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How much compensation can I claim for cerebral palsy?

By Daniel Hood. Last Updated 19th October 2021. This is our guide to making Cerebral Palsy claims against negligent medical practitioners or bodies. We look at Cerebral Palsy complications caused by clinical or medical negligence. and how No Win No Fee claims work.

Do you have cerebral palsy, or have you got a child with the condition? If you believe that your cerebral palsy was a result of medical negligence during birth or pregnancy, then you might be eligible for compensation. This guide will outline cerebral palsy symptoms and help you find out how to claim compensation for cerebral palsy. And it also explains what legal aid is available.

Breakdown

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition that can have a hugely detrimental impact on a person’s life. Often, cerebral palsy has completely natural causes, but there are cases where a child is born with the condition, and the cause lies in medical negligence during pregnancy or birth. In cerebral palsy cases like this, you may be entitled to claim compensation to help fund the necessary life-long medical costs which you will be faced with.

Now, cerebral palsy can have a range of symptoms that vary in severity. Symptoms can include paralysis of parts of the body, tremors, sight impairment, learning difficulties and much more. Such serious symptoms will result in the sufferer needing specialised medical care and often modifications around the home.

If your or your child’s cerebral palsy is a result of medical negligence, then a compensation claim can help with the financial burden of the condition. Contact our specialist team on 0800 073 8804 for more information on making cerebral palsy claims.

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A guide to cerebral palsy compensation claims

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence, accident or injury has potentially life-limiting consequences. This condition can cause symptoms that can affect many areas of the body, both physically and mentally, and so medical costs can spiral to help you or your child live life to the full. Cerebral palsy compensation claims can help you to win enough money to help to cover these costs to make life more comfortable.

Further cerebral palsy case details

We understand that cerebral palsy medical negligence cases are complex and often confusing, which is why we have created this guide to help guide you in the right direction regarding your cerebral palsy claims. Coming to terms with either your own or your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis is a confusing and upsetting time.

So as cerebral palsy solicitors, we make the process of evaluating whether or not you have a basis for a claim for compensation as simple as possible. Once you have decided whether or not you have a claim, you can then rely upon us to help you get the cerebral palsy settlement you deserve.

Every cerebral palsy claim is different due to the complexity of the condition. Still, this guide will give you a general overview of the condition, the causes and the compensation claim process.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a general term used to describe a physical impairment that affects voluntary movement and coordination and is also linked to learning difficulties, sight and hearing problems. The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from person to person. Two sufferers may have wildly different symptoms and experience completely different degrees of impairment; one person may only have mild symptoms, whereas another may have high levels of paralysis.

Now, cerebral palsy results from brain damage caused during pregnancy from lack of oxygen or infection. It can also be caused by trauma during birth or an injury sustained from a head wound or infection such as meningitis.

If you think that your cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence or an accident that was not your fault, then you may be entitled to compensation. The most common cause of cerebral palsy is prematurity, with about 40% cerebral palsy in children being born prematurely. The second most common cause is brain damage.

Further details

One in 400 babies is born with cerebral palsy in the UK, and the brain damage suffered to cause the condition can occur during pregnancy or birth. If the baby is starved of oxygen for any reason during development in the womb or during birth, this can cause brain damage, leading to the development of cerebral palsy.

If the mother or baby gets an infection or there is trauma during the birth process, and you believe your baby’s condition results from sub-standard pre or postnatal care, then it may be possible for you to claim compensation. Talk to our team about cerebral palsy claims today.

What to do if you have had a negligent childbirth resulting in cerebral palsy

If you believe that your child’s cerebral palsy or your own condition results from a negligent birth or medical treatment, then the first step you must take is to get a formal diagnosis. If you have lived with the condition for years, then it will be on your medical records.

However, cerebral palsy in babies is difficult to diagnose, and you may not get a formal diagnosis until your baby is 12 months old, even if the symptoms present earlier.

Once you have a diagnosis, you need to get a health professional or cerebral palsy specialist to determine when the brain damage caused the cerebral palsy. A neurological specialist will need to perform MRI scans to take a detailed look at your child’s brain to determine when the damage to the brain occurred, which caused the condition.

