Juries sometimes award millions of dollars to those who develop cerebral palsy at birth. This is generally because a doctor or healthcare professional acted negligently during delivery, causing the child to suffer brain damage.
A family who’s child was diagnosed with CP shortly after birth has the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. The goal of the lawsuit is to compensate your family for the losses you’ve suffered, as well as expected future expenses such as surgery, physical therapy, speech therapy, assistive devices, and more.
These lawsuits can be tough to win, but here are the basics of how they work.
Negligence is a central concept of civil law. Negligence means that someone didn’t perform as someone could have been reasonably expected to perform in the same situation. Where medical professionals are concerned, it means that they provided treatment which falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes an injury. When they fail in this regard, lives are affected. Accordingly, victims have the right to pursue compensation in the form of a claim or lawsuit.
Your lawyer will work to figure out if/where negligence played a part in the child suffering the injury. Sometimes it will be an instance where the sufferer wasn’t given the right medication. It might be that fetal distress signals were ignored, or that a c-section was unnecessarily delayed.
Settlement vs. Trial
A settlement is offered when and if the defendant feels as though they may lose in court, of when the cost of litigation exceeds your damages. From their perspective, the settlement may be advantageous because it minimizes their potential losses. From your perspective, it guarantees receiving at least some money, which cannot be guaranteed in a jury trial. Settlements are rarely offered in medical malpractice cases, but speak to your attorney about the strength of your claim.
If the trial goes forward, your lawyer will try to persuade the jury that your child deserves the money you’re seeking. Sometimes, the jury will award the whole amount and sometimes they’ll award part of the amount you’re seeking. They may also opt to award money for one reason, but not for another. Only a cerebral palsy lawyer can tell you if your case seems strong, and they have no reason to lie to you. These types of cases are taken on a no-win, no-fee basis, so any financial risk would be on the attorney.