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Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition that affects movement and muscle tone, caused by damage to the brain before, during, or after birth. The condition can have a significant impact on a person's life, and in some cases, it may be possible to make a compensation claim.
Compensation claims for cerebral palsy can help with the financial costs of caring for a child with the condition, as well as providing compensation for any pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life. In this guide, we will discuss the process of making a compensation claim for cerebral palsy, including what you need to know about the legal process and what evidence is required.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
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 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 will help to cover ongoing care costs and specialist treatment.
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:
- The pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the injury.
- 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 impact of the injury on the affected person's on quality of life.
Clinical negligence claims
Cerebral palsy injuries are usually categorised as clinical negligence. Click on the icon below for more information.
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About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.