Cerebral palsy is a birth injury caused by a medical professional’s negligence during labor. The damage can have lifelong consequences if it goes undiagnosed and untreated. If your child has sustained an injury at the hands of a doctor or nurse, you must immediately take action. This involves two main things you need to take care of:
- Diagnosis and treatment plan for your child
- Hiring a cerebral palsy lawyer
If you notice your child’s abnormal movements, reflexes, or misbalance of posture, you must immediately contact a pediatrician. They would run some tests to determine the kind of injury. If the test results are positive, your second call should be to a cerebral palsy lawyer.
A legal representative will help guide you through taking legal action against the responsible party. It means suing the doctor and the hospital administration for financial compensation to pay for your child’s treatment and any other medical care. Treatment for birth injuries can cost a lot. Therefore, winning a lawsuit will take some burden off you.
How do I find a cerebral palsy attorney?
Specialized law firms offer a complete range of medical malpractice legal services. They have a team of professionals, among whom you can find an attorney to take your case. Your attorney will offer you a free cerebral palsy guide and a chance to speak to a healthcare professional regarding your child’s treatment plan.
Apart from legal help, these firms also help you get in touch with local organizations for emotional support. You also have a chance to gain access to a community of people facing similar issues. In addition, they help you find the best team of doctors in your area for your child’s medical care.
What things should I consider when hiring a cerebral palsy lawyer?
Some lawyers may approach you by offering their legal assistance. However, it is essential to confirm their credentials before hiring them.
One way to be wise about who you select is by someone you or a trusted friend might know. Referrals work well with known prior experience. However, the referred lawyer must be specialized in fighting cerebral palsy cases. If you do not know of anyone, then take note of the following things:
A lawyer’s experience refers to years of experience dealing with medical malpractice cases. Having dealt with numerous birth injury cases, the lawyer knows all the ins and outs of matters involved. For example, they know what typically happens during birth injury cases, the amount of settlement claim, treatment costs, the problems parents face, etc. More experienced attorneys have a chance of winning the case.
You find out your cerebral palsy lawyer’s experience by asking the right questions:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- Have you represented a client filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit?
- How many cerebral palsy lawsuits have you led?
- How many cases did you win?
- Are you familiar with the cerebral palsy statute of limitations and other related laws in your State?
- Did you graduate from an accredited law school?
- Do you have an efficient legal team capable of handling complex matters of the case?
Cerebral palsy lawyers typically take no upfront fee from their clients. Once they help you win the lawsuit, they claim a certain percentage of the winning amount. If you do not get your financial claim, your lawyer does not get anything. Therefore, hiring a lawyer does not come with an out-of-pocket expense. However, it could vary for different lawyers and law firms.
Consequently, you must first determine their fee beforehand. Whatever percentage of winnings they quote, make sure to get it in writing. If they refuse to do so, walk away.
In some cases, lawyers also charge in terms of an hourly rate. Ask your lawyer how many hours your case might take and how often you will receive the bills. Get this in writing too. Additionally, ask for any additional fee that you might have to pay.
Genuine legal advice
A professional lawyer should be able to provide you with genuine legal advice. It means being open about all the case aspects and devising the best legal strategical action to take. They should not withhold any information regarding your case. They must be upfront about whether they have bad news or good news.
It is also a lawyer’s responsibility to prepare you regarding the case. It means to update you regarding the court hearings and evidence and witnesses you need to present in court. If you appear in front of a judge and have no experience being in court, your lawyer should prepare you for it beforehand.
Location and availability
The lawyer you hire must be in the same area or location to make visiting them easier. You will work with your lawyer for quite some time. Therefore, ensure a lawyer is available when you need them.
Ensure the attorney you talked to and hired is the one leading your case. Sometimes, some attorneys assign their cases to an associate. That associate may or may not know your case details. Therefore, only agree to work with the lawyer you initially hired. Or it could lead to problems in the case.
What are the duties of a cerebral palsy lawyer?
The duties of a cerebral palsy lawyer include:
- Drafting a legal notice with a particular financial claim and sending it to the other party (defendant)
- Preparing for trial
- Giving honest legal advice to clients
- Suggesting the best course of action
- Informing the clients about all their legal rights
- Keeping the clients updated with case progress
Even though it is not a life-threatening injury, cerebral palsy can have severe lifelong consequences if not treated in time. The treatment costs a lot. Someone else’s negligence led to the injury. Therefore you have a legal right to sue them in exchange for a financial claim.
However, before hiring a lawyer, you must look into their credentials. That means experience and expertise in dealing with similar cases. Discuss your fee beforehand, and ensure your lawyer is readily available and accessible. Ensure your lawyer gives you honest legal advice. Follow our guidelines to make it easier to hire a cerebral palsy lawyer.