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Why File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?

Surgical Error Lawsuit

A cerebral palsy lawsuit is aimed at recovering damages for the expenses and pain and suffering of the birth injury. In addition, it is a way to hold the negligent party responsible for their action or inaction.

Caring for a child of cerebral palsy can reach $1 million dollars over a lifetime of medical care, depending on the severity of the injury. Expenses that may be compensated under damages in a cerebral palsy lawsuit include:

  • In-home care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Therapy
  • Lost wages by the parent who is taking care of the injured child
  • Pain, suffering and mental anguish
  • Other medical treatments for caring for someone with cerebral palsy
  • Note that punitive damages are not available to victims of medical malpractice in Washington State

How cerebral palsy lawsuits are won

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys understand that it is very unlikely that a physician or other medical staff member will readily admit negligence on their part. The defendant will typically hire a defense attorney who will dispute the claim.

A good cerebral palsy attorney understands the tactics commonly employed by defense lawyers who are trying to reduce or eliminate their clients’ responsibility in the injury. Your lawyer must come prepared with research, interview witnesses and pertinent documents in order to prove your case.

Should file a cerebral palsy lawsuit?

Like most personal injury lawsuits, cerebral palsy lawsuits carry a statute of limitations, which means that you have a certain amount of time from the date of the injury to file a claim. If a lawsuit is not filed within the statute of limitations, you will no longer be able to file. Note that in Washington State, a person may have three years from their 18th birthday to file a personal injury claim compared to three years from the date of injury, the standard for the majority of other personal injury claims.

What should I expect once I file a cerebral palsy lawsuit?

Your medical malpractice lawyer will start building your birth injury case by gathering all relevant documents and evidence that will help your case win. He may also interview several witnesses and order medical evaluations of your child to get outside medical opinions.

You will be asked to keep track of and provide records of all of your baby’s medical appointments and medical documentation. The more information you can provide to your attorney, the better.

Steps taken in a cerebral palsy lawsuit after information gathering and witness interviews:

  1. Send a “complaint” to the defendant. The complaint is an official document that describes, in detail, the reason for the lawsuit and why the defendant is being sued. In Washington State, the defendant is typically allowed 20 days after the date of service to answer.
  2. Pre- trial litigation phase (also called the “discovery” phase). During this phase your attorney will discuss the details of the case with the defendant’s lawyer and both parties will decide if the case can be settled out of court or if it will continue to trial. This is typically the longest part of the case, sometimes stretching on for several months or years.
  3. Settlement or trial. The majority of cerebral palsy lawsuits are settled out of court, sometimes right before a trial begins. Once a case is settled, the victim can typically expect to receive compensation within a few months but can vary depending on the state in which you live.

Do not expect a cerebral palsy lawsuit to be settled quickly. In some cases a settlement is agreed upon without the need to go to trial but it can take many months or even years to agree upon a sum. A trial typically takes even longer and there is a chance that the other party will appeal the decision.

The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice, birth injuries and other personal injuries. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable medical errors including wrongful death, catastrophic injuries and traumatic brain injuries in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment if we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a statute of limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced Seattle injury lawyers. We are ready to fight for you.