Cerebral Palsy Negligence Claims

We are very conscious of the fact that in the UK we are lucky to have one of the finest health systems in the world thanks to no small part to the hard-working professional medical and support staff. Unfortunately sometimes things go badly wrong leaving you baffled and bewildered. We are here to help you put your life back together again. In practical terms we will among other things help you get rehabilitation as soon as possible, and we will help alleviate your financial worries that you may have now such as help with paying the mortgage, household bills, council tax, etc.

‘Medical negligence’ refers to situations where medical intervention in the treatment of a patient has caused harm to the patient.

Medical providers owe a duty of care to their patients. Within the National Health Service (NHS), it is the medical practitioner’s employer, normally an NHS Trust, rather than the individuals themselves which are deemed to hold this duty of care.

The Government has founded a centrally funded pool of resources to cover any successful compensation claims made against the NHS. These claims are contested on behalf of the Secretary of State by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA). Any claims against GPs and other primary care professionals are dealt with by a number of medical defense organisations, and not by the NHSLA.

A growing number of medical negligence cases are reported every year. According to the NHSLA Annual Report and Accounts for 2012 there have been 14,171 claims closed, which is 13% more than 2011 and 40% higher than 2009. The average time to resolve a claim currently is under 16 months.

If you suspect you have suffered injury as a result of medical negligence contact Compensation Solicitors Online and we will help you put your life back together.

TYPES OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS

It is possible to make a claim against anyone providing service below the required professional standard of care. Some examples include:
Accident & Emergency Negligence Claims
Amputation Negligence Claims
Anaesthetic Errors Claims
Birth Injury, Pregnancy and Gynaecology Claims
Brain Injury Compensation Claims
Cancer Claims
Care Home Negligence Claims
Cerebral Palsy Claims
Children Claims
Cosmetic Surgery Claims
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Claims
Defective Medical Products, Drugs or Medicines Claims
Dental Negligence Claims
Elder Abuse Claims
Erb’s Palsy Claims
Eye Related Claims
Facelift Surgery Claims
Fatal Claims and Inquests
General Medical Problems Claims
GP and Community Health Negligence Claims
Misdiagnosis Claims
Hospital Acquired Infection Claims
Hospital Negligence Claims
Infection Damage Claims
Medication Prescription Negligence Claims
Mental Health Claims
Nerve Injury Claims
Orthopaedic Claims
Pressure Sore Claims
Spinal Injury Claims
Surgery Negligence Claims
Third Degree Tears Claims
Weight Loss Surgery Claims

CEREBRAL PALSY

Approximately, one in 400 children born alive has cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a number of neurological conditions that affect a child’s movement and coordination. It is caused by damage to the brain, which typically happens before, during or soon after birth.

Unfortunately, sometimes cerebral palsy may be the result of a mistake made by your medical practitioner, during, before or soon after the child’s birth.

causes

Possible causes of cerebral palsy may be:
A difficult or premature birth;
Abnormal brain development in the baby;
Bleeding in the baby’s brain;
Infection in early pregnancy.

types of cerebral palsy and symptoms

The symptoms of cerebral palsy will usually occur during the first three years of a child’s life. They may vary greatly from child to child and depend on the type of cerebral palsy:

Ataxic cerebral palsy
  • Balance and depth perception affected: child might appear clumsy and uncoordinated and have problems with activities that require precise movement (e.g. writing or tying a shoelace);
  • Tremors in the hands: uncontrolled shaking e.g. when reaching for an object.
  • Communication skills and intelligence: not affected.
Athetoid (dyskinetic) cerebral palsy
  • Increased and decreased muscle tone: usually making obviously random and involuntary body movements; typically problematic to maintain posture.
  • Speech affected by difficulty in controlling tongue and vocal cords; also may have difficulties with eating and drooling.
  • Intelligence: not affected.
Spastic diplegia
  • Muscle stiffness in legs: may cause difficulty to walking; child might need aids (e.g. leg braces or walking frame).
  • Communication skills and intelligence: not affected.
Spastic hemiplegia
  • Spasticity: muscle stiffness on one side of the body; usually limited to the hand or arm, but sometimes may affect the leg.
  • Scoliosis: abnormal curvature of the spine.
  • Might cause speech problems but should not affect intelligence.
  • Epileptic seizures.
Spastic quadriplegia (the most severe type)
  • High degree of stiffness in all of the child’s limbs caused by extensive damage to brain: child might be unable to walk.
  • Extremely loose neck muscles: child may have problems supporting their head;
  • Speech difficulties.
  • Learning difficulties.
  • Epileptic seizures.
treatment

