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Families of children with cerebral palsy can face significant and expensive challenges such as surgeries, therapies, special equipment, and home modifications. If you believe that your child’s CP was caused by a medical error, the law entitles you to seek financial compensation that can help pay for the lifetime of care your child needs.
Read on to learn about consulting with a Baltimore cerebral palsy lawyer if you are considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
When Is Contacting a Baltimore Cerebral Palsy Lawyer a Good Idea?
In some instances the cause of a child’s CP will never be truly known, but there are signs that a medical error may have played a role. These include:
- Failure to detect or properly treat an infection
- Failure to detect concerning changes in fetal heart rate and act accordingly
- Failure to advise a medically necessary C-section when labor complications arise
- Failure to schedule or perform a medically advisable C-section
- Failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Failure to inform you of complications of your labor and provide options for reducing the risk of birth injury
- Improper use of delivery tools, such as vacuum extractors and forceps
If you believe that medical malpractice led to your child’s CP, you may have legal options to recover compensation to provide for your child’s care and quality of life. The law allows financial recovery for:
- Medical and other care costs. This compensation includes the past, current, and future costs of your child’s medical care. Visits to physicians, specialists, and therapists as well as the costs of medical procedures make up a portion of this amount. This category may also include in-home care providers to assist with your child’s day-to-day needs (both now and for the rest of your child’s life), equipment to increase accessibility and mobility for your child, and prescriptions and other necessities for your child’s care, both now and in the future.
- Loss of earning capacity. Your child is entitled to compensation to cover the loss of potential income due to cerebral palsy. While many people with mild to moderate symptoms have fulfilling and successful careers, generally speaking a person with more severe CP has limited options, which might not have been the case had the medical error not occured.
- Pain and suffering. Your child may be entitled to compensation for the difficulties they have and may continue to endure, both physically and emotionally. You may also be eligible for compensation due to the stress of seeing your child suffer from medical negligence.
- Diminished quality of life. Though there are treatments, therapies, and equipment to help make life with cerebral palsy more comfortable, CP still presents lifelong and often severe impairments. Your child deserves to seek financial recovery for the opportunities and experiences taken from them by the negligence of others.
How Can an Experienced Baltimore CP Attorney Help You?
Families of children with disabilities need access to a wide network of local, national, and online support. When you need help finding a community of support, such as other parents of individuals with CP, the Cerebral Palsy Family Network's Facebook page is a valuable tool. The Maryland Department of Health’s web portal can be another place to start connecting with helpful resources.
Once you have reviewed your options, you still may want to hear from someone who has direct experience. If you haven’t connected yet with other families of children with CP, experienced CP attorneys can be a valuable part of your network. Through their own experiences supporting families with CP cases, attorneys have developed their own wide network of expert witnesses to help build your case, such as occupational therapists, pediatric neurologists, or other medical professionals.
On the legal side, a CP lawyer with years of experience fighting for the rights of children whose CP is the result of medical errors will know what to look for in your and your child’s medical records.
What Should You Look for When Choosing a Lawyer for a Cerebral Palsy Case in Baltimore?
When choosing a Baltimore cerebral palsy lawyer, you’ll want a team that includes legal and medical professionals with the experience and resources to build the strongest case. Here are some questions to consider when choosing an attorney.
- Does your CP legal team include medical professionals? Your legal team must have a solid foundation of knowledge about how CP affects lives as well as applicable laws, regulations, and even ethical codes that govern medical care. It’s also important that your legal team includes medical professionals to navigate medical records and recognize errors.
- Do you have experience in cerebral palsy cases? What makes CP so unique and complex both medically and legally is that it encompasses a wide range of disorders with numerous causes—and can present in varying degrees at different times. Lawyers with CP case experience are more likely to understand the impact of these considerations, especially the future costs associated with care.
- Are you willing to take my case to trial? Some attorneys prefer to settle cases rather than seek a jury verdict. While settlements can be a relief for families and can result in appropriate financial compensation, look for a lawyer who is not only willing to take your case to trial if needed but has experience, too.
- Does your firm have the financial resources to pursue my case? Because most medical malpractice cases are pursued on what is called a contingency fee basis—meaning you don’t pay a fee unless your case is won — you want to be sure that the firm representing you has sufficient funds to build your case.
While certain details of cases might be confidential, especially in settlements, experienced CP lawyers should be able to provide evidence of their experience. And you should not hesitate to request it.
Do You Need to Take Legal Action?
If you believe you have a medical malpractice case or need legal guidance on other issues—like educational advocacy, your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or discrimination you believe is protected under the Americans with Diabilities Act (ADA)—reach out to our Baltimore cerebral palsy lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC.
The firm has consulted with more than 30,000 families over the last four decades, and they consistently put families first. With a board-certified OBGYN/attorney on staff, this team is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of the families they serve and how to best represent them. For compassionate legal advocacy in Baltimore, JJS is here to help.
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Baltimore, MD 21208