If an infant doesn’t get enough oxygen to their brain during labor or even immediately after birth, they can develop cerebral palsy. Some children develop this disorder as a result of genetics. However, other infants are injured by a doctor, nurse, or other medical health professional.
If your child has been harmed and now suffers from CP because of medical malpractice, don’t go it alone. A cerebral palsy lawyer in Florida can help you file a claim against the medical institution that was at fault. Your legal representative can fight for your rights and try to help you get your family’s life back on the right track.
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Understanding Cerebral Palsy
There are several causes of cerebral palsy. The condition is a group of neurological disorders that lead to a variety of complications in the life of your child. Someone with CP can have mild to extreme motor function impairment, lack of coordination or even balance issues.
Typically, cerebral palsy is discovered at an early age. You may suspect cerebral palsy if you have noticed your child missing developmental milestones or that they feel rigid when you pick them up. While there is currently no cure for the disorder, treatments include helping your child adapt to their condition so they can live the best quality of life they can.
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Potential Liable Parties in Your Cerebral Palsy Case
There could be more than one party responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy. Instances where a healthcare provider’s actions or omissions led to an infant being diagnosed with CP include:
- An obstetrician providing prenatal care
- A general practitioner or primary care doctor who fails to diagnose a maternal infection
- A pediatrician who doesn’t diagnose a health condition that cause brain damage in the baby
- A nurse, intern or doctor who fails to properly monitor the mother or baby’s condition during labor and delivery
- A healthcare provider who doesn’t take prompt action at signs of fetal or maternal distress
- A doctor who allows a labor to go on for too long, causing the baby to be deprived of oxygen or experience brain damage during the birthing process
- A physician who administers too much medication, resulting in excessive contractions and deprive the baby of oxygen
- An anesthesiologist who makes a mistake in administering drugs to the mother or baby
- A midwife who fails to detect a high-risk pregnancy, doesn’t respond to signs of fetal distress or who otherwise makes a mistake during a delivery
- A nurse who provides substandard prenatal care or assistance to the mother or baby during labor
These are some of the potential situations where healthcare professionals could be at fault for a child developing cerebral palsy. Nurses, doctors, midwives, interns, anesthesiologists, and hospitals all have a duty to both the mother and the baby.
Whenever these professionals fall short in fulfilling their obligations, they are to blame for the injury or damage that occurs. A cerebral palsy attorney in Florida will investigate liability for your case.
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Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Florida
Time is sensitive in medical malpractice cases. In Florida, you must start a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years of discovering the injury. According to the Florida medical malpractice statute of limitations, Florida Statute §95.11, any time after the four-year mark from the discovery you will not be able to submit a claim,
The only exception to this is if the claimant is a minor and eight years old or younger. In this case, the seven-year period does not bar an action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child’s eighth birthday. If this deadline passes and you attempt to file your medical malpractice case on behalf of your child, the court will likely dismiss your case.
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Florida Notice of Intent in Medical Malpractice Cases
In Florida, you are required to submit a notice of intent to the local court system in order to file a claim against a healthcare provider. This includes an affidavit of merit from a medical professional stating that you have a valid medical malpractice claim.
This notice of intent sets in motion a complicated settlement process that lasts 90 days. During those 90 days, the statute of limitations is tolled. If the health care provider indicates earlier than 90 days that they do not want to settle, you have 60 days or the remainder of the statute of limitations period to sue.
You Can Get Compensation for Damages From Your Cerebral Palsy Claim
The amount of money you can recover from a settlement or as an award depends on your total economic and non-economic damages. Your Florida cerebral palsy attorney can help your family list their damages which can include:
- Inability to work
- Lost income
- Special education
- Home modifications
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Hospital bills
- Medical equipment and assistive devices
- Estimated future costs of all medical care
- Rehabilitation treatments
Make sure to hold on to receipts from all out-of-pocket expenses. A cerebral palsy attorney will total up all your damages and assign a value to it to be used in negotiations.
What Happens During a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
When you hire a cerebral palsy lawyer in Florida, you get assistance with investigating your case, collecting evidence, and getting an expert witness to testify that medical malpractice took place. A legal team will support your claim and push for fair compensation.
Evaluating Your Claim
It’s important to note that no two cerebral palsy claims are the same. It’s beneficial to have an experienced birth injury lawyer on your side who can evaluate your case. Some cases involve faulty equipment, while others involve medical staff or an individual’s reckless behavior. It’s important to have an attorney who knows how to handle it all and can assist you.
Your lawyer may be able to handle your settlement through negotiations with the healthcare provider’s insurance company prior to filing a lawsuit or going to trial. Insurance companies do not typically want to pay out your full claim. They can end up:
- Offering you a sum of money upfront that is less than your damages
- Manipulating what may have happened during your child’s birth
- Denying the claim altogether
Going To Trial
If your case goes to trial, your attorney will prepare your depositions, answer your questions, and explain any expectations. If the insurance company you are suing believes they can win by defending their case, you may end up going to trial where a jury will decide if you receive compensation and how much.
Birth Injury Lawyers Group Have the Resources to Get You Answers
Children mean the world to their parents, and this is why it can be absolutely devastating to hear that your child has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder like cerebral palsy. Our experienced Florida birth injury lawyers are there for you during this difficult time.
At Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we understand you may have many questions; we have the resources to help get you answers. We want to do all we can for your family so that you can focus on providing the best care possible for your child. With a free consultation, we can answer some of your questions about how filing a medical malpractice claim can help.
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