How much compensation can I claim for cerebral palsy? – 2018 Update
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 neglect during birth or pregnancy then you might be eligible for compensation. This guide will outline the symptoms of cerebral palsy and help you to find out if you are entitled to claim compensation for cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a life-long condition which can have a huge 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 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.
Cerebral palsy can have a range of symptoms which 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 claim for compensation can help with the financial burden of the condition.
Select a section
- A guide to cerebral palsy compensation claims
- What is cerebral palsy?
- What to do if you have had a negligent child birth resulting in cerebral palsy
- How to begin a cerebral palsy related birth injury claim
- Living with cerebral palsy
- Cerebral palsy negligence claims in numbers
- What can be claimed for after an incident causing cerebral palsy related injuries?
- The most common cerebral palsy related injuries
- How much compensation will I get following a birth injury causing cerebral palsy?
- No win no fee cerebral palsy claims
- Why choose us as your claims service for a cerebral palsy claim?
- Call for free advice and to start a claim
Cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence, accident or injury has potentially life-limiting consequences. This condition can cause symptoms which 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.
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 in regard to your cerebral palsy claims. Coming to terms with either your own or your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis is a confusing and upsetting time and 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 to get the cerebral palsy settlement that you deserve.
Every cerebral palsy claim is different due to the complexity of the condition but this guide will give you a general overview of the condition, the causes and the compensation claim process.
Cerebral palsy is a general term which is used to describe a physical impairment which affects voluntary movement as well as co-ordination and is also linked to learning difficulties, sight and hearing problems. The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from person to person and 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. Cerebral palsy is the result of brain damage caused during pregnancy from lack of oxygen or infection. It can also be caused through trauma during the birth or from 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 which was not your fault then you may be entitled to compensation.
The most common cause of cerebral palsy is prematurity with about 40% of cerebral palsy in children being amongst those born prematurely. The second most common cause is brain damage. 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 the birth. If the baby is starved of oxygen for any reason during development in the womb or during birth then this can cause brain damage which can lead 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 is the result of sub-standard pre or post natal care then it may be possible for you to claim compensation.
If you believe that your child’s cerebral palsy or your own condition is the result of a negligent birth 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 then you need to get a health professional or cerebral palsy specialist to determine when the brain damage which caused the cerebral palsy occurred. 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. If the scans show an empty space or fluid on the brain then the condition has been caused during the developmental stage during pregnancy and is likely that the baby was 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 then 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.
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 and many people looking to try and claim compensation on their own often give up as they simply don’t have the legal knowledge and time to dedicate to the claim, especially if they are caring for a disabled child too.
This is why you need help from a company who have 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 but 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 give you the opportunity 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 need clarification on any part of your child’s diagnosis or if you are yet to see a neurological specialist we can help to 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 compensation to help with the cost.
No two people who have cerebral palsy suffer the exact 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 but 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 tip toes are also common symptoms amongst children with cerebral palsy.
As those with the condition grow up, cerebral palsy in adults brings about a range of symptoms which 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 all have a huge impact on a person’s daily life. Often, those who suffer with cerebral palsy also develop epilepsy and so also 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 first meeting or they can be so severe that a child or adult requires 24hour care. In the case of the later, medical costs can spiral and so compensation for medical negligence resulting in cerebral palsy can take a huge financial strain off the family.
The statistics show that as of 2016, the number of maternity negligence claims against the NHS from patients whose babies had been born brain damaged or with cerebral palsy had tripled since 2005. Compared to £354m in 2005, the value of cerebral palsy compensation claims in 2015/2016 had risen to £990m. These claims made mainly against maternity care with many expecting mum’s not having their babies heart rates monitored correctly to detect periods where the baby may be experiencing reduced oxygen levels, totalled over £1.2bn in cerebral palsy compensation pay outs in 2015/2016.
In 2015, almost 1,100 claims were lodged against the NHS for maternity negligence which resulted in brain damage or death of the infant.
One such medical negligence claim lodged in 2016 saw a young boy of 8 awarded £8.5m to fund his lifetime of care after a delay in treatment of jaundice at just 5 days old left him brain damaged and suffering cerebral palsy affecting all 4 limbs.
In 2015, a young girl was awarded £10m in compensation after signs of foetal distress were not caught by medical staff during her birth. She was left with cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs and the compensation she received will help to fund medical adaptions for her home and round the clock care.
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 you have been financially impacted by the condition.
