Cerebral Palsy Claims

James's Story

Cerebral palsy claims are complex and almost always technically difficult. Most are very high value because compensation, where available, will have to fund lifelong needs including specialist care, support equipment and the adapted accommodation that will be needed to allow as full an enjoyment of life as possible.

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Just as there are different types of cerebral palsy, there are a number of different possible causes of this life long and life changing condition. Each brings a unique set of challenges. Our senior solicitors are experts in cerebral palsy compensation claims and highly experienced in handling these most complex cases. They will help you identify whether you can bring a claim and, if cerebral palsy resulted from avoidable medical or midwifery negligence, expertly guide you through to achieving the best result possible provided by law.

For some children, cerebral palsy is due to a genetic error, while in others it has been associated with prematurity, multiple pregnancy or maternal infection during pregnancy. In most instances nothing could have been done to prevent the condition from occurring and so the law provides no remedy.

However, for a small but significant number of children, cerebral palsy was avoidable and can be shown to have been caused by sub-standard management of the mother's pregnancy, the delivery itself or poor neonatal care. In these cases the law provides a right to make a claim for compensation to help meet the cost of bringing up a child or looking after an adult with cerebral palsy. Predictably, such cases are often strenuously defended from the outset and sadly complaints procedures do not always provide much needed answers to questions such as “what went wrong?” and “could this have been avoided?”.

Parents whose child is given a diagnosis of cerebral palsy will face an uncertain future. Working closely with your family, medical experts, therapists, equipment suppliers , support workers, accommodation experts and a host of other advisers our expert senior cerebral palsy solicitors ensure that you need not face a lifetime of challenges alone. Quality of lives can be changed beyond recognition with individually tailored cerebral palsy support packages funded by a successful compensation claim. Our team understand that when asked, every parent of a child with cerebral palsy says they would gladly pay back any compensation in a heartbeat if they could turn back the clock and have a healthy baby. We also understand that making a claim is a poor second best option in comparison and something most parents do with a heavy heart. In such circumstances, finding answers to questions about what happened, working out whether a claim can be made and, if so, seeking compensation to help rebuild uncertain futures requires expert legal assistance.

So if the unimaginable has actually happened, and you are wondering how you might move forwards after a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, speak to a senior member of our team who can share the benefit of their long experience with you and help make sense of the options open to you.

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Cerebral palsy government help and benefits

Help is available for disabled people with cerebral palsy and their carers from both national and local government. The local council has a duty under the Children Act 1989 to provide services such as holiday play schemes, adaptations and financial help with travel costs for hospital visits.

Some of these support services are means-tested. Contact the social services team at your local council, who will arrange a visit by a social worker to assess if you qualify for any of these benefits.

Benefits and support from national government include carer's allowance which is payable to anyone spending at least 35 hours per week caring for a disabled person in receipt of qualifying benefits. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is payable if your child is 15 or under. DLA is not means-tested and has two parts: care and mobility.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaces Disability Living Allowance for new claimants ages 16 to 64. PIP is also not means-tested. It also has two elements: a daily living and a mobility component.

Your local Jobcentre Plus will be able to give you more information about government benefits and support. Disability Rights UK has a number of factsheets about benefits. National charities such as Scope can provide advice and guidance (they have a useful online tool to calculate what benefits you may be entitled to) and the Gov.UK website contains information about support for disabled children.

Do I have a cerebral palsy case

Where negligence, a word perhaps better understood as “fault”, has caused a brain injury such as through delay in identifying or responding to foetal distress during labour, it ought to be possible to make a successful cerebral palsy claim.

In the aftermath of a traumatic birth, the last thing on concerned parents’ minds at such an emotional time will be whether they have a legal claim. Attention will rightly be focused on the baby’s immediate well-being, rounds of medical appointments and coping with the many challenges cerebral palsy brings. Although, many parents seem to know almost instinctively if something went wrong with mother and child’s care, some leave it many years before seeking legal advice. We do though recommend that expert legal advice is taken sooner rather than later.

Cerebral palsy cases are complex and can take years to conclude. Wait too long and evidence might be lost or forgotten. Concerned parents should contact Access Legal for advice about cerebral palsy claims as soon as possible. Initial consultations can be arranged quickly and on a no cost to you and no commitment basis. After all, you need to be sure you can work with your solicitor and feel entirely comfortable that they will represent you and your child expertly and sympathetically.

Once liability is proven, families need not wait until the end of a case for support. Substantial interim payments of compensation can be obtained to provide immediate help with care and adapted accommodation whilst the full amount of the claim is carefully investigated.

Access Legal's experts have successfully won record-breaking sums of compensation and work with other specialist colleagues to access a range of advice to ensure the future financial, medical, educational and social needs of a client with cerebral palsy are met as fully as possible. If we believe you have a good case, our cerebral palsy lawyers will act for you with passion and commitment working tirelessly for the justice and lifetime support your child deserves.

