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.

Introduction

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.

Doctor discharging patient

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 .

Read more about how no win, no fee works

Please note, under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

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:

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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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert