When people think of the need for a lawyer, it’s mostly for a situation in which they need representation due to being injured as the result of someone else’s neglect. Though there are a wide variety of other legal situations that warrant an attorney, there is also a very specific need for representation that too few parents realize. For those who have a child diagnosed with a birth injury, a Cerebral Palsy lawyer may be able to provide life-changing results by looking into the cause of that injury.
Birth Injuries Require a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
First, if this is the first time you have visited our site, you may not realize Cerebral Palsy is often caused by a birth injury. This birth injury relates to damage to the brain that can result in a wide range of challenges for a child. Just as these challenges can vary in severity, so too can the origin of a child’s birth injury vary in how it came about. A Cerebral Palsy lawyer can and should be able to walk you through these circumstances, but should also help you through a Medical Legal Review Process.
But, again, why? What is the purpose of a Cerebral Palsy lawyer? In short, the sad truth is that various instances of CP are due to failures on the part of medical professionals to ensure a healthy pregnancy and the safe delivery for your child. This mistake, in turn, results in a lifetime of challenges your child would not have faced otherwise. Preventable Cerebral Palsy can include errors in monitoring the labor and delivery, missing avoidable problems during delivery, extensive delays in labor (most often due to a failure to perform a timely C-Section) and/or other improper care in the hospital. Circumstances can vary widely for each of these matters, making a Medical Legal Review (conducted by a Cerebral Palsy lawyer and a team of legal and medical professionals) a critical first step in getting you the answers that you deserve.
Exploring the Cause of a Child’s Cerebral Palsy
Our firm provides a free Medical Legal Review to parents seeking answers surrounding their child’s CP diagnosis. The review process involves one of our care team members discussing with you the events that occurred around your child’s delivery to provide insight into the facts and circumstances surrounding the birth injury. An added benefit to this process is that, contrary to whatever you may have been told, very few instances of Cerebral Palsy are caused due to a parent’s decisions or actions. Instead, the questions asked attempt to get to the core of your child’s CP diagnosis and potentially reveal critical information that your doctor may not want you to know about.
Questions asked during a Medical Legal Review include:
- Were you on any medications during your pregnancy?
- How often did you have pregnancy checks/appointments?
- Did your pregnancy go full-term?
- How long were you in labor?
- What was your child’s skin color at birth?
- What was your child’s APGAR score?
- Did your child spend any time in the hospital’s NICU?
While these questions may seem generic, they connect with very real medical standards that must be applied by medical professionals. An improper prescription for a pregnant woman can spell disaster for the child’s health; a child with blue skin coloring may have suffered catastrophic oxygen deprivation (asphyxia) that was preventable. These elements, captured during the initial interview of a Medical Legal Review, can represent glaring red flags for preventable Cerebral Palsy.
Often parents worry about whether they’ll be able to provide clear, precise answers to some of these questions. The truth is that the question and answer portion of the Medical Legal Review is merely intended to provide an introduction to the facts from which the additional team members can then work from while analyzing medical records. This means that “I don’t know” is a perfectly fine answer as the next steps often then include a request for your medical records and a more thorough review of the documented facts. It’s not critical that you know every fact, or even the most important facts, to determine whether your child’s CP was preventable. Whatever information you have can be helpful, though, as the medical records are then evaluated for any departures from accepted medical practice resulting in a case of preventable Cerebral Palsy.
Preventable Cerebral Palsy: Why It Matters
As formidable a diagnosis Cerebral Palsy can be for some, specifically due to the lifetime of challenges it can present, many parents do not understand the purpose of determining its cause. While people deal with matters of critical importance in different ways, answers matter when it comes to determining the cause of a child’s CP diagnosis. Though “what’s done is done” may be true in certain situations around your daily life, this is not one of those circumstances. Unfortunately, the brain injury surrounding a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis is irreversible (at this time), but that does not mean that various efforts and assistance cannot dramatically improve your child’s quality of life and ability.
On the topic of preventable Cerebral Palsy, though, knowledge is power. A Medical Legal Review may reveal that your child’s CP was due to circumstances outside of anyone’s control. In the presence of genetic factors and biological circumstances, no one may be to blame. On the other hand, complications like fetal distress, asphyxia or lack of oxygen are all situations where a medical professional is required to adhere to the medical standard of care to avoid damage to your baby. There are a number of situations where a medical professional may have even saved the child’s life, and there can be relief for a parent to know their child received the best care possible. The truth is finding out that doctors did everything they could can be a great relief for parents, especially if they are considering another child. It is when a review returns less than reassuring results that prompt action can be critical.
Pursuing Lifetime Benefits Through a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
When the standard of care has not been followed and results in a child’s birth injury, Cerebral Palsy is a possibility. After a Medical Legal Review, a Cerebral Palsy lawyer will review options available to a parent. With enough red flags and medical records supporting the idea CP was likely preventable, your Cerebral Palsy lawyer will open a case on behalf of your child. This is not done frivolously; an experienced birth injury attorney will not pursue legal action unless a case can be made that warrants action. When your child’s brain injury resulting in Cerebral Palsy is found to be preventable, Lifetime Benefits are made available that cover decades of costs associated with treatment, therapy, care and more.
It is important to note that a lawyer who concentrates in birth injury claims will not expect a retainer or any fees upfront. Instead, they will pursue Lifetime Benefits for your child based upon the strength of your child’s claim and then focus on getting your family real results. No parent exploring the cause of their child’s Cerebral Palsy should be asked to pay a retainer in order to have their child’s case reviewed or acted upon. When you contact us, know that all of the resources, including a Medical Legal Review, will be provided for free and only if your child is able to qualify for Lifetime Benefits will there ever be a contingency.
What are Lifetime Benefits?
Aptly named, Lifetime Benefits are funds put aside in a trust dedicated solely to help your child overcome challenges associated with his or her Cerebral Palsy. These funds are aimed specifically to help bridge gaps associated with your child’s challenges and lessen them in any way possible. Areas in which Lifetime Benefits can help your child include:
- Therapy (Physical, Occupational, Speech, etc.)
- Medical Treatment/Procedures
- Adaptive Equipment
- Assistive Technology
- Home Modifications
- Adapted Vehicles/Vehicle Modifications
- And More
Called early intervention, therapies and assistance efforts carried out during childhood help your daughter or son’s brain find new ways to overcome the damage caused by the birth injury. A brain injury interrupts circuits that we all take for granted that help us accomplish tasks – early intervention helps the brain find new paths to achieve your child’s goals. Like a detour in traffic, early intervention seeks, in effect, to teach your child’s brain new ways to achieve goals – without clear directions and practice, this can be almost impossible. Early intervention seeks to make the impossible possible.
Isn’t That What Insurance or SSI is for?
All too often, parents mistake their child’s needs as covered by their insurance benefits. This is sadly not the case in far too many plans. We get calls every day from parents looking for options to cover reasonable things like leg braces because their insurance company only covers expenses like braces once every three years. As you can imagine, or have seen yourself, a growing child is not able to rely upon braces based upon their size 1-2 years ago, much less three years ago! What’s more, therapy can often be limited to a rate that limits its’ value or restricts your child’s potential. Lifetime Benefits take the guess work, and worry, out of paying for and scheduling critical therapies and more so that you do not need to rely on your insurance company to do the right thing.
In that same vein, we also have parents who worry that applying for or receiving Lifetime Benefits will terminate their child’s SSI payments. This is generally not the case when Lifetime Benefits are placed in trust. SSI will continue to be made available to your child regardless of your child’s success in recovering Lifetime Benefits.
But I Don’t Want to Sue My Doctor…
Lifetime Benefits are almost universally paid out and provided by the insurance company and not by a doctor, hospital, etc. In almost all instances the staff found responsible does not lose their job or suffer financially from a settlement or judgment on your child’s behalf. With the extraordinary amount of proof required to successfully sue for Lifetime Benefits, there is almost no way that such a finding isn’t based in fact; children who receive funds through successful litigation DESERVE that settlement or judgment because there is critical evidence that their lifetime challenges are solely due to improper medical care. Please do not fail to pursue Lifetime Benefits over concerns for the doctor or hospital as you may be overlooking life-changing resources and assistance that’s available for your child.
Choosing a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
With the understanding of the significant value Lifetime Benefits can represent to your child, you should also understand that these benefits are not easily pursued by just any attorney. Effectively navigating the medical and legal complexities associated with a birth injury case involves significant experience in the science and details associated with Cerebral Palsy. A general personal injury lawyer may simply look into your immediate needs or assess settlement offers based upon challenges of the now. What’s more, sadly, a general personal injury attorney may be looking for the quick out to avoid the years of litigation that a birth injury case can take. Unfortunately Cerebral Palsy involves symptoms that are appearing now, as well as additional or more severe symptoms that emerge in time due to the body’s inability to overcome or control them.
A Cerebral Palsy lawyer also generally has extensive experience and access to a wide range of medical experts with knowledge surrounding brain injuries. The wide range of factors that can go into CP, not to mention the various objections and counterpoints presented by the other side, require a lawyer with the experience and background needed to represent your child effectively, and as you both deserve.
Why Time is NOT on Your Side
It may seem unfair to you (it does to us!), but time limits do exist for how long you have to explore your child’s eligibility to seek Lifetime Benefits. While a general attorney may misread the law and think you only have a few years to pursue action, many states have Statutes of Limitation (the number of years you have to file a case) far exceeding that. Some states provide families upwards of 20 years to file a case, which is appropriate.
Unfortunately, this not the case in every state. A Cerebral Palsy lawyer can best advise you on how long you have to file a claim, but be aware that this time limit can be as few as three years after birth in some states. This statutory limit places an unfair burden on parents to be proactive in investigating their child’s options almost (unrealistically) from the moment’s following birth. Given the fact that a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis can often take several months and sometimes years to determine, it is easy to see why time is not on the side of parents.
With that said, you won’t know if your child is eligible for this critical assistance until you ask. Speaking with a Cerebral Palsy lawyer can not only help you better understand the condition, but also possibly open the door to critical assistance that can help your child for decades to come. Taking just thirty minutes to speak with our care team about the circumstances surrounding your child’s delivery may reveal financial assistance that covers decades of expenses to come.
Your Next Steps
For more information about Lifetime Benefits, contact our offices today. Our team is happy to provide you with answers to your questions surrounding Cerebral Palsy, preventable CP and to identify your child’s options for the future. Call our offices at 800-462-5772 to speak with our team about how a Cerebral Palsy lawyer can help you, while also providing access to a wide assortment of FREE resources related to charities, state/federal programs, parent exchanges and more that can greatly benefit your child.
We hope to hear from you soon!