Cerebral Palsy Lawyers in Boston
While many cases of cerebral palsy are a result of a genetic mutation that led to abnormal brain development, there are other cases where the action or inaction of medical professionals during the birthing process caused the child to develop this disability.
If you believe doctors could have prevented your child from developing cerebral palsy, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages. The Boston cerebral palsy lawyers at Janet, Jenner & Suggs will manage every aspect of your case, working to secure all of the compensation you deserve. Our firm has obtained substantial verdicts and settlements in cerebral palsy cases, many in record-breaking amounts. Our Managing Principal Howard A. Janet has been recognized as one of the leading cerebral palsy lawyers in the nation, having consulted more than 20,000 families about potential cases.
At Janet, Jenner & Suggs, your initial legal consultation is free and you will not be charged legal fees unless there is a favorable resolution of your claim.
Call our Boston cerebral palsy lawyers today. 1-877-692-3862
How Can Medical Negligence Cause Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a result of damage to the motor control centers of the brain. Many cases are caused by genetic mutations and could not have been prevented.
However, other cases are caused by injuries or complications during childbirth that cause a lack of oxygen to the child's brain, resulting in cerebral palsy. Medical professionals could be held liable for failing to notice these issues, failing to respond fast enough or failing to respond at all.
Here are some examples of actions by medical professionals that could be considered negligence:
- Failing to diagnose or treat infections in the mother or fetus, including rubella, cytomegalovirus and toxoplasmosis
- Not performing a C-section when it is necessary for the health of the fetus
- Waiting too long to perform a C-section, causing the fetus' brain to be deprived of oxygen
- Failing to notice signs of distress in the fetus or the mother
- Failing to take appropriate action when the fetus is in distress or losing oxygen
- Improper or careless use of vacuum extractors or forceps to aid in delivery
- Failing to prepare for a difficult birth, which can be caused by excessive weight gain in the mother
- Failing to reposition the fetus to avoid a feet-first delivery, which can be more risky
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury that contributed to the development of cerebral palsy, contact Janet, Jenner & Suggs' Boston cerebral palsy attorneys for a free consultation.
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How Will Cerebral Palsy Affect My Child?
In some cases, symptoms of cerebral palsy will subside over time. However, there is no cure and most people diagnosed with this disability will have to deal with it for the rest of their lives.
Children usually begin to experience cerebral palsy symptoms before turning three years old. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Ataxia, or lack of muscle coordination
- Trouble with balance
- Favoring one side of the body
- Delays in the development of basic motor skills, like sitting up and crawling
- Reflexes the child cannot control
- Stiff or rigid muscles
- Delays in intellectual development
- Hearing and vision problems
- Trouble walking
If you notice any of these issues, have your child examined by a doctor as soon as possible. If your child receives a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, contact our Boston cerebral palsy lawyers right away.
There is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit and we need time to investigate your claim and build a solid case.
Why You Need an Attorney in a Cerebral Palsy Case
Cerebral palsy claims, like all other Boston medical malpractice claims, can take several months to a year or more to be resolved through a settlement or jury verdict. The more complex the case, the longer it takes.
The medical malpractice laws in Massachusetts are complex and require the knowledge of an experienced attorney in order to bring a successful claim. It is in your best interest to hire a reputable cerebral palsy lawyer to handle your case rather than attempt to bring a case on your own.
Janet, Jenner & Suggs' Boston cerebral palsy lawyers offer our legal services at no upfront cost. We have the resources and legal knowledge to conduct an in-depth investigation including:
- Reviewing your account of what happened during the birth
- Reviewing medical records, including admitting history, doctor's notes and discharge summary
- Interviewing any witnesses
- Consulting medical experts to find out how negligence may have contributed to your injury
- Reviewing hospital records and medical professionals' records to find any past instances of medical negligence
While many cases settle before reaching trial, others are resolved in the courtroom. Fortunately, our Boston cerebral palsy lawyers have taken on numerous cases and are prepared for either situation.
