Championing those living with Cerebral Palsy

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World Cerebral Palsy Day is an ideal moment to celebrate those living with cerebral palsy. It is a condition that is estimated to affect one in every 400 people in the UK.

CP is a neurological condition that affects the brain’s ability to control movement, posture and balance. The condition is often not recognised until a child reaches the age of two or three and their development milestones are delayed. Some individuals affected may have mild issues with movement, whilst others may have more severe damage requiring full-time care for the rest of their life.

At Ashtons, our medical negligence lawyers are proud to have helped many CP sufferers whose brain damage would not have occurred but for the negligent treatment, they or their mother received, obtain access to compensation to ensure their future needs are met.

In the majority of instances, cerebral palsy occurs spontaneously during pregnancy with some abnormal brain development taking place. A mother contracting a serious infection during the early stage of pregnancy can also affect a baby’s brain development.

The other main cause of cerebral palsy is lack of oxygen to a baby’s brain, either during birth or within the first three years of a child’s life. Sometimes this lack of oxygen can be down to a mistake made in the medical care given to mother and baby. If so, a successful cerebral palsy claim can award the injured child enough compensation to cover the cost of the support he or she may need during their lifetime.

For instance, we are currently bringing a claim on behalf of a man in his early 20s who is living with CP. We have an admission from the Trust responsible for the hospital where he was born, that his mother was not advised properly about the potential risks and benefits of having a natural birth or a Caesarean section. She was concerned about potential problems arising from the fact that she knew that, like many diabetics dependent on insulin, she was carrying a large baby. Had she been given a choice, she would have opted for a Caesarean section. This would have prevented the problems that she encountered during childbirth which resulted in her son’s CP.

Historically many families were reluctant to take legal action and managed as best they could with family carers and NHS support. For some the crunch point didn’t come until parents realised that one day they wouldn’t be able to care for their disabled child; the oldest ‘child’ for whom we have settled a claim was in her early 40s. This is unusual, but where someone lacks mental capacity then a claim can be made long after the diagnosis than would otherwise be the case.

Now, most parents of a young child with cerebral palsy are alive to the fact that by making a claim they can potentially gain access to additional therapies, adaptations to a property, regular care support or respite care as needed … not just in the short term but for the rest of their child’s life. One of our client families worked with us to create the following short video because they wanted other families in a similar situation to understand how involving us could help change their lives for the better.

We Can Help You

If you have any questions about your own family situation arising out of this article or video, please contact Sharon Alison or Ben Ward through this website or by calling 0330 404 0772 to discuss how we might be able to help.


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