Further details

If the scans show space or fluid on the brain, then the condition has been caused during the developmental stage during pregnancy, and the baby was likely starved of oxygen during this time. If the scan shows that the brain has fully developed but shows damage or bleeding, then the most likely cause of this is trauma or lack of oxygen during the birth.

If your child has suffered brain damage during birth causing the development of cerebral palsy and you believe that the events leading up to your baby suffering brain-damaged could have been avoided, you may have a claim for medical negligence compensation.

A compensation claim isn’t about laying blame for your child’s condition, but the compensation you could win will help you make your child’s life easier as you can afford all the medical costs you will face for the duration of their lives. For more information on the cerebral palsy claims process, please read on.

How to begin cerebral palsy claims that relate to birth injuries

Looking to claim compensation for a mishandled birth resulting in brain damage is a complex, confusing and often time-consuming practice. Knowing where to start can be daunting. Many people looking to try and claim compensation on their own often give up as they don’t have the legal knowledge and time to dedicate to the claim, especially if they are caring for a disabled child.

This is why you need help from a company with years of experience dealing with cerebral palsy medical negligence claims such as ourselves. Starting with a free consultancy session to determine whether your claim is likely to be successful, our team of solicitors will begin by asking you about your child’s birth and the severity of their condition.

We understand that this may be traumatic, and we will be as sensitive as possible. Still, the more information we have, the more likely we are to be successful in winning you a cerebral palsy settlement.

The free consultancy session also allows you to ask any questions you may have about the claims process so that you are not caught unawares. We can also use this session to organise a free local medical for your child should we clarify any part of your child’s diagnosis.

If you are yet to see a neurological specialist, we can help arrange that too. Our team work on a No Win No Fee basis to ensure that you are never left with a large legal bill and no personal injury compensation to help with the cost. Please get in contact with us about your Cerebral palsy claims.

Living with cerebral palsy

No two people who have cerebral palsy suffer the same symptoms as the condition affects every person differently. People will often experience different symptoms as well as varying degrees of severity of those symptoms. Still, the development of cerebral palsy will affect an individual for life as there is no cure.

Cerebral palsy in children is not usually diagnosed until the child is between 12 and 18 months, when symptoms become more obvious. Not reaching milestones such as being able to sit unaided by 8 months old and walking by 18 months old are two of the biggest indicators that the baby is suffering problems with muscle control.

Young children and babies with cerebral palsy may also exhibit symptoms such as floppy limbs or weak arms and legs, or on the other extreme, they may show jerky or stiff uncontrolled movements. Shaking hands, tremors and walking on tiptoes are also common symptoms amongst children with cerebral palsy.

Further details

As those with the condition grow up, cerebral palsy in adults brings about a range of symptoms that become more noticeable and pronounced with age. Symptoms such as hearing and sight difficulties, urinary incontinence, balance problems, learning difficulties, and problems with speaking and communication can greatly impact a person’s daily life.

Often, those who have cerebral palsy also develop epilepsy and suffer regular or sporadic seizures, which can be mild or so severe that the person stops breathing during each episode.

Cerebral palsy symptoms can be so mild that one might not notice a sufferer has the condition on the first meeting, or they can be so severe that a child or adult requires 24-hour care. In the latter case, medical costs can spiral, so compensation for clinical negligence resulting in cerebral palsy can take a huge financial strain off the family.

Cerebral palsy negligence claims in numbers

Cerebral palsy can be caused by issues during childbirth. The area of medicine is also known as “obstetrics”. Whilst childbirth issues aren’t always avoidable, sometimes they are brought about by the negligence of medical professionals.

If this is the case, then you could make a claim against the hospital where your baby was delivered. The NHS keeps track of these claims and releases the figures in an NHS resolution report.

In 2016/17, there were 10,868 medical negligence claims made against the NHS. Whilst only 10% of these claims were made specifically against obstetricians, they made up 50% of the totally value of claims paid out. This total was over £4 billion. So, you can see how much these claims ad up to.

