Cerebral Palsy Claims

Thankfully, the vast majority of pregnancies and births proceed without any complications. However, when complications do arise, the consequences can be devastating and life-long for parents and their babies.

Sadly, most problems during birth are natural and unavoidable. Nevertheless, there are occasions when negligence by a medical professional is the root cause of the issue. If this is the case, then you may be able to claim compensation.

One of the most serious complications that can be caused by a negligent medical professional during pregnancy and birth is cerebral palsy.

Making a cerebral palsy compensation claim

You may be able to claim compensation if your child develops cerebral palsy as a result of negligence by a medical professional. Our expert cerebral palsy claims solicitors understand that this will be a hugely difficult time for you and will treat your claim with sympathy, compassion, and diligence.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is the term used for neurological conditions affecting a child’s motor skills caused by complications before, during or soon after birth. Complications that can cause cerebral palsy include bleeding on the brain, lack of oxygen supply to the brain, infections during pregnancy or failure of a medical professional to diagnose conditions like hypoglycaemia in the mother during pregnancy.

The symptoms of cerebral palsy normally become noticeable during the first few years of a child’s life and can vary in severity. According to the NHS, symptoms can include:

  • Walking on tip-toes
  • Delays in reaching development milestones (e.g., not walking by 18 months old)
  • Weak limbs
  • Moving stiffly or being too floppy
  • Uncontrolled movement
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Issues with vision and speech
  • Learning difficulties or behavioural problems

Cerebral palsy affects 1 in 400 babies in the UK. With more than 700,000 babies born each year, this means there could be as many as 1,800 cases of cerebral palsy each year.

Can I claim cerebral palsy compensation?

To make a claim for cerebral palsy, you must first prove that medical professionals involved in your child’s birth were negligent, and that this led to your child developing cerebral palsy. If you believe this to be the case, or if you want advice on whether this might be the case, you should seek legal advice from one of our expert cerebral palsy solicitors as soon as possible to discuss the details of your claim.

The most prevalent cause of cerebral palsy which leads to compensation claims is lack of oxygen at birth or just afterwards. However, only about 20% of cases of cerebral palsy are caused by this with the majority being due to other factors. If it can be proven that the lack of oxygen is due to medical negligence, then you may be able to claim compensation. Establishing this requires a detailed examination of the events leading up to the birth and of the aftercare.

Claiming compensation for cerebral palsy

Like any medical negligence claim, cerebral palsy claims need to meet certain criteria. These are:

  1. You must have suffered an injury. If the cerebral palsy is the result of medical negligence, you will be able to make a claim.
  2. Someone needs to be at fault. The injury needs to be the fault of someone else, and they must have failed to meet the correct standard of care while treating you.
  3. The injury must have been caused by the event in question. If the cerebral palsy may have occurred naturally or is linked to another condition, you will be unable to claim compensation.
  4. The injury must have occurred (or become obvious) within the last three years. Normally, personal injury claims have to be made within three years. However, this only applies to those aged 18 or over. If your child is younger than 18 and they have suffered an injury like cerebral palsy, a parent or guardian can start a cerebral palsy claim on their behalf. A child has three years from the date they turn 18 to begin a compensation claim themselves.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence, OP Law can help you seek financial compensation. Our experienced team will guide you through the complex legal process, ensuring that you receive the best possible outcome to your compensation claim. Click here to get in touch or call us on 01727 790510