If your child suffers from Cerebral Palsy as a result of medical negligence, you may be aware that these types of claims regularly settle for millions of pounds. What you may not be aware of is how this figure is arrived at, or what your child’s claim might be worth.
It is very important that the value of a claim is fully investigated before a claim is settled, as once a figure for compensation has been agreed between the parties there is usually no scope to renegotiate this. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to instruct solicitors who are experienced in bringing claims for cerebral palsy. This will help you to ensure that your child receives all of the compensation they are entitled to.
The following experts are regularly instructed in cerebral palsy claims:
- Paediatric neurologist: This is a doctor who specialises in the treatment of children who have problems with their nervous system. They will be able to give an opinion as to how the Claimant’s cerebral palsy affects them in relation to their cognitive, communication and motor abilities.
- Educational Psychologist: Children with cerebral palsy may experience specific learning difficulties which can impact on literacy, numeracy and other classroom skills. An educational psychologist advises on what measures should be put in place to support a Claimant’s educational needs.
- Orthopaedic: As cerebral palsy affects a child’s muscle tone and control, children with cerebral palsy regularly suffer from orthopaedic complications. An orthopaedic expert will advise the court what complications a Claimant is suffering from and recommend treatment for this.
- OT: An expert in occupational therapy will advise what therapies can improve a child’s ability to play and learn, which are important for development and becoming independent.
- Physiotherapist: A physiotherapy expert will make recommendations to help a child with cerebral palsy improve their movement and motor skills.
- Speech and language therapist: Cerebral palsy can affect a person’s ability to coordinate the muscles around the mouth and tongue that are needed for speech. An expert in this discipline will make recommendations about what therapy a claimant needs to improve their communication and speech, and also improve swallowing and digestion.
- Care: Care experts usually have a nursing or occupational therapy background and recommend appropriate care package for a Claimant’s needs, for example how many carers a Claimant will need how often etc.
- Accommodation: An accommodation expert will assess a Claimant’s living conditions and make suggestions for adaptations necessary to ensure the Claimant’s home is suitable for them. In many cases an accommodation expert will recommend that an alternative home is purchased for the Claimant, and this will be included in the value of the claim.
- Assistive Technology: An expert in assistive technology will recommend the latest devices or equipment that can be used by a child with cerebral palsy to help them to perform daily activities or improve their ability to function.
It is important to remember that the parts of the body affected by cerebral palsy, the level of severity and combination of symptoms can differ for each child. There may therefore be additional experts required to provide an opinion on unique features of your child’s cerebral palsy or other conditions they have and how these interact with their cerebral palsy.
A specialist solicitor will be adept at spotting issues like this which may affect the value of your child’s claim.
If you would like any further information or advice about the topic discussed in this blog, please contact Aideen McGarry or any member of our Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury team.
About the Author
Aideen McGarry is an Associate in the Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Department. Aideen has experience working on high-value clinical negligence and personal injury claims.
In the course of her clinical negligence work Aideen acts for clients in claims against their GP, hospital or health providers in relation to injuries suffered as a result of wrong treatment, surgical error, delay or missed diagnosis.
In terms of personal injury work, Aideen represents clients injured in road traffic accidents, accidents at work accidents on public property, and in sexual abuse claims.