You’ll see this displayed in the graph below and be able to see how other specialities compare.

Cerebral palsy claims statistics graph

Cerebral palsy claims statistics graph

What can be claimed for after an incident causing cerebral palsy related injuries?

Developing cerebral palsy yourself or having your child develop the condition during birth or not long after can turn your world upside down. It will affect every aspect of your life, and when you are considering your cerebral palsy claim, you will need to include all the areas in which the condition has financially impacted you. Cerebral palsy claims could compensate you for;

  • General damages- this covers the amount of compensation you believe you deserved to try and make up for the pain and suffering the incident and subsequent condition has caused you.
  • Care claim- a care claim can be filed by anyone who has had to help you around the house if you have developed cerebral palsy and been left needing personal care or help around the house as a result.
  • Loss of earningsif it is you who has developed cerebral palsy due to medical negligence or an accident, then you can claim for loss of earnings if you have missed work or had to give it up altogether. You can also claim loss of earnings if you have had to give up work to care for a child who has developed cerebral palsy from medical negligence.
  • Travel expenses – Travel expenses to and from hospitals and medical visits can be included in your cerebral palsy compensation claims.
  • Medical treatment expenses cover any expense you have had to pay out for medical tests or supplies.
  • House modifications- you may need to modify your home to include medical supplies and equipment so that you or your child can come home from the hospital after developing cerebral palsy.
  • New modified car- you can claim a wheelchair accessible car as part of your cerebral palsy settlement.
  • Home care- severe cerebral palsy cases are likely to require round the clock care, and you can include home care costs as part of your compensation claim to help fund the cost of this.

Other details

Helping care for someone with cerebral palsy can see costs spiral, and if it is yourself who has developed the condition and you are now no longer able to work, you have the added worry of not being able to earn. Cerebral palsy solicitors can help you to ensure the financial security you need for your family while you all come to terms with the new diagnosis.

The most common cerebral palsy related injuries

There are four main types of cerebral palsy which you may hear your doctor refer to when discussing either your child’s condition or your own:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy- this type of palsy causes the muscles all over the body to become stiff and tight, making movement difficult. The muscles often tighten further when you try to move quickly, making your range of movement greatly restricted.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy- the defining factors of this type of cerebral palsy are coordination and balance problems. A sufferer will have shaky and clumsy movements often accompanied by tremors and sometimes communication problems.
  • Dyskinetic cerebral palsy- This type of cerebral palsy causes the body’s muscles to randomly switch between tight and floppy, which causes uncontrolled jerks and movements.
  • As the title suggests, mixed cerebral palsy sufferers of this type of cerebral palsy experience a range of symptoms from two or more of the types listed above.

Doctors may use other technical terms which discussing your cerebral palsy or your child’s condition. The most commonly used terms are hemiplegia, diplegia, monoplegia and quadriplegia, which refer to the areas of the body which are affected by the condition.

Hemiplegia means that one half of the body is affected by cerebral palsy, and diplegia is where two limbs are affected. Monoplegia refers to one limb affected by cerebral palsy, and quadriplegia sufferers have all four limbs affected by cerebral palsy and usually the entire body.

How much compensation with I receive for cerebral palsy claims relating to birth injuries?

Cerebral palsy claims UK wide vary as wildly in the pay-out amounts as the symptoms vary between each person living with cerebral palsy. As every cerebral palsy medical negligence case needs to be assessed on an individual basis, it is hard to guess how much your own cerebral palsy settlement may be based on the average cerebral palsy compensation pay-outs.

While every case is different, on average, the amount you may receive in compensation is likely to be linked to the severity of the symptoms you or your child experience. Often the more severe the condition, the higher the cerebral palsy settlement will be. Some cases of cerebral palsy in the past have attracted multi-million-pound settlements.

While we cannot give any specific ideas of a settlement amount until we have examined your individual case during one of our free consultation sessions, the information below may give you a rough idea of the figures you may expect to see as part of your own medical negligence compensation claim.

