Cerebral Palsy Claims

Cerebral palsy is a serious lifelong condition with no cure that can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to live a full, independent life. If you, your child or loved one are living with cerebral palsy caused by a birth injury, claiming compensation can help to ensure all the necessary support is in place to achieve the best overall quality of life.

To be entitled to compensation you will need to be able to show that the birth injury leading to cerebral palsy was the result of medical negligence. This can be very challenging to prove, so it is essential to have the support of legal specialists with experience in cerebral palsy compensation claims.

Wolferstans’ medical negligence solicitors have many years of experience supporting families with cerebral palsy claims, helping to secure millions of pounds in compensation for our clients. With a strong focus on non-confrontational dispute resolution we can usually resolve claims outside of a court, getting a fair outcome for you and your family faster and at lower cost, while saving you a lot of stress.

With our particular experience in cerebral palsy claims, we can very accurately value your claim. This is vital to ensure you do not settle for less than the maximum compensation possible, which is a significant risk with less experienced firms.

We offer a free initial no obligation consultation during which we will be able to tell you if you have a claim worth investigating further.

To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on 01752 648884.

Our cerebral palsy claims service

Our medical negligence lawyers work with families all over England and Wales, helping to make sure they get fair compensation for cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence.

Our expertise includes cerebral palsy claims related to:

  • Failure to monitor the baby properly during labour
  • Failure to respond to changes in the foetal heart rate potentially indicating a reduction in the oxygen supply to the baby
  • Failure to respond to the presence of meconium potentially indicating a reduction in the oxygen supply to the baby
  • Failure to respond to signs of foetal distress potentially indicating reduction in the oxygen supply to the baby
  • Failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord reducing the oxygen supply to the baby
  • Failure to detect a placental abruption reducing the oxygen supply to the baby
  • Failure to perform an emergency caesarean section at all or to do so quickly enough
  • Failure to offer the mother the choice of having a caesarean section rather than proceeding with a natural birth, where there is a potentially large baby
  • Failure to monitor and/or treat the mother’s high blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Failure to monitor and/or treat mother’s gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Failure to monitor and/or treat maternal infection during pregnancy
  • Use of excessive force to deliver the baby naturally, by forceps or by Ventouse

In addition, failures in medical treatment may occur after the baby has been born. Such failures include:

  • Failure to provide appropriate resuscitation for a baby born in distress
  • Failure to recognise and/or treat seizures
  • Failure to diagnose and/or treat jaundice
  • Failure to diagnose and/or treat meningitis, Strep B or other infections
  • Failure to diagnose and/or treat hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars)

How cerebral palsy claims work

Our clinical negligence lawyers provide empathetic support and expert advice for every stage of making a cerebral palsy claim, helping to keep the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

A typical cerebral palsy compensation claim will involve:

  • Building the case e.g. applying for medical records, collecting witness evidence and consulting independent medical experts.
  • Contacting the relevant healthcare provider with the details of the claim.
  • Ensuring the defendant responds to the claim in a timely fashion.
  • Assessing the defendant’s response and advising you of your options.
  • Valuing the claim e.g. obtaining details of past financial losses and expenses and collecting witness evidence and consulting independent experts to quantify the need for future care, therapies, aids and equipment, adapted accommodation, etc.
  • Negotiating with the defendant and/or using alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation or independent evaluation, to secure a suitable settlement.
  • Submitting the claim to the relevant court and representing you at a court hearing where required to resolve the matter.

Find out more about the process of making a clinical negligence claim.

Funding a cerebral palsy compensation claim

If you need to claim compensation for cerebral palsy, worrying about how to fund the claim should never be something that puts you off. If we believe you have valid grounds for a claim, we will help you find the right funding option for your circumstances.

A ‘no win, no fee’ cerebral palsy claim allows you to avoid paying anything towards legal fees or expenses to start a claim. Formally called a ‘conditional fee agreement’ this arrangement means that only if the claim is successful will you need to make a contribution towards legal costs.

The amount you pay in the event of a successful claim will be based on a percentage of the compensation secured, giving you transparency over the costs involved and ensuring your family gets the maximum benefit from any negotiated settlement or damages awarded by a judge.

Cerebral palsy claims may also be eligible for Legal Aid funding, depending on the circumstances. Knowing whether Legal Aid is available and if it is the right option for you can be complicated, so please speak to a member of our team to discuss this.