- 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 earnings- if it is yourself 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 for 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- costs of travelling to and from hospitals and medical visits can be included in your cerebral palsy compensation claims.
- Medical expenses- this covers 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 hospital after developing cerebral palsy.
- New modified car- you can claim for a wheelchair accessible car as part of your cerebral palsy settlement.
- Home care- severe cases of cerebral palsy 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.
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 then you have the added worry of not being able to earn too. 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.
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 muscles of the body to randomly switch between tight and floppy which causes uncontrolled jerks and movements.
- Mixed cerebral palsy- as the title suggests, 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. Most commonly used terms are hemiplegia, diplegia, monoplegia and quadriplegia which refer to the areas of the body which are affected by condition. Hemiplegia means than one half of the body is affected by cerebral palsy and diplegia is where two limbs are affected. Monoplegia refers to one limb being affected by cerebral palsy and quadriplegia sufferers have all four limbs affected by cerebral palsy and usually the entire body too.
Cerebral palsy claims UK wide vary as wildly in the pay-out amounts as much as the symptoms vary between each cerebral palsy sufferer. As every one of the cerebral palsy medical negligence cases 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 of 2017.
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.
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 compensation||Typical compensation amount||Comments|
|Cerebral Palsy||Can be as High As £15 Million||Cerebral palsy brain injury claim amounts can be very high.|
|Very Severe Brain Damage||£214,350 to £10 Million Plus||In cases at the top of this bracket the injured person will have a degree of insight. There may be some ability to follow basic commands, recovery of eye opening and return of sleep and waking patterns and postural reflex movement. 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.
The award level within the bracket will be affected by:
• the degree of insight
• life expectancy
• How extensive physical limitations are deemed to be
The top of the bracket will be appropriate only where there is significant effect on the senses and severe physical limitation. Where there is a persisting vegetative state and/or death happens shortly after the injuries were suffered and there has been no awareness by the injured person of his or her condition the funds awarded will be solely for amenity loss and will fall substantially below the above bracket.
|Moderate Severe Brain Injury||£166,500 to £1 Million Plus||The 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. Cases otherwise within (a) above may fall into this bracket if life expectancy has been greatly reduced. Where there is a risk of associated future development of other severe medical problems such as blindness an award in excess of the bracket would be warranted.
The award’s level within the bracket will be affected by the following:
• the patient’s degree of insight
• life expectancy
• how extensive physical limitations are
• how dependent the patient is on others
• ability to communicate
• behavioural abnormality
marked risk of epilepsy (although provisional order for damages may provide for this risk) or epilepsy itself
|Brain Damage - Moderate||£114,100 to £1 Million Plus||This 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, an effect on speech, senses and
|Brain Damage - Moderate||£69,000 to £114,100||Cases 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||£32,725 to £69,000||Cases 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||£11,650 to £32,700||In 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. At the top of this bracket there may be a small risk of epilepsy.
The award within the bracket will be affected by
i. the severity and extent of the immediate injury
ii. any continuing, whether permanent or not, disability
iii. any personality change;
|Minor Brain or Head Injury||£1,675 to £9,700||In 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)||£77,500 to £114,100||The 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;
|Epilepsy - Petit Mal (Established)||£41,675 to £100,000||As above|
|Other Epileptic Conditions||£8,100 to £20,000||Cases 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.|
While these figures are a rough estimate relating to the severity of brain damage suffered due to medical negligence during birth, they should give you ball-park idea of the amounts of monies you could be considering for your own cerebral palsy compensation claim.
We operate only on a no win no fee basis which means that our expenses are claimed back from the compensation you will be awarded but if we are not successful in your claim for compensation then 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 wrong doings 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.
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 or 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 compensation claim process smoothly so that you are not left with any added stress as you already are coming to terms with a difficult diagnosis. We are experts in the field of medical negligence and so can see your claim for cerebral palsy compensation through the courts to 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.
If you are facing 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 claim for compensation 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 give you an idea of the settlement amount we may be able to secure for you. There is no time like the present to get the ball rolling and get justice for your medical negligence claim.
Scope provides support, information and advice to disabled people all over the country and can help you to understand and come to terms with a cerebral palsy diagnosis
If you are unsure of the symptoms of cerebral palsy the NHS have put together a comprehensive list of common symptoms to look out for, especially in children
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 is a world leader in children’s health and they have put together this information page on cerebral palsy in children
If 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.