If the other side reaches out to settle the case, we will aggressively negotiate for all the compensation you need to manage your child's disability. If we have to go to court, we are prepared to thoroughly question witnesses and counter arguments from the defense.
The Boston cerebral palsy lawyers at Janet, Jenner & Suggs provide our services free of charge until your case is a resolved. If you receive a settlement or jury award, we recoup a percentage to cover our costs. The rest is for you and your family as you attempt to move forward with your lives.
Live Chat or complete a Free Case Evaluation form.
How Much Time do I have to File a Claim?
All states have statutes of limitations that set deadlines for pursuing different types of legal actions. If you do not file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will be barred from filing a claim.
In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is three years from the date when malpractice occurred (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 260 Section 4).
However, the discovery rule could allow you more time to file a claim. Under this rule, the statute of limitations is extended if you can show that there was no reasonable way for you to know malpractice occurred and that you have a case.
However, even with the discovery rule, the statute of limitations will never be longer than seven years from the date of the alleged malpractice. The seven-year deadline is also known as the statute of repose.
Claims involving children must also follow the three-year statute of limitations. However, if they are younger than six years old, they must file a claim before their ninth birthday.
This is why it is so important to contact our Boston cerebral palsy lawyers right away if you suspect that your child developed cerebral palsy because of medical negligence. Our cerebral palsy attorneys need time to investigate your claim to find out if you have a case and if you are entitled to compensation.
Call our Boston cerebral palsy lawyers right now. 1-877-692-3862
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Massachusetts
Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 231 Section 60L, anyone who wants to file a medical malpractice claim must take the following steps:
Provide Notice of Intent to File a Claim
In most cases, you must give the health care provider you are accusing of medical malpractice 182 days' notice of your intent to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
This does not apply if you cannot reasonably identify the healthcare provider who should be notified about your claim. You also do not have to provide 182 days' notice if the statute of limitations will expire within six months.
Your notice of intent to file a claim must be sent to the last known professional address or residential address of the health care provider. The notice must include the following information:
- The names of all the healthcare providers you intend to notify about your claim
- The factual basis for your claim
- An explanation of how the healthcare provider(s) were careless or negligent during the birth of your child
Within 56 days of sending your notice of intent, you must allow the healthcare provider named in the notice to have access to all medical records related to the claim that are in your control. You also need to release any medical records related to the claim that you have knowledge of.
Response from the Healthcare Provider
Within 150 days of sending the notice of intent, the healthcare provider you are accusing of malpractice must provide a written response with the following information:
- The factual basis for defense against your claim
- An explanation of how the healthcare professional was not careless or negligent during the birthing process and how something else caused your child's injury
If you do not receive a response within 150 days, you can move forward with filing a lawsuit. You do not have to wait until 182 days after providing your notice.
Janet, Jenner & Suggs' Boston cerebral palsy lawyers can help you create the notice of intent and ensure your claim meets any other requirements from the state.
Presenting Your Case to a Medical Malpractice Tribunal
Massachusetts requires all medical malpractice cases to be reviewed by a tribunal to determine if you have enough evidence to proceed with a lawsuit. The tribunal will meet 15 days after the defense filed a response to your notice of intent to file a claim.
The tribunal is composed of a justice from the superior court, a medical professional licensed to practice in the state and an attorney who is authorized to practice law in the state. The superior court judge will select the attorney from a list created by the Massachusetts Medical Society for the field of medicine most closely related to the injury that occurred. The judge will also select the attorney from a list created by the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Our Boston cerebral palsy lawyers can represent you at this tribunal. We will submit evidence to prove your malpractice claim. Evidence could include:
- Hospital records
- Other medical records
- Notes from nurses
- Test results
- Statements from medical experts
- Statements of fact or opinion from periodicals, books or pamphlets
The tribunal can also decide to subpoena additional evidence or witnesses relevant to your claim.
After reviewing evidence, the tribunal will make a judgment about whether your case should proceed through the legal system.
If the tribunal finds that you do not have enough evidence, you will have to provide a $6,000 bond to proceed with your lawsuit. The bond must be posted within 30 days of the tribunal's decision, or your case will be dismissed.
