Can You Sue for Cerebral Palsy?

Quick Answer

You may be able to sue for cerebral palsy (CP) if your child’s condition is the result of medical negligence by a health care provider or hospital. In these cases, your family may be eligible for financial compensation from a cerebral palsy lawsuit. Find out who can sue for cerebral palsy and if a CP lawsuit might be an option for your family.

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Who Can Sue for Cerebral Palsy?

A lawyer in a suit sitting at a desk explains to a client who can sue for cerebral palsy.

Learning that your child developed cerebral palsy (CP) during childbirth can be devastating. You probably have more questions than answers, which can feel overwhelming.

Depending on the severity of your child’s condition, the reality is that they will likely need some level of lifetime care. Because of this, a cerebral palsy lawsuit may be in your family’s best interest.

Questions families may have about their legal rights include:
  • Can you sue for cerebral palsy?
  • Can you sue a doctor for cerebral palsy?
  • Can you sue a hospital for cerebral palsy?

Thankfully, you may have legal options, and the Birth Injury Justice Center is here to help.

We have highly trained labor and delivery nurses on staff who are available to help you get to the bottom of what happened to your child.

Your call is free, confidential, and there is no obligation. Connect with one of our registered nurses now.

Nurse Beth Carter

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Can You Sue for Cerebral Palsy: Evidence Needed

Medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove, so concrete evidence and documentation are always necessary.

A cerebral palsy lawsuit must prove that a health care provider violated the standard of care and failed to deliver an infant in a safe and healthy manner.

The most important type of evidence in medical malpractice cases are medical records, which can include notes from nurses and doctors, diagnostic results, lab reports, discharge paperwork, and medications given. This information can show evidence of a medical error.

Situations that can lead to cerebral palsy include:
  • Adverse reaction to Pitocin (a drug used to induce labor)
  • Infant brain bleeds and hemorrhages
  • Injury during forceps or vacuum extraction delivery
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Placental abruption (detached placenta)

Eligibility for Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits

To be eligible for a cerebral palsy lawsuit, your child must have developed cerebral palsy because of a medical mistake before, during, or shortly after delivery.

You may be eligible for a cerebral palsy lawsuit if your medical provider:
  • Did not take proper steps to prevent a lack of oxygen to your baby’s brain
  • Failed to detect fetal distress or abnormal heart rate
  • Failed to manage problems with the placenta or umbilical cord
  • Improperly used delivery tools that caused complications from vacuum extraction or forceps

Why Can You Sue for Cerebral Palsy?

You can sue for cerebral palsy to hold negligent medical providers responsible for their carelessness and prevent them from harming other children.

A CP lawsuit can allow you to pursue the compensation you need to provide proper care for your child. When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it often means a lifetime of medical care that can amount to more than $1 million, depending on the severity of their condition.

A cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed against the hospital, physician, and/or other health care provider whose negligence caused your child’s condition.

If you are currently considering whether a cerebral palsy lawsuit is the right course of action for your family, there are a few things to consider.

Reasons to sue for cerebral palsy medical malpractice include:
  • Accessing financial compensation to help pay for your child’s medical care, physical therapy, and mobility aids
  • Getting justice for what you and your family have been through and will continue to go through
  • Holding the medical provider or hospital who caused your child’s condition accountable for their actions
  • Preventing future birth injuries from happening to other families

Connect with us now. We can help you decide if taking legal action for cerebral palsy is the right choice for your family.

Can You Sue for Cerebral Palsy: Steps to Filing A Lawsuit

While every cerebral palsy lawsuit is different, here are the steps that are usually involved.

1. Get a Free Consultation With a Cerebral Palsy Attorney

Your first step is to get a consultation from a skilled cerebral palsy law firm, which allows you to tell your story and find out if you are eligible to file a lawsuit.

The Birth Injury Justice Center partners with a network of experienced birth injury law firms across the country. Our consultation process is simple — get a free case review now to see if we can connect you with a top birth injury law firm near you.

Get a Free Case Review

A free case review is the first step in pursuing compensation for you and your family.

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2. Collect Medical Records and Documentation

Your child’s medical records are extremely important for your potential case. They will serve as vital evidence of your child’s diagnosis and any related care or medical costs your family has already paid.

Your cerebral palsy attorney will scrutinize your child’s medical records, decide what information is most relevant to build a strong case, and calculate all estimated past, present, and future costs involved.

3. File Your Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

Once the initial evidence has been gathered, your attorney can file your cerebral palsy lawsuit.

It is critical that your lawsuit is filed before the statute of limitations — a state law that sets filing deadlines — expires. Otherwise, you may be unable to seek compensation in the future. The best birth injury lawyers are knowledgeable about these deadlines and can help ensure you file on time.

4. Negotiate a Cerebral Palsy Settlement

Your attorney will negotiate with the medical provider’s legal team and fight for a fair and proper settlement award.

To reach a cerebral palsy settlement, both parties have to agree on a negotiated amount. If an agreement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial.

5. Take Your Cerebral Palsy Case to Trial

Most medical malpractice cases settle out of court, but if yours does go to trial, it is essential to have an experienced cerebral palsy attorney by your side. Top cerebral palsy law firms have skilled trial lawyers who are comfortable arguing cases in court.

Damages in Cerebral Palsy Cases

Many times, families affected by cerebral palsy medical malpractice file lawsuits to help cover the lifetime medical costs and other expenses required to care for a child with CP. These costs, also known as damages, are meant to make the injured party whole