A Guide to Claiming Cerebral Palsy Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by cerebral palsy we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered cerebral palsy and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
Cerebral palsy is not a specific disease or illness, it is a term used to describe a condition that affects movement as a result of brain injury. If the injury to the brain has been caused as a result of someone else's negligence, there may be grounds to make a cerebral palsy compensation claim.
Cerebral palsy is most often caused before birth, while some cases happen during birth. One in 400 children are born with cerebral palsy. It is caused by a lack of oxygen, which damages the brain. In some cases the condition happens as a result of sub-standard care during pregnancy or birth. In these cases, it may be possible to claim compensation for medical negligence.
Degrees of cerebral palsy
There are three degrees of cerebral palsy:
- Spastic cerebral palsy - where muscles in the body are tight, stiff, or weak, making control difficult
- Asthetoid cerebral palsy - where muscle control is affected by spontaneous movements, meaning posture is affected
- Ataxic cerebral palsy - meaning there are problems with balance, shaky movement of hands or feet, and difficulty with speech
Living with cerebral palsy
People with cerebral palsy can experience problems with balance, coordination, hearing, learning and may experience epileptic seizures. Difficulty controlling and using muscles makes certain tasks hard for those with cerebral palsy. This might include walking, writing, eating, talking and dressing.
Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from very mild, where the condition is barely noticeable, to very serious, where the affected person requires around-the-clock care for life. If cerebral palsy was caused by someone else's negligence, claiming compensation can help to cover care costs.
Cerebral palsy treatment
While there is no medical cure for brain injuries that cause cerebral palsy, there are therapies and treatment that can help people to manage the condition better. Aids and equipment can also improve quality of life, as can specialised modifications in the home. These treatments and equipment can be very costly, especially as they could be life-long requirements.
Cerebral palsy and compensation
If you think that you or a loved one has cerebral palsy as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be able to claim compensation. If cerebral palsy was brought on during pregnancy or birth due to inadequate medical care, you could claim for medical negligence. The claim would take into account the following:
- Pain and suffering caused
- Damages to cover costs of ongoing care, equipment, treatment and home modifications
- Any income lost due to caring for the person with cerebral palsy
- The effect on quality of life
No win, no fee - the facts
No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make a cerebral palsy claim with:
- no upfront legal fees
- no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
- a success fee payable only if your claim is successful
No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.
No win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a cerebral palsy claim - even if you don't win your claim.
What do I pay if I win my cerebral palsy claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my cerebral palsy claim?
If your cerebral palsy claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Cerebral palsy FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a cerebral palsy claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the cerebral palsy to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your cerebral palsy claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a cerebral palsy after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim cerebral palsy compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a cerebral palsy claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.
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