Janet, Jenner & Suggs' cerebral palsy attorneys know what it takes to receive a favorable decision from a tribunal. Our Boston cerebral palsy lawyers are prepared to compile strong evidence in support of your claim.
Live Chat or call 1-877-692-3862.
How do you Prove Malpractice Occurred?
There are four elements to a successful claim for medical negligence:
- A medical professional owed your child a standard or duty of care. This means that a doctor had a duty to provide care that meets the standards in the medical community. Another way of saying it is that the doctor must provide a similar level of care that another similarly trained professional would provide in a similar situation. If is often necessary to consult a medical expert to determine the standard of care that was present in the situation in question. Your attorney may also refer to clinical practice guidelines published by medical professional groups.
- A medical professional breached the standard of care. This means that the medical professional did not provide care that fit within the standard of care for the situation.
- Your child's injury was a result of the breached standard of care. You have to prove that the primary cause of your child's injury was the doctor's actions during childbirth.
- There were damages from your child's injury. Damages could include bills for physical therapy, medical equipment, prescription drugs, and pain and suffering, among others.
The Boston cerebral palsy lawyers at Janet, Jenner & Suggs have decades of combined experience with these types of cases. Partner Dov Apfel received the 2011 Dan Cullan Memorial Award from the Executive Board of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group from the American Association for Justice. The award recognizes a lifetime of achievements in birth injury litigation.
Let us put our vast experience to work for you so you can receive the compensation you need to manage your child's chronic illness.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 1-877-692-3862.
Contributory Negligence in Massachusetts
In some cases, the plaintiff bears some responsibility for the injuries that occurred. However, as long as your percentage of fault is not higher than the percentage of fault of the defendant or defendants, you can still obtain compensation, thanks to Massachusetts' contributory negligence rule.
Unfortunately, your amount of compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault for the injury. This means that if you are 10 percent at fault and are entitled to $100,000 in compensation, you would only receive $90,000.
You can rest assured that Janet, Jenner & Suggs' Boston cerebral palsy lawyers will work tirelessly to help ensure you are not assigned more fault than you deserve.
What Forms of Compensation Are Available?
Cerebral palsy can cause a lifetime of physical and cognitive difficulties for your child. That is why the law allows you to recover many forms of compensation if you can prove your child has this disability because of medical negligence.
This form of compensation is tied to specific financial losses resulting from your child's injury, such as:
- Hospital expenses
- Blood tests
- X-rays, MRIs and CT scans
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Durable medical equipment, such as mobility aids
- Speech therapy
- Mental health counseling
- Disability accommodations in the home
- Other medical expenses
- Lost earning capacity
Massachusetts places no cap on economic compensation from a medical malpractice claim. That means that the amount of compensation you recover depends greatly on the quality and aggressiveness of your attorney.
This covers the physical and emotional side effects of your child's diagnosis, which could include:
- Lost quality of life
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish or suffering
- Permanent disfigurement
In most cases, Massachusetts limits noneconomic compensation from a medical malpractice claim to $500,000 (General Laws Title II Chapter 231 Section 60H). However, courts will remove this cap if you can show any of the following:
- Substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function
- Substantial disfigurement
- A special circumstance for which a cap on damages would deprive you of fair compensation for the injuries you have sustained
Our Boston cerebral palsy lawyers will carefully review your claim to determine all of the damages you have suffered. Our goal is to recover as much compensation as possible.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Boston Cerebral Palsy Lawyers
Depending on the severity of the injury, supporting a child with cerebral palsy could cost several hundred thousand dollars or more over the course of the child's life.
If the injury was caused by medical negligence during the birthing process, you could recover fair compensation to help manage the many costs of your child's chronic disability.
Janet, Jenner & Suggs' Boston cerebral palsy lawyers have the experience and extensive knowledge to aggressively pursue fair compensation through a settlement or jury verdict. We will not charge legal fees unless you receive the compensation you are entitled.