Cerebral Palsy (CP) is one of the more common results of birth injury, but it is also one of the most debilitating to a child’s chances of independence. The impact that cerebral palsy has on a child’s cognitive and motor function is often lifelong. This puts great strain on the admirable parents who must face the unexpected reality of a child being diagnosed with CP.
Once you come to grips with your short and long-term future as the parents of a child with cerebral palsy, consider that you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s birth injury. Our team of compassionate birth injury lawyers want to help.
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Understanding Cerebral Palsy
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit, there are some facts about the condition that are important to know:
- Cerebral palsy tends to affect a person’s motor and cognitive function, though each case of cerebral palsy has unique features.
- Muscle stiffness is a common thread in many cases of cerebral palsy, which can impact the ability to move around and perform daily tasks without assistance.
- You may not notice or understand that your child has cerebral palsy until months or years after you take them home from the hospital.
- Cerebral palsy may be the result of medical error before, during, or after your child is born.
How Can Cerebral Palsy Impact You and Your Child?
No parent can fully understand how cerebral palsy will impact their child until they live that experience, but history gives you some idea of what you can expect. Children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy may:
- Be required to attend tens or hundreds of doctor appointments per year, especially early on
- Need to receive treatment and therapy from neurologists, speech therapists, physical therapists, and a number of other specialists
- Require special accommodations in terms of transportation, education, and other facets of daily life
- Require the assistance of a part or full-time caregiver
- Face the challenges of cerebral palsy into their adult life
Your child may face difficulty with some essential tasks in life. Ensuring that your child has access to any necessary resources is a simple decision for parents to make. This may mean bringing a lawsuit against those responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy.
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A Denver Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Answer Your Questions
When you receive word that your child will face a possibly lifelong condition such as cerebral palsy, your thoughts may immediately go in countless directions. You are likely focusing on what you can do to ensure your child has the best possible life, and that likely includes obtaining access to all of the resources that you possibly can.
A Lawyer Can Fight for You and Your Child
Medical malpractice is common throughout the U.S. healthcare system. This means that the counsel for any defendants in your case may be ready for a lawsuit before it happens.
It is important that you rely on a cerebral palsy lawyer who has experience with the tactics that a medical professional’s attorney may employ. An attorney will:
- Answer any questions you have about your case during a free consultation
- Speak with qualified medical professionals to obtain their opinion regarding any negligence that possibly contributed to that injury
- Collect any direct evidence by the defendant in your case
- Make you aware of any settlement offers before the trial begins
- In the case of a trial, put forth an evidence-based case for compensation on your behalf
- Defend your and your child’s rights to privacy and dignity through the entire legal process
Your doctors, nurses, and the institutions that employ them owed you and your child a reasonable right to safety. A cerebral palsy lawyer will help you pinpoint any part where they fell short of this responsibility.
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What Can You Get Compensation for?
Your cerebral palsy lawyer will help you total up your losses. Some examples of damages you can be compensated for include:
- Non-economic damages such as physical impairment, disfigurement, and pain and suffering
- Economic damages such as medical bills, lost income, and diminished earning capacity
- Exemplary or punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant for their reckless conduct and deter them, and other medical professionals, from similar negligent behavior in the future.
According to Colorado Revised Statutes §13-64-302, there are limits on how much you can collect for compensation. For your non-economic damages, you are unable to receive more than $300,000 in damages. Your total damages, however, are capped at $1,000,000. The court may permit a higher award if economic damages alone surpass the total damage cap.
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Medical Error Is a Cause of Cerebral Palsy
Several things can go wrong before, during, or after your child is born that may cause cerebral palsy. These unfortunate errors were possibly preventable in your case. Some possible causes and risk factors of cerebral palsy include:
- A child suffering from birth asphyxia in the womb or during delivery. This could be due to a prolapsed umbilical cord, breech birth, or a number of other possibly preventable occurrences.
- A child suffering physical damage to their brain and nervous system.
- Infection set in the mother, child, or both. This could be due to inadequate care, the use of unsterile equipment, or other foreseeable dangers.
- The mother or child was exposed to toxic substances.
- The mother was in excessive distress.
An error in either judgment or action on behalf of somebody involved in your prenatal care or child’s delivery could be responsible for these causes of your child’s condition. A lawyer will help you identify any points of negligence and include them in your case for compensation.
Colorado Statute of Limitations for Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits
There are deadlines for filing a medical malpractice case in Denver. According to Colorado Revised Statutes §13-80-102.5, you have two years from when the injury and its cause were discovered to action against a health care professional or institute.
If you attempt to file your civil case past the three-year mark, the court will likely dismiss your case and you will not be able to pursue compensation. This three-year deadline does not apply to the following circumstances:
- The defendant purposefully concealed the alleged negligence.
- The alleged malpractice consisted of leaving a foreign object in the patient’s body that didn’t belong there.
- Both the physical injury and its cause aren’t known and couldn’t reasonably be discovered.
- The injured patient is a minor or is legally incompetent.
If your child was the one injured and was younger than six years of age when the incident occurred, you have some additional time to sue. Colorado law gives your family until your child’s eighth birthday to file your lawsuit.
Our attorneys have dealt with numerous cerebral palsy cases and will tell you all you need to know about your legal options, drawbacks, obstacles, and opportunities. Even if the statute of limitations is more generous with such situations than it is with other injuries, you should not waste any time. The discovery process is lengthy and daunting, and the responsible parties will do everything to stop you in your tracks. So, even if you think you have time, it is better to get an attorney to manage your case while you focus on your baby’s needs and care.
Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Today
At Birth Injury Lawyer Group, we will fight to help you obtain any awards that you are entitled to because of medical negligence. Our team of Denver cerebral palsy lawyers can explain your legal options by learning more about the specifics of your case through a free consultation.