Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury Claims

Cerebral palsy claims

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors are highly experienced in dealing with claims where medical negligence has led to an injury at birth resulting in cerebral palsy.

Our team is led by cerebral palsy claims specialist, solicitor Suzanne Munroe, who has helped many families gain compensation, which pays for life-transforming specialist care and treatments.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a life-changing condition resulting from brain damage around the time of birth. The condition can lead to problems with co-ordination and movement, vision, hearing and speech movement. It can also cause mental impairment.

Cerebral palsy is caused when there is damage to the cortex of the brain. This is the brain’s largest section, and is responsible for many functions, including processing sensory information, communication and voluntary muscle movement.

The damage caused by cerebral palsy is often due to hypoxia – a lack of oxygen supplied to cells in the brain caused by reduced blood flow. This can be due to the mother having an infection or abnormally low blood pressure. Premature birth can also be a contributory factor. In rare cases (5 – 10%) brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy can be caused by asphyxia (temporary oxygen deprivation).

Cerebral palsy symptoms

There are many different forms of the condition. In most cases, cerebral palsy’s effects are only physical, but in severe cases, it can cause learning difficulties and impaired communication. Other symptoms can include difficulty in co-ordinating movement, and judging distances; stiffness in the limbs, and difficulty supporting the head. It is possible for the symptoms of the condition to be barely noticeable.

Cerebral palsy is not progressive – that is, it doesn’t get worse – but unfortunately there is no cure either. Many children affected will need lifelong care and treatment.

Cerebral palsy and medical negligence claims

There are many ways cerebral palsy can come about so when we investigate a claim for medical negligence, we investigate thoroughly to establish exactly what the cause of the brain damage was.

While cerebral palsy may occur for reasons beyond the control of doctors, nurses or midwives, there are unfortunately cases where the injury has been caused by negligence and may have been avoided. When there is reason to consider a birth to be high risk, monitoring should be initiated so that foetal distress can be identified quickly and complications avoided. Delays to starting the monitoring procedure can lead to avoidable injury to the baby.

Substandard treatment of the mother can also lead to avoidable complications like high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia. There can also be injury sustained during the birth if forceps or ventouse equipment are not used correctly. After the birth, there are other risk areas. Inadequate or negligent care could mean that an illness that may cause hypoxia is missed – these include infections and low blood sugar.

Our medical negligence investigation will include a thorough examination of the medical records and other evidence in conjunction with medical experts, to establish what happened in your case. In order to prove medical negligence, it is necessary to exclude all possible causes for the child’s brain damage other than negligent medical care. It is a complex and meticulous process, and our specialist solicitors will explain every step of the way what is happening and what might happen next.

Time Limitations to make your medical negligence claim

If your child has cerebral palsy caused by an avoidable birth injury, you have until their 18th birthday to bring a claim on their behalf. After your child turns 18, they can claim independently, but they must do so by their 21st birthday. The time limit doesn’t apply if your child is mentally incapacitated.

If you believe your child has developed cerebral palsy as a result of an avoidable injury at birth, talk to our medical negligence solicitors for advice. We’re here to help. Call us on 0800 138 0458, or complete our contact form and we will call you back.

Recognition for our Clinical Negligence team

  • Modern Law Awards Winner Logo
  • Clinical Negligence Lawyer of the Year 2017
  • The Yorkshire Legal Awards 2016 Winner - Dispute Resolution Award

What our clients say…

This was the first time I’ve had to use a Solicitor, I found [Samantha Spain] very professional and helpful. The experience was much easier and more pleasant than I had feared.


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