Reason for compensationTypical compensation amountComments
Very Severe Brain Damage
£264,650 to £379,100
In these cases, there will be little, if any, evidence of meaningful response to environment, little or no language function, double incontinence and the need for full-time nursing care.
Moderate Severe Brain Injury£205,580 to £264,650The injured person will be very seriously disabled. There will be substantial dependence on others and a need for constant professional and other care. Disabilities may be physical, for example, limb paralysis, or cognitive, with marked impairment of intellect and personality.
Brain Damage - Moderate (i)£140,870 to £205,580This category is distinguished from moderate/severe by the fact that the dependence is markedly lower.
Cases in which there is intellectual deficit that is moderate to severe, a change in personality and an effect on speech and senses.
Brain Damage - Moderate (i)£85,150 to £140,870Cases in which there is an intellectual deficit that is deemed to be moderate to modest, a greatly reduced working ability if not removed and some epilepsy risk – again, a provisional damages order may cover this risk
Brain Damage - Moderate
£40,410 to £85,150Cases in which memory and ability to concentrate are affected, there is a reduced ability for employment, where there is a slight epilepsy risk and very limited dependence on other people.
Less Severe Brain Damage£14,380 to £40,410In these cases, the injured person will have managed a good recovery and will be able to take part in normal social life and to return to work. There may not have been a restoration of all normal functions so there may still be persisting problems such as poor concentration and memory or disinhibition of mood, which may interfere with lifestyle, leisure activities and future work prospects.
Minor Brain or Head Injury£2,070 to £11,980In these cases brain damage, if any, will have been minimal.
The level of the award will be affected by the following considerations:
• how severe the injury is
• the period taken for recovery of any symptoms;
• continuing symptoms;
• absence of presence of headaches.
• The bottom of the bracket will reflect full recovery within a few weeks.
Epilepsy - Grand Mal (Established)£95,710 to £140,870The level of the award within these brackets will be affected by the following factors:
i. if attacks can be successfully controlled using medication and the extent to which the need for medication is likely to persist;
ii. the extent to which the appreciation of life is blunted by such medication;
iii. the effect on working and/or social life;
iv. the existence of associated behavioural problems;
the prognosis.
Epilepsy - Petit Mal (Established)£51,460 to £123,340As above
Other Epileptic Conditions£9,990 to £24,680Cases where there are one or two discrete epileptic episodes, or a temporary resurgence of epilepsy, but there is no risk of further recurrence beyond that applicable to the population at large. The level of the award within the bracket will be affected by the extent of any consequences of the attacks on, for example, education, sporting activities, working and social life, and their duration.
Loss of sight £22,230 to £36,960Cases of serious but incomplete loss of vision in one eye
Loss of sight £8,550 to £19,690Minor but permanent impairment of vision in one or both eyes

The figures in the table above have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication is made up of a detailed list of injuries and their potential value in compensation. The JCG is used by legal professionals as part of the process of coming up with a suitable sum to award to you to account for your physical and mental injuries. This figure is known as general damages.

Whilst the figures we’ve featured are from the JCG itself, they are still only guidelines. The final figures could be higher or lower.

No win no fee cerebral palsy claims

We operate only on a No Win No Fee basis, which means that our expenses are claimed back from the compensation you will receive. But under No Win No Fee agreements, if we are not successful in your claim for compensation, you will not be asked to pay us a penny. We firmly believe that everyone should have access to legal help in times of need when they have faced wrongdoings in the form of medical negligence. We do not think that legal help to access compensation should be afforded to the rich only.

Our No Win No Fee policy ensures that even if you are on a low income or have been forced to give up work due to developing cerebral palsy or having to care for a child with the condition, you can have access to experienced cerebral palsy solicitors who will fight your corner for you. Should we not be successful, then there is nothing to pay at all, and you won’t be any worse off, win or lose. Contact us today to learn more about No Win No Fee Cerebral palsy claims. 

Why choose us as your claims service?

If you are looking for a team of cerebral palsy solicitors you can rely upon to get justice for your medical negligence cerebral palsy claim, then look no further. We have years of experience fighting to get our clients the highest settlement amount possible as we understand just how heavy the financial burden of caring for a child with cerebral palsy can be and how much added stress it can bring to a family.