Cerebral palsy is incurable. However, a variety of treatments may help relieve symptoms and increase a child’s sense of independence and self-esteem. These treatments will be conducted by a team of medical specialists, e.g.:

  • A health visitor;
  • A paediatrician;
  • A physiotherapist;
  • A social worker;
  • A speech and language therapist;
  • An educational psychologist;
  • An incontinence advisor;
  • An occupational therapist.
  • An individual care plan will be created and reassessed as the child’s needs and situation change. A key worker will be assigned as a first point of contact between you and the various support services available.

    Some of the treatments your child may need include:

    Physiotherapy:

    one of the crucial ways of helping your child to manage their condition which usually starts as soon as diagnose of cerebral palsy is given. It aims to:
    Prevent the weakening of muscles which are not normally used by your child;
    Prevent muscles getting stuck in a stiff position (contracture).

    Your child will be taught various physical exercises that they can perform daily to strengthen and stretch their muscles. Special arm or leg braces may be used to help in stretching their muscles.

    Speech therapy:

    help for children with communication difficulties by teaching them a number of exercises which can enhance their ability to speak clearly. An alternative method of communication may be taught where necessary. Special equipment (e.g. computer connected to a voice synthesizer) may be used.

    Occupational therapy:

    aims to improve a child’s posture and optimise the mobility which they already have. Advice is provided on the best way of going about daily tasks (e.g. going to the toilet, getting dressed). Especially effective in improving a child’s independence and self-esteem.

    Medicine:

    medication may be used to help relax a child’s muscles where necessary.

    Treating feeding and drooling problems:

    problems with swallowing food or controlling the production of saliva typically arise where children have difficulties controlling their mouth.

    Dysphagia (problems swallowing food) may cause pieces of food to enter the child’s breathing tubes and lungs, thus damaging the lungs and triggering an infection (pneumonia). This may be treated by teaching feeding techniques, modifying the child’s diet using soft goods, or using a feeding tube where necessary.

    Drooling problems may irritate the skin around the mouth, chin and neck, and, moreover, they may cause the top layer of skin to break down and thus trigger an infection. This may be treated through a number of ways (e.g.: drugs, surgery, intraoral devices, and biofeedback training.

    Orthopaedic surgery:

    aims to correct problems with bones and joints. It may be used where the child’s condition is causing them pain when they walk or move around. A surgery can also improve posture and mobility, thus enhancing the child’s confidence and self-esteem.

    Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR):

    a surgical procedure which is typically only recommended where other treatments in relation to muscle stiffness and overactivity have been unsuccessful. The operation treats lower limp spasticity by having cut some of the sensory nerves in the lower spinal column. Following the operation, extensive physiotherapy will be required. Furthermore, some complications may occur (e.g.: an unpleasant tingling sensation, constipation, problems urinating).

    how does cerebral palsy affect you?

    Cerebral palsy is a devastating condition and is caused by injury to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth. The most common causes of the condition are a failure of the brain to develop properly or neurological damage to the child’s developing brain. Cerebral palsy is not a progressive condition, nevertheless, it may cause immense pressure to the body, which can cause problems in later life. Cerebral palsy is incurable. However, a variety of treatments may help relieve symptoms and increase a child’s sense of independence and self-esteem. Such an extreme condition has severe impact on the whole of the child’s life and the life of their family.

