Expecting a baby is one of the most joyful times of an expectant family’s life; there are many years ahead of parenting and hard work but this shouldn’t affect your excitement.
However, a baby’s health problems from birth can be both exceedingly stressful and difficult to manage, particularly if the child is not developed enough to be able to help diagnose a problem.
Some conditions can severely affect the development of a child; cerebral palsy is one such condition whose severity can adversely affect the lives of all family members involved in the child’s care due to the demands placed upon them.
If there exists the possibility that your child’s condition was caused or allowed to happen due to a shortfall in the medical care provided – whether the result of poor planning or a mistake or oversight in judgment during a medical procedure – it could well be that your family is entitled to seek compensation.
As pointed out on Scope’s informative medical negligence section, making a claim does not follow the same process as making a complaint.
If you feel strongly enough that you should be compensated then it would not follow that you should speak to anyone involved in the care of your child yet. It’s best to involve a medical negligence solicitor as early as you possibly can, while the details are still clear.
Ordinarily victims have up to three years from the injury date to make a claim, but if it stems from childhood then the three years don’t begin until the child is 18 years old.
In severe cases, limitation periods may be longer. While the only positive outcome of a claim is the award of damages, a complaint could be made separately to help the care providers to improve their standards.
While in conference with your solicitor, medical experts will assess your claim and decide whether or not you have substantial cause to press on with a claim. They will judge the merits of your case on three criteria:
Breach of duty– was the care given to your child below an expected standard for the current capabilities of medicine?
Causation– is this breach of duty directly related to the onset of cerebral palsy?
Quantum– how much compensation are you entitled to that your child’s special needs will be met on an ongoing basis?
These elements each make up the basis of your claim and, should it go forward, could still be a lengthy process as the case is made for compensation.
The solicitor who has advised you will be on hand whenever you need more information and support.
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