will be claiming on behalf of your child. We will put together a robust case and determine whether the health authority will be admitting liability. If they do admit liability for what has happened, we can consider issues such as interim payments. We will continue to have your child assessed by our medical experts so that a final sum in compensation can be agreed upon. If when the time comes, we do not believe that enough compensation has been offered, we can take your case to court. It is often the case however that cases can be settled out of court. 

Speak to our solicitors in Dungannon, Belfast and Dublin. For a  consultation with one of our expert medical negligence lawyers, call us on 028 8772 2102 (UK) or 01 533 7860 (IE).

How can I finance a medical negligence claim?

We know that funding a compensation claim might be a worry, so we offer a range of options.

These include:

  • Legal Aid

  • Legal expenses cover

  • After the Event insurance (ATE insurance)

  • Private payment

What is the time limit for a cerebral palsy claim?

For an adult, there is a three-year time limit for bringing a medical negligence claim. This is known as the limitation period. It runs either from the date of the negligent incident or the date that you became aware of the injury you suffered.

In the case of a child, the three-year time limit runs from the date of their 18th birthday.

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Our Medical Negligence Solicitors

Conal McGarrityConal McGarrityDirector
Naomi WhiteNaomi WhiteSolicitor
Gary DalyGary DalySolicitor
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