Cerebral Palsy and Catastrophic Claims
Click here for a video interview with our client's father Luke Robinson, whose daughter Rachel was left facing a lifetime of severe disability after a hospital doctor mislaid his bleeper. Luke is interviewed by Douglas Miller, Head of our Clinical Negligence team.
Cerebral Palsy claims
Cerebral palsy can occur at any time before, during or after birth and sometimes as a result of medical negligence. We have dealt with many multi-million pound cerebral palsy claims.
Our purpose is to conduct a full and thorough independent investigation to ensure that at the very least you have a better understanding of what may have caused the cerebral palsy and, where possible, to provide the financial security needed to maximise the quality of your child’s life and allow you to concentrate on being your child’s parent rather than full time carer.
When compensation can be recovered it is intended to cover not only past losses and suffering but also future care and other costs. It will, for example, include more appropriate accommodation, transportation, education, care and case management.
If you have concerns about the standard of care provided, and believe that that care contributed to the cerebral palsy and would wish us to investigate and if appropriate, bring a claim for compensation please do make contact with us.
At present there is no cost to you at all as almost all children with cerebral palsy are eligible for Legal Aid. This however is likely to change in the very near future and therefore delaying investigation now could lose you the opportunity to ever carry out an independent investigation.
Please contact us and speak to one of our experienced cerebral palsy solicitors directly without obligation.
Support for parents of children with Cerebral Palsy
Whether or not there is a sustainable medical negligence allegation we can offer a range of support and guidance to families who need help with issues relating to disability. We work closely with dedicated specialists including therapists, architects, accountants, charities, financial advisers, and others who can address your concerns and help and support you.
We can also offer specialist advice relating the complex implications of wills and trust planning so that you can try to ensure that your child will be properly provided for when you are no longer able to provide for them.
We realise that you are central to the whole process. You will be fully informed of progress as we guide and support you through the investigation stage and, if you choose to, through a claim.
The process of a Cerebral Palsy claim
Firstly you need to instruct solicitors with an established record who specialise in cerebral palsy claims. We often take over cases where other well meaning but non-specialist solicitors have floundered and dragged out an investigation for longer than is necessary. We have also taken over cases where our re-calculation of the award led to a significant increase in the level of compensation finally awarded.
In all cases we offer a free no obligation assessment either of an existing case or one that you would want initiated on your behalf.
What do we have to prove?
In order to recover compensation we must establish:
- That the care provided by the medical team involved was substandard (breach of duty).
- That but for the substandard care the cerebral palsy could have been avoided or reduced in severity (causation).
We have to establish through expert independent analysis that there was a direct causative link between the breach of duty and the type of injury sustained. We have to also rule out other causes for the injury. In order to do this we obtain, with your consent, copies of all obstetric, paediatric and general practitioner records and commission a full independent examination of them.
We will also take a detailed statement from you to compare that statement with the records disclosed prior to instructing independent medical experts to provide opinions as to the care provided and if that care was substandard and causative of injury. If the claim is strong we can negotiate with the proposed Defendants and seek an early interim payment of compensation. By this stage we will have also instructed a specialist Barrister and independent expert witnesses from a range of different specialisms. At this time there will be a significant team of people working on the investigation/claim. If it is the case that there is a sustainable allegation then that claim will be communicated to the solicitors instructed by the hospital who have two options. The first is to accept liability and negotiate an award of compensation or secondly to deny liability, in which case Court proceedings would be initiated and set out according to a timetable decided by the Court with a view to eventual trial.
Assessing the level of compensation
The fundamental principle underlying a cerebral palsy claim is the same as any other negligence action which is to put the injured person in the same position as they would be but for the accident that occurred. This is obviously impossible in a complex cerebral palsy case, but there is no other way of meeting needs other than through a financial calculation. We accept that no amount of compensation will truly right the damage caused by the injury, physically, emotionally and otherwise, but the underlying principle is to reduce and ameliorate the injury in so far as money can. Inevitably it is impossible to guarantee that the award will be exactly correct and both your solicitors and the Defendant’s solicitors will put forward their views through expert witnesses as to how to best address the range of disabilities in purely financial terms. This is likely to lead to involvement of a range of therapists, architects, accountants, investment specialists and others.
Cerebral palsy reaches into all corners of a person’s life and therefore every element has to be fully investigated, considered and ultimately addressed.
Our promise to you
Even if we cannot progress beyond an investigation you will at the very least have a better understanding of what, if anything, went wrong as well as the comfort of knowing it was perhaps beyond human intervention, but if you do not have the advantage of being able to recover compensation you may at least conclude this process with some peace of mind. If you can recover compensation then we have the expertise and connections to ensure the correct value is recovered as well as the experience to deal with managing the ongoing trust and investments.
For specific advice contact our specialist team:
Doug Miller: 023 9236 6012 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Annabelle Vaughan: 023 9236 4312 or email@example.com