If your baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may be able to pursue damages in an Alaska birth injury case. If an investigator and legal team can help you prove that your infant’s injury occurred as a result of medical negligence, your family may be able to collect damages and hold the medical professional or hospital responsible.
A cerebral palsy lawyer in Alaska can review your case for free. You may be eligible for financial recovery based on your child’s condition and the injury that they suffered during pregnancy, delivery, or after birth care.
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Could Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy Been Prevented?
Approximately 20% of all cerebral palsy cases result from brain damage that occurs during the birthing process. While not every instance of cerebral palsy in an infant is preventable, there are certainly medical mistakes that can leave a newborn with brain damage.
Preventable factors include:
- Hospital administrative errors that caused a healthcare provider to be unaware of a pre-existing medical condition and therefore not treating the mother or infant correctly
- Not detecting or treating fetal distress or other serious problems during pregnancy or delivery in time
- Doctors or nursing staff making other errors in the delivery room and misuse tools
If your newborn suffered an injury and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may have a valid case if you can show the injury to your baby was preventable. By hiring a birth injury attorney, you can get help proving this.
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Your Alaska Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Prove Medical Malpractice Took Place
According to Alaska Statutes §9.55.540, in order to make your case that a medical professional acted negligently, you and your cerebral palsy lawyer in Alaska will need to establish the following elements:
- The “medical standard of care” that, under the right circumstances, should have been performed, but instead was the reason for the lawsuit
- The at-fault party failed to provide care in line with that standard
- As a direct result of this failure, your family suffered damages
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Alaska’s Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages
Like other states, Alaska has laws that limit the amount of compensation you can receive after a successful cerebral palsy lawsuit. This cap on your damages doesn’t apply to your economic losses. You can still collect compensation for your child’s past and future medical care, lost income to date, as well as any other damages that can be calculated by a dollar amount.
There is a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in cerebral palsy cases, according to Alaska Statutes §09.55.549. This limit goes up to $400,000 for non-economic damages in med malpractice cases involving wrongful death or severe permanent physical impairment.
Non-economic damages are referred to as your family’s pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, disfigurement, scarring, and other negative effects caused by your child’s injuries and the defendant’s malpractice. Your cerebral palsy lawyer can help you assign a value to these losses.
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Alaska’s Statute of Limitations for Cerebral Palsy Cases
Alaska has a broad statute of limitations that sets a deadline for when the case must get started (i.e., when the initial complaint must be filed in civil court). For medical malpractice lawsuits, you are given two years from the date the harm was inflicted to start your case, or two years from when you discovered, or could reasonably have been expected to discover, medical error.
This “discovery” exception to the statute of limitations, Alaska Statutes §9.10.070, puts a burden on you and your Alaska cerebral palsy attorney of proving that you did not discover and could not have reasonably discovered the existence of the claim within the two-year time limit.
If you try to file your case after the deadline has passed, the medical professional or hospital you are trying to sue can file a motion for the court to dismiss the case, and it’s often granted. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to the statute of limitations deadline as it applies to your case.
What Happens During a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit in Alaska
When you hire a cerebral palsy lawyer in Alaska, you get someone with experience investigating birth injury cases, collecting evidence, and convincing expert witnesses to testify that medical malpractice took place. This process can take anywhere from a few months to a year to get you fair compensation.
Investigating Your Claim
No two cerebral palsy claims are the same and it takes a qualified legal representative to look into the facts of a case to discover if the cause of your child’s birth injury and cerebral palsy was faulty equipment, a hospital administrative who made an error, or a healthcare provider who failed to provide a quality level of care. An attorney knows how to investigate it all.
Settling Through Negotiations
If the other party and their legal team and insurance company are cooperative, your lawyer may be able to handle your case negotiations outside of the courtroom. However, it’s important to note that insurance companies do not typically want to pay your full claim. Instead, they may:
- Offer you a sum of money upfront less than what your damages are worth
- Change the facts of what happened during your child’s birth to be favorable to them
- Deny your medical malpractice claim altogether
Going To Trial
If the event your case goes to trial because it could not be settled through mediation, your attorney will prepare your deposition and explain the process and any expectations. If the defendant’s team believes they can win by defending their case in court, you may end up having a jury or judge decide if you receive compensation and for how much.
Birth Injury Lawyers Group Have the Resources to Get You Answers
It can be devastating to hear that your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, especially if the onset of this condition was due to a trusted hospital staff member’s mistake. Birth Injury Lawyers Group is there for you during this difficult time and can handle your case while you care for your child.
Our experienced Alaska cerebral palsy lawyers have the resources to help get you answers. We want to help your family so that you can focus on acclimating to the needs of your child. During a free consultation, we can answer some of your questions about medical malpractice claims and how you can recover from added expenses. Contact us today.