Cerebral Palsy Attorneys and the Challenges They Face

If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy from what your believe was physician’s error, you want to find the most experienced help available to institute an action against the doctor. Cerebral palsy attorneys understand the effects of your child’s heartbreaking disorder on your family and your need for financial assistance for all of the past and future medical expenses necessary for the child’s treatment. However, bringing a cerebral palsy lawsuit is a long and complicated process, wrought with challenges, such as the ones listed below:

The action must be meritorious

In New York, a cerebral palsy lawyer cannot start an action against an obstetrician for infant’s birth trauma without an expert doctor reviewing the medical records first, and stating that there is a possibility that the doctor may be held liable. This means that even before the lawsuit is filed the attorney needs to spend money on hiring an expert to go over the child’s records to confirm that the case is meritorious, even if the attorney feels that the case is winnable.

Cause of cerebral palsy

Specific causes of cerebral palsy aren’t always clear and some cases are due to the mother’s health history and pregnancy complications, premature birth, blood disease or other causes not related to birth trauma during labor and delivery. The defendant physician will surely argue that the infant’s brain damage was caused by reasons other than his negligence, such as infection, and It is the job of a cerebral palsy lawyer to pinpoint, through reviewing the mother’s and infant’s records, that the injury was a direct cause of the lack of fetal monitoring during birth.

Statute of Limitations

In cases of mild cerebral palsy the parent may not become aware of the child’s disability until several years later. In the meantime, the parent’s cause of action for loss of services of the child or medical expenses is ticking away. In New York there is a limited time for a parent to start a lawsuit, and if he waits too long, the action may be dismissed. Likewise, even though the infant enjoys the tolling of the statute for 10 years, the action must still be started timely to have any possibility of recovery. The issue for cerebral palsy attorneys is pinpointing exactly when the omission by the doctor was made, in order to calculate when the statue of limitations starts running.

Expert fees

Most cerebral palsy attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that they do not recover any attorney’s fees until they obtain a settlement or a verdict for their clients. Furthermore, they front most of the expenses of the litigation, and one of such expenses is expert fees, that are payable prior to trial for a witness to testify on the plaintiff’s behalf. These days such fees run into thousands, making it difficult for attorneys to accept questionable cases of cerebral palsy for fear that they may not be winnable in court while the fee to the expert must be paid nevertheless.

Knowing that together with the fact that juries are notoriously pro-defendant in medical malpractice actions and prefer to dismiss cases against physicians makes cerebral palsy attorneys’ practice very challenging. However, many persevere and come out victorious at trial, getting justice for their clients.