How long it will take to receive a settlement in your cerebral palsy case depends on many factors. Your attorney can help you get a better idea of how long the process may take, but there is no way to know exactly how long it could take.
It is imperative you do not miss the deadline your state places on medical malpractice cases, so you should enlist the help of an attorney near you who regularly handles this type of birth injury case as soon as possible after your child’s diagnosis.
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Understanding Possible Timelines in a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Case
Pursuing compensation in a cerebral palsy birth injury case takes time. The first step is not to file a lawsuit. Instead, your attorney will need to navigate several steps to build a strong case and attempt to recover a payout through settlement negotiations.
Along the way, the attorney will need to follow specific guidelines, file the appropriate paperwork, and meet other deadlines to avoid delays in your case. This is key in getting through this process as quickly as possible and getting your payout.
Proving Your Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Case
Once you agree to work with an attorney, one of the first things they will do is get to work on proving your case. This may require:
- Identifying all potentially liable parties
- Interviewing witnesses
- Obtaining copies of relevant medical records that validate symptoms and diagnosis
- Working with a medical expert witness to prove medical malpractice
- Working with experts to learn about your child’s prognosis, possible necessary treatments, ongoing and future care needs, and other current and future expenses
- Documenting your expenses and losses related to your child’s condition up to this point
Taking Legal Action
Only after your attorney completes the investigation and case-building part of their effort can they consider pursuing a payout on your behalf. This is because they will not have a good idea of the value of your case — your losses and expenses — until this point.
With strong evidence to support a medical malpractice claim and a fair settlement value in mind, your attorney can then try to negotiate a just out-of-court settlement. This negotiation process may take time as they go back and forth several times, trying to reach an agreement. Still, this is usually faster than taking the case to court.
If necessary, your attorney will file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the liable doctor or hospital in your state’s civil court.
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Several Deadlines Could Affect Your Case
Each state has a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. This is a general deadline for filing a lawsuit against a liable doctor or hospital. Sometimes, meeting this deadline is more difficult than it may seem.
Getting an accurate diagnosis and understanding how profoundly cerebral palsy affects your child often takes time. A baby may display delayed motor development, exhibit too tight or too floppy muscle tone, or have other signs and symptoms of the condition, but even with an official cerebral palsy diagnosis, it is often difficult to understand how it could affect the child’s life as he grows.
This can cause a significant delay since this is key in proving both future care costs and noneconomic losses. Many states have laws that toll the statute of limitations in birth injury cases, but there is ultimately a statute of repose in place after which you lose your right to file suit.
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Understanding What Happens After You Win Your Cerebral Palsy Case
Unfortunately, there is still more waiting once your attorney successfully negotiates and out-of-court settlement or the judge awards you compensation at trial. You will need to sign a settlement agreement if the payout does not come through the court. The medical malpractice insurance company will not cut a check until they receive a release saying you accept the settlement and will not pursue additional compensation.
Once the insurance company representative cuts the check — which could take only a few days or several weeks — they will send it to your attorney. Your attorney will deposit it, take out the fees you agreed on, and then they will write a check to you.
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Talk to a Birth Injury Attorney Near You About Your Cerebral Palsy Case
If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy, whatever the type may be, the result of a preventable birth injury, you may be eligible to pursue and recover compensation from the liable doctor or hospital. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you get started today. Call 1-800-222-9529, and you will be connected with an attorney in your state who handles cerebral palsy birth injury cases.