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Medical Negligence: Cerebral Palsy

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Medical Negligence: Cerebral Palsy

There are many different causes of a baby being born with cerebral palsy; a difficult labour resulting in lack of oxygen to the brain, head trauma, or meningitis.

Whilst these are not always caused by medical negligence, Associate Anne Martin explains what happens if this is the case and what can be done to help affected individuals and their families.

What is cerebral palsy?

There are several types of cerebral palsy, caused by brain injury or malformation occurring during or immediately after birth:

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy – Affected muscles are stiff, make varying levels of jerky movements and can also become permanently shortened (contracted) causing long-term complications.
  • Athetoid and Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy – Can cause slow, writhing movements of the limbs as well as sudden, involuntary muscle spasms. Tongue and facial muscles can also be affected.
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – Difficulties with balance and fine movement which can mean a loss of balance and steadiness when walking and tasks requiring fine moto skills prove very difficult.
  • Mixed Cerebral Palsy – This is a combination of the above.

How can cerebral palsy be caused by medical negligence?

Cerebral palsy can be the result of medical mistakes such as:

  • Failure to appropriately monitor the baby and perform a timely caesarean section, causing long-term oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain
  • Improper use of forceps or suction during birth
  • Failure to discover a prolapsed umbilical cord and act accordingly
  • Failure to diagnose and treat jaundice, infection and/or meningitis.

What should I do if I think my child/family member’s condition was caused by medical negligence?

If you suspect that your child’s condition was caused by a clinical or medical mistake, you should speak to a specialist lawyer to get advice on your individual case and establish whether you have grounds for a claim of compensation.

Our team at Dutton Gregory has extensive experience in investigating cases of cerebral palsy, bringing forward and managing claims. Our specialist expertise has helped many families successful claim the money the need (in one particular case, a multi-million settlement) to care for and support loved ones with cerebral palsy for the rest of their lives.

What would a compensation claim take into consideration?

  • Pain and suffering caused by the injuries
  • Medication and therapy
  • The need for specialist equipment
  • Home adaptions or moving to an adapted property
  • Loss of earnings or earning capacity
  • Future costs of care and assistance
  • Any other related expenses, such as travelling to medical appointments

Will I have to go to court?

Most cases do not need to go to trial in court. Part of our role is to negotiate and work towards achieving out-of-court settlements that reflect your circumstances and required compensation.

Will a claim help our family understand what happened?

Many families feel that receiving an explanation as to what went wrong can help them heal and move on from the incident. We strive to seek full admission of liability from those responsible with an acknowledgment and apology for the pain and suffering caused.

How can I speak to a lawyer about my claim?

You can contact our team for confidential, free initial advice on your case without any obligation.

Either call us on 0800 5999 999 or email contact@duttongregory.co.uk