We will always do our best to help guide our clients through the cerebral palsy claims process smoothly. This ensures you don’t have unnecessary additional stress as you already are coming to terms with a difficult diagnosis. We are experts in the field of medical negligence, and this includes any cerebral palsy claims. So, we can see your claim for cerebral palsy compensation through the courts to a settlement with ease and skill.

Our No Win No Fee policy removes any worry from you that you may face a hefty legal fee at the end of proceedings, and it also gives you the added reassurance that we will only take on your case if we believe we can win it. Your cerebral palsy compensation claim is in safe hands with us.

Call for free advice and to start a claim

We hope our updated guide on Cerebral palsy claims has helped you. If you face a now uncertain future as a sufferer of cerebral palsy after an accident or as a parent of a child with the condition after a mishandled pregnancy or birth, then a compensation claim can give you the financial assurance that your family will be well taken care of. Medical costs, home care, medical equipment and more can be taken care of with a cerebral palsy settlement so get your claim started today with a phone call to one of our experienced and helpful team.

Call us now on 0800 073 8804 and arrange a free consultation appointment with one of our specialised cerebral palsy solicitors who will go through your case. And they can give you an idea of the settlement amount we could secure for your cerebral palsy claims. There is no time like the present to get the ball rolling and get justice for your medical negligence claim.

Useful links

Scope on Cerebral Palsy

Scope provides support, information and advice to disabled people all over the country and can help you understand and come to terms with a cerebral palsy diagnosis.

NHS on cerebral palsy

If you are unsure of the symptoms of cerebral palsy, the NHS has put together a comprehensive list of common symptoms to look out for, especially in children.

NHS Caring for a child with complex needs

Caring for a disabled child is full of challenges. This NHS page has some helpful hints and tips to help you overcome a range of common challenges such as feeding, sleeping and potty training a disabled child.

Great Ormond Street Hospital- children with motor difficulties 

Great Ormond Street Hospital is a world leader in children’s health, and they have put together this information page on children with motor difficulties

Brain Injury Compensation Claims

Learn more about claiming brain injuries caused by negligent medical treatment.

Medical Negligence Compensation Amounts

Suppose you or your child has suffered from a medical negligence injury due to hospital negligence or birth injury negligence. Contact us today for free legal advice on related claims.

Cerebral palsy claims- FAQs

Are there time limits to Cerebral palsy claims?

Yes. You can claim on behalf of a child who has cerebral palsy due to negligence up until they turn 18. At this point, they will have 3 years to make a claim themselves.

What are the causes of cerebral palsy?

Usually, cerebral palsy is caused by problems with the development of a baby’s brain, which might include reduced oxygen during birth (for example, because the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck), an infection like rubella or chickenpox contracted by the mother during pregnancy, or a serious head injury.

What treatments are available for cerebral palsy?

Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, some treatments can help those suffering from the condition live as independently as possible. These include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and some medicines that can relieve symptoms such as muscle stiffness, constipation, and discomfort.

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence describes a situation in which the level of care you received from a medical professional fell short of the standard expected of them, causing you to be injured.

How much could I receive in a cerebral palsy claim?

The severity of cerebral palsy can vary greatly from person to person. This means that the level of compensation owed can also vary, as it’s decided on a case by case basis.

What can be included in a claim for cerebral palsy?

As well as general damages for pain and suffering, a medical negligence claim for cerebral palsy can also include special damages such as loss of earnings through time taken off work and travel or medication expenses.

How is cerebral palsy diagnosed?

Usually, a brain scan will be used to check for signs of cerebral palsy. Blood tests may also be used to eliminate problems that cause similar symptoms to cerebral palsy.

How long will a medical negligence claim take?

The more complicated your claim and the more severe the symptoms, the longer the claim will take. Many NHS claims are settled within 12 to 18 months, although some can take a great deal longer.

How will I receive my compensation award?

Medical negligence compensation awards may be paid as a lump sum, periodical payments or a combination of the two.

Thank you for reading our guide on cerebral palsy claims.

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