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Cerebral Palsy Claims

Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claims

Most parents picture heading home with a healthy baby. Unfortunately, complications either before or at the time of birth can sometimes lead to lifelong birth injuries. Cerebral palsy is just one of many birth injuries that has severe and long-lasting effects.

Our expert Cerebral Palsy solicitors understand the great difficulties that come with living with Cerebral Palsy and can help you find out if you’ve been affected by medical negligence. If you have, we can help you seek the confirmation you deserve.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a brain injury that around one in 400 children in the UK is born with every year. It affects movement and muscle control. Life expectancy is generally unaffected, but the symptoms do put a great strain on both the physical and mental health of people with the condition.

There are many possible causes, but the injury can occur as the result of medical negligence during or before birth.

Making a Cerebral Palsy Claim

If medical negligence can be proven then you may be able to make a Cerebral Palsy compensation claim.

The medical negligence claims process involves a detailed investigation of the events leading up to the delivery of the baby and the subsequent aftercare, and it can result in settlements aimed at improving lifelong quality of life – not just the child’s immediate needs. Families who make claims do so ultimately to improve their child’s quality of life.

The first step is to get in touch using our online form. From there, one of our qualified and experienced birth injury solicitors will invite you to a confidential discussion about your circumstances, before signposting you in the right direction if you wish to proceed with your claim.

Specialists in Cerebral Palsy Claims

One of our experienced medical negligence lawyers will be able to guide the family through the process, which can be lengthy. Whilst Cerebral Palsy is not a progressive condition, it is one that can lead to complications unless appropriately managed. Children often benefit from highly specialised intervention at an early stage and careful monitoring throughout their development, so acting fast is imperative.

  • Our expert Cerebral Palsy solicitors will make sure your case is investigated thoroughly and be available to answer any questions you have along the way.
  • We can help obtain an interim compensation payment so that immediate steps can be taken to maximise the child’s potential.
  • Your Cerebral Palsy lawyer will help secure a claim for compensation that can provide the financial support needed to help your child long term.
  • We help ascertain the ongoing needs of your child to ensure the best possible quality of life in terms of therapy and equipment, accommodation and care.

 

 

 

The Child Brain Injury Trust was established by a group of health professionals in 1991 to research and provide information regarding the effects of ‘traumatic’ injury on a child’s developing brain. Today the Child Brain Injury Trust is the leading voluntary sector organisation providing emotional and practical support, information and learning opportunities for families and professionals affected by childhood acquired brain injury across the UK.

Our Cerebral Palsy Claims Experts

Chris Moore Joint Head of Clinical Negligence Read more
Vince Shore Joint Head of Clinical Negligence, Hull Read more
Caroline Murgatroyd Associate, Clinical Negligence Read more
Hayley Collinson Associate, Clinical Negligence Read more
Helena Wood Associate, Clinical Negligence Read more
Lauren Dale Associate Solicitor, Clinical Negligence Read more
Gemma Bontoft Litigation Executive, Clinical Negligence Read more
Kirsty Yates Litigation Executive, Clinical Negligence Read more
Michelle Tebbutt Associate Solicitor, Clinical Negligence Read more
Nick Stojanovic Senior Solicitor, Clinical Negligence Read more
Shauna Page Solicitor, Clinical Negligence Read more
Elizabeth Maliakal Associate, Clinical Negligence Read more

FAQs

What is Cerebral Palsy?
    Cerebral Palsy is the general term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and coordination.
    There is no precise definition of Cerebral Palsy, but clinicians and others around the world are working to establish one international definition.
    However, it is agreed that Cerebral Palsy is caused by problems in the areas of the brain responsible for controlling movement, and can occur if the brain develops abnormally or is damaged in early life. Parts of the brain responsible for important functions such as speech, hearing, vision and the ability to learn may also be affected.
    Therefore, people with the condition can have multiple problems not just limited to muscle movement.
What Are The Different Types of Cerebral Palsy?
    It is a complicated condition and Cerebral Palsy symptoms may differ from person to person. There are various subdivisions, depending on the condition’s severity, so a child may be diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe Cerebral Palsy.
    The four main categories of the condition are:

    Spastic Cerebral Palsy

    Spastic Cerebral Palsy is the most common type, accounting for 70 to 80 per cent of all cases of Cerebral Palsy. It occurs when brain damage affects the cerebral cortex (the outer layer of the brain). The damage may be limited to one side of the body or just the lower limbs.
    In spastic Cerebral Palsy, brain damage prevents the normal messages from the brain to muscle. To allow movement, muscles will work in pairs, so one set contracts while the other relaxes. In spastic Cerebral Palsy, the muscles often become active at once, which causes tension or spasticity which makes movement difficult.
    The impact on movement depends on the severity of the condition and the number of muscles affected. For those who suffer from mild spastic Cerebral Palsy there may only be an inability to complete certain tasks, whereas, with severe spastic Cerebral Palsy, a person may be unable to complete most, if not all of the activities of daily living.