How do I make a cerebral palsy claim

The first and most important step in investigating a cerebral palsy claim is to choose a solicitor with the right medico-legal expertise. Cerebral palsy claims can be lengthy as well as technically and emotionally demanding. You need to be certain that your solicitor has the right experience and their law firm sufficient resources so as to be equipped to handle the considerable responsibility of taking on your case.

We can arrange meetings at your convenience and preference over the ‘phone, at one of our offices, at your home or elsewhere if you choose. Mother and child’s medical records will have to be collected and meticulously analysed. Statements will be need to be taken as to what happened and to cover key points in the records. Then independent expert opinion will be needed. Just for liability alone, typically reports will have to be obtained from an obstetrician, neuro-radiologist, paediatric neurologist and sometimes neo-natologist and midwife. If it has not already been done, detailed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may have to be arranged to confirm the precise location and nature of the brain injury, help pinpoint when it occurred as well as rule out congenital causes.

Rarely do the first set of experts’ reports cover all of the issues and answer all of you and your lawyers’ questions. A conference is usually essential with a specialist barrister or QC to bring the experts around a table with you to analyse what happened and whether there is evidence to enable a claim to be brought with reasonable prospects of success.  For some parents and carers finding out that a lifelong disability was not caused by culpable avoidable human error is itself a source of relief.

For those who do have a valid claim, much work is then needed to gather the evidence and present it is the best possible way provided by the law.

Above all, it’s important that your legal team are not only technically expert and on the ball but also caring and sensitive to what you are going through. You also need them to recommend experts who you can absolutely trust and who have experience not only in their chosen specialty but also in giving evidence in court.

Part of our role at Access Legal in supporting your family when making a cerebral palsy claim is to prepare you for what's going to happen in the future. No amount of compensation will ever make up for substandard care that caused your child a lifetime of dependency on others. However, our team at Access Legal can at least ensure that your son or daughter is provided with all the help required for a loving, secure and fulfilled life tailored to their particular condition and circumstances to unlock their own full potential.

More about cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a broad term used to describe a group of lifelong disorders that are caused by damage to the developing brain sometimes before, during or soon after birth.
In some children with cerebral palsy intellectual function is fully preserved while others have almost no cognitive ability.

The question of what caused the cerebral palsy can be investigated almost immediately after birth. However it takes much longer, typically until age six or seven, before experts will be able to give reliable predictions about likely levels of communication, mobility, independence, educational potential and life expectancy. For that reason, the question of whether there is a claim is usually best investigated first before detailed calculations are done as to the likely value of any such claim.

The symptoms of cerebral palsy can vary from slight clumsiness to extensive ‘spasticity’ (uncontrolled contraction of muscles attached to the skeleton) affecting all four limbs and head control. Early signs usually appear before the age of three. Parents are often the first to observe that their child is slow to reach developmental milestones such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile or walk. Some affected children seem rigid or stiff. They also may exhibit an unusual posture or favour one side of their body.

Sadly, a significant proportion of children with cerebral palsy also suffer from epilepsy. The severity of their epileptic seizures can correlate directly with the severity of their cerebral palsy. The intellectual function of children suffering from this combination of cerebral palsy and epilepsy can be severely impaired.

Every child is an individual and this is equally true of those afflicted with cerebral palsy. Each has specific needs and challenges. At Access Legal we work with these special children and their parents to ensure that the help afforded by the law is within reach and accessible.

Cerebral Palsy FAQs

Cerebral Palsy Case Study

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Milly's Story

£10.8m award helps Milly Evans secure a fulfilled life

Denise Stephens of Access Legal helped Suzanne Adams and her son James Robshaw look forward to a brighter future after he suffered cerebral palsy following delays during his birth.

Read Milly Evans' full cerebral palsy case study here.

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Cerebral Palsy Claims

Milly's Story

Cerebral Palsy Case Study

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James's Story

£14.6m award for James Robshaw will provide care for rest of his life

Denise Stephens of Access Legal helped Suzanne Adams and her son James Robshaw look forward to a brighter future after he suffered cerebral palsy following delays during his birth.

Find out how Access Legal secured James Robshaw's lifetime cerebral palsy care here.

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"The big advantage of going through Access Legal for our cerebral palsy claim was the fact that they treated us like human beings. They were absolutely amazing and understood exactly what we were going through"

by Andy Evans, father of Milly Evans.

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"The big advantage of going through Access Legal for our cerebral palsy claim was the fact that they treated us like human beings. They were absolutely amazing and understood exactly what we were going through"

by Andy Evans, father of Milly Evans.

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Cerebral Palsy Claims

Our cerebral palsy solicitors are acknowledged experts in their field, noted for handling often complex cerebral palsy cases like yours with sensitivity, determination and persistence.

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