    YOUR CLAIM

    In simple terms, this is a step-by-step outline of how your medical negligence claim will progress:
    1. Contact Compensation Solicitors Online for a free assessment of your claim. We will arrange for an initial screening of your claim with a specialist barrister and/or medical expert. If we believe that you have grounds for a claim, we will be happy to represent you on a No Win – No Fee basis (CFA).
    2. You should try to collect all the evidence which proves that a medical professional is to blame for your injury.
    3. You should keep a record of all your medical documents (medical bills, doctors’ appointments, prescriptions, payment receipts). This will be used to prove your medical negligence injury and any related financial losses.
    4. We will then instruct a medical specialist in the field related to your injuries to examine you. The information we obtain from the expert will be used for the purpose of showing that the person who has treated you has in his/her actions fallen below the professional standard of care, i.e. if a competent doctor were in the same situation, they would not have made the mistakes which led to your injuries. Furthermore, the expert will set out in his/her report your injuries and describe what the future holds as to your recovery or continued disability. This will be relevant when calculating your compensation value.
    5. We will analyse all the information and draft a letter of claim and send it to the relevant insurance company/NHS trust. This letter will outline how the team was negligent and how this caused you to suffer your injury.
    6. If the negligent party admits liability, we will try to settle your claim out of court and obtain the best compensation for your injuries.

    REHABILITATION

    It is our priority to ensure that you get the right medical/rehabilitative treatment as quickly as possible. This can make a real difference in your life.

    TIME LIMITS

    Generally, personal injury claims have a three year time limit i.e. court proceedings have to be issued at least one day before the third anniversary of the incident/breach or date of knowledge of incident/breach, otherwise they will be time barred  and you will no longer be able to pursue your claim. There are a few exceptions to this rule and the court does have some very limited discretion to extend the various time limits. You can still pursue a claim for personal injury after the third anniversary of the incident: you just have to make sure court proceedings have been issued before that third anniversary in order to do so. We will be happy to discuss this further with you.

    If you are a minor at the time of the accident, i.e. under 18 then the 3-year limitation date starts to run after you have turned 18. Furthermore, there also a complicated set of rules that allows the 3-years limitation date period to run from the date of knowledge of the incident. These rules normally apply to medical negligence cases where there may be a long latency period between the incident giving rise to your claim and your first suffering any symptoms and becoming aware of it. The rules on this are technical and we will, once again, be happy to discuss this in detail with you.

    FUNDING

    There are a variety of funding options open to you. We will discuss these options with you in more detail and where appropriate represent you on a No Win – No Fee basis (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement).

    TIME

    According to the NHSLA Annual Report and Accounts for 2012, the average time to resolve a claim is under sixteen months.

    COMPENSATION

    There are two parts to any compensation claim, consisting of two types of damages:

    general damages

    General damages are calculated as a part of the compensation based on the type of injury and are designed to compensate for pain and suffering and the impact on the claimant’s enjoyment of life.

    special damages

    Special damages are the more variable part of the compensation and depend on individual circumstances. You may be able to recover:
    Expenses relating to the cost of living with any disability;
    Expenses to cover services provided by other people;
    Increased accommodation costs;
    Loss of earnings;
    Medical expenses;
    The cost of buying in care.
    Establishing the level of special damages to be paid is a crucial part of a compensation claim. Compensation Solicitors Online have experience in compensation claims in cases of medical negligence.

    MAKE A CLAIM

    If you would like to speak directly to one of our team you can either call us on 0208 203 4999 or send us your enquiry and we will give you a call back to discuss your claim within 1 business day.

    WHY COMPENSATION SOLICITORS ONLINE?

    Compensation Solicitors Online is a successful, well-established firm of solicitors that specialise in obtaining compensation for our clients. We are reliable and we have been running for over ten years.

    We pride ourselves with frequent recommendations from our existing clients. This is due to the straightforward and professional manner in which we deal with our clients and their cases.

    Moreover, our specialists in the area of Medical Negligence deal with such cases on a day-to-day basis. We possess the necessary experience and expertise to provide the best quality advice and support for you during your claim.

    Contact us today and join the hundreds of satisfied clients whom we have helped in conducting their Medical Negligence and Personal Injury claims and obtaining thousands of pounds of compensation for them.

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