To discuss your options for covering the cost of a cerebral palsy claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Find out more about funding a medical negligence claim.

Our expertise in cerebral palsy compensation claims

Our clinical negligence solicitors have been helping families with cerebral palsy claims for many years and have secured millions of pounds in compensation for our clients.

As a result, we have the expertise to ensure all relevant factors are considered and no detail is missed, giving you the best chance of achieving a fair outcome.

We are also one of only a very limited number of firms that hold a Legal Aid Contract for Clinical Negligence which reflects our extensive experience in investigating these complex cases.

Wolferstans recently recovered, what was then a record sum of damages, in excess of £33 million for a client who has cerebral palsy as a result of mistakes in his treatment that occurred shortly after his birth.

Wolferstans is accredited by the Law Society for Clinical Negligence, recognising our particular expertise in this area. We are also Lexcel accredited by the Law Society for excellence in legal practice management and client care.

Various members of our medical negligence team are also on the Law Society and AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) Specialist Clinical Negligence Panels and have been accredited by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) as Clinical Negligence Specialists and Brain Injury Specialists.

Common questions about cerebral palsy claims

The exact time limit for bringing a cerebral palsy claim will depend on the circumstances, but in general, if you are bringing a claim for your child, you will have until they turn 18 to do so.

If you have cerebral palsy and your parents did not make a compensation claim on your behalf before you turned 18, you will normally have until your 21st birthday to bring a claim yourself.

If a person with cerebral palsy does not have the mental capacity to bring a claim themselves, there will usually be no time limit for someone else to bring a claim for them.

Knowing how the time limits for medical negligence claims apply to a specific case can be complicated, so it is a good idea to speak to a lawyer specialising in cerebral palsy claims before making a decision.

The value of a cerebral palsy claim will normally depend on how severely the person affected is disabled, the impact of the condition on your their health and how this affects them in their daily life.

If you, your child or a loved one has been severely affected by cerebral palsy, there is likely to be a necessity for life-long care and support and financial assistance to provide therapies, aids and equipment, appropriate transport and adapted accommodation.

There are two main types of cerebral palsy compensation you may be able to claim:

Special damages – For specific financial losses up to the date of settlement e.g. paying for treatment, care costs and buying special equipment.

General damages – For non-financial losses, e.g. compensation for pain and suffering, as well as likely future financial losses and expenses, e.g. the cost of care, therapies, aids and equipment, adapted accommodation and loss of potential future earnings, if your child will be unable to work.

In many cases compensation will not be paid until the end of the case, when a settlement has been reached or damages have been awarded by the Court. Cerebral palsy claims often take some time to conclude, so wherever possible, we actively seek to secure an interim payment of damages from the Defendant, on account of the compensation which will be paid at the end of the case. This is usually only possible after the Defendant has admitted responsibility for causing the cerebral palsy.

Interim payments enable funds to be available, at an earlier time, to provide the care and support which the injured person requires, as well as the purchase of appropriate aids and equipment, transport and accommodation.

If your child or loved one is severely disabled as a result of cerebral palsy, we will arrange for the appointment of a Brain Injury Case Manager, who will liaise with you and us to identify exactly what is needed and then coordinate everything for you.

While legal aid is no longer available for most types of medical negligence claims, it can be an option for some cerebral palsy claims, depending on the circumstances.

To qualify for legal aid funding, the following conditions must apply:

A child has suffered a neurological injury as a result of clinical negligence, leaving them severely disabled (either physically or mentally)

  • The negligence occurred either:
  • While the child was in the womb
  • During the child’s birth
  • Within a set period after the child’s birth, this being:
  • For children born before the beginning of the 37th week of pregnancy – 8 weeks from what would have been the beginning of the 37th week
  • For children born during or after the 37th week of pregnancy – 8 weeks from the day of the child’s birth

If you want to find out whether you may be eligible for a Legal Aid-funded cerebral palsy claim, please speak to a member of our team.

Further information about cerebral palsy claims

For more information about cerebral palsy compensation claims and all types of medical negligence claims, please take a look at our news, blogs and our series of helpful leaflets covering specific issues.

Start a cerebral palsy claim with us today

To arrange a free initial no obligation consultation and find out more about starting a cerebral palsy compensation claim:

To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on 01752 648884.