    Athetoid Cerebral Palsy

    This type of Cerebral Palsy affects about one-quarter of all the people with the condition and is a result of brain damage to the basal ganglia located in the midbrain region.
    It usually affects all of the limbs and, in some instances, facial muscles are affected which causes dribbling. Rather than the increased muscle tone found in spastic Cerebral Palsy, this type of Cerebral Palsy manifests with some muscles being far too tense while others are too relaxed and this involuntary muscle activity can affect the whole body at once.

    Mixed Cerebral Palsy

    This is when there is a combination of spasticity and athetoid movements.

    Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

    This is a much rarer form of Cerebral Palsy affecting only between five to 10 per cent of those with this condition. In these cases, the damage is caused to the cerebellum – the part of the brain governing the muscle movement required for balance and coordination – so those with ataxic Cerebral Palsy can struggle with these faculties.
What are the Cerebral Palsy symptoms?
    Cerebral Palsy symptoms can vary according to the type and severity of the condition. It can range from relatively mild, allowing a person the ability to live independently with proficient speech and mobility, to a severe and debilitating condition affecting all four limbs and thus depriving some of the ability to speak, walk and requiring full care.
    The main Cerebral Palsy symptoms are:
  • Muscle stiffness or floppiness.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Random and uncontrolled body movements.
  • Balance and coordination problems.
    Many people with Cerebral Palsy have associated problems including seizures, fits, drooling, swallowing difficulties, and communication and learning difficulties - although intelligence can be, and often is, unaffected.
What Are The Main Causes of Cerebral Palsy?
    There are several causes of Cerebral Palsy and these include:
  • An infection caught by the mother during pregnancy.
  • A difficult or premature birth resulting in medical difficulties such as a lack of oxygen.
  • Bleeding in the baby’s brain.
  • Changes in the genes affect the brain’s development when the baby is in utero.
    The cause of Cerebral Palsy that leads to claims for medical negligence compensation is nearly always a lack of oxygen at birth or in the immediate aftermath. Of all the types of Cerebral Palsy, only about 20 per cent are due to lack of oxygen at birth with the vast majority being due to other factors.
    In these cases, the baby has suffered a lack of oxygen during delivery or very shortly after being born. This usually results in the baby being delivered lifeless, blue and requiring resuscitation and then being admitted to a special care baby unit. The baby often goes on to develop organ failure and seizures.
    Of these potential causes, those at the highest risk are those born prematurely. Often it is not diagnosed immediately at birth because the signs of Cerebral Palsy and symptoms can be quite subtle in a newborn baby.
    Quite often, it is a baby failing to reach developmental milestones in the early years that leads parents to question why a child is experiencing problems and to then seek advice.
    Furthermore, delayed diagnosis and treatment of maternal sepsis can pass to the baby resulting in meningitis leading to Cerebral Palsy as an additional cause.
Why Do Families Claim Cerebral Palsy Compensation?
    For most families seeking legal advice, there is often simply a need to understand what has happened, and to ascertain why and how their child has been affected. In short, they want answers and accountability.
How Does a Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claim Work?
    The cause of Cerebral Palsy that leads to claims for compensation is nearly always a lack of oxygen at birth or in the immediate aftermath. Of all the types of Cerebral Palsy, only about 20 per cent are due to lack of oxygen at birth with the vast majority being due to other factors.
    In these cases, the baby has suffered a lack of oxygen during delivery or very shortly after being born. This usually results in the baby being delivered lifeless, blue and requiring resuscitation and then being admitted to a special care baby unit. The baby often goes on to develop organ failure and seizures.
    If it can be proven that the lack of oxygen is due to medical negligence then you may be able to claim Cerebral Palsy compensation.
    The compensation process involves a detailed investigation of the events leading up to the delivery of the baby and the subsequent aftercare, and it can result in settlements aimed at improving lifelong quality of life – not just the child’s immediate needs. Families who make Cerebral Palsy claims do so ultimately to improve their child’s quality of life.
    At the moment, apart from the legal process, there is no other way that families can obtain compensation. As a result, they must seek the advice of specialist Cerebral Palsy solicitors with a good understanding of the causes of Cerebral Palsy, including how it can occur, the signs to look out for in medical records and documentation that will indicate whether there is a likely case or not.
    A typical Cerebral Palsy claim involves actions such as a thorough assessment of the medical notes and their indications as well as consultation from the very best medical experts. These experts will report on the standard of care offered during the antenatal period, the labour and the aftercare to prove that a child has suffered Cerebral Palsy as a result of medical negligence.
How Much Does a Cerebral Palsy Claim Cost?
    All Cerebral Palsy claims taken on by Hudgell Solicitors are handled on a no win, no fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay any money upfront and there will be no financial risk if your case is unsuccessful. If your case is successful, you will only be expected to contribute to your solicitor’s fees once the case has been resolved.
    We also offer Legal Aid funding for certain types of medical negligence compensation claims. This typically involves children who have a neurological injury that has resulted in severe disability, which has been sustained either through pregnancy, during the birth or the first eight weeks of the child’s life.
    Get in touch to discuss funding options for your claim.

"We have secured a multi-million pound damages settlement for a girl left with life-long disabilities after ‘catalogue of errors’ at birth."

Chris Moore, Joint Head of Clinical Negligence

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