We all expect that the birth of our child will be one of the most memorable and special days of our lives. For the majority of us it is.
Whilst some difficulties with delivery may be encountered, on the whole most of our children are born fit and healthy and are able to achieve their full potential in life.
However, this ‘perfect picture’ is not the same for all new parents. Sometimes, things go wrong which can unfortunately result in brain damage and physical and cognitive problems.
In this video, the mother of a young man with cerebral palsy tells her story and explains how Ashtons Legal has helped her family.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect an individual’s brain (cerebral) and the way they are able to use their muscles (palsy). In many cases there is no link between the disorder and the negligence of a medical practitioner. However, sometimes clinical errors are made by medical professionals which subsequently can result in cerebral palsy in a new-born baby.
Common errors leading to cerebral palsy are:
- failure to monitor the baby’s heartbeat
- incorrect use of instruments during delivery – e.g. forceps
- failure to successfully carry out a caesarian section
- delivering the baby too late
- umbilical cord compression resulting in the baby’s oxygen supply being cut off.
We understand that, for any parent, having a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy can be devastating, but when the injury was avoidable it can be even more painful for a family to comprehend and to reach a point where they are able to move forward.
It is important that any parent who suspects that their child has suffered cerebral palsy or cognitive or behavioural problems as a direct result of medical negligence seeks the appropriately skilled, specialist and committed lawyer as soon as possible in order to investigate the circumstances of the care given and, in the event of negligence, to obtain financial security for the child for life.
What will happen when I make a cerebral palsy claim?
Our lawyers are nationally recognised and committed to ensuring that a full investigation is undertaken to identify whether or not your child has suffered a brain injury as a result of medical negligence. This is typically done by obtaining the medical records and commissioning evidence from experienced and trusted independent midwives, obstetricians and paediatric neurologists.
If it is found that there was a clinical error by one of the doctors or midwives involved with your child’s delivery, and that the error caused your child to suffer a brain injury, our team will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that we obtain the level of damages required to ensure that your child achieves his or her full potential and leads as independent and fulfilling a life as is possible.
We do this by obtaining the compensation required to ensure that your child will be financially secure for life, including the necessary care, equipment, education and therapies that your child may need now and throughout their future.
We will be there to advise you about what can be achieved at each stage of this complex process. As compassionate and empathetic people we will be with you through every step of the way to provide you with the personal support you and your family will require to secure your child’s future.
What is the time limit for making a cerebral palsy / birth brain injury claim?
- if you are making a claim on behalf of your child, you can begin the claim process any time before their 18th birthday
- if your child is over 18, the time limit to begin your claim will depend on their level of mental capacity
- if you have cerebral palsy, are over 18, and have the mental capacity to make a claim yourself, then you have until your 21st birthday to begin the claim process
- there is no time limit to begin a claim if the sufferer does not have the mental capacity to make the claim themselves.
How is compensation calculated?
Cerebral palsy compensation packages differ from case to case depending on the individual’s lifetime needs and are often settled for several million pounds to reflect the need for equipment, care and support the child may need throughout their lives as a result of their disability.
Our lawyers are highly experienced in valuing birth brain injury cases and will give you detailed explanations of the processes and calculations of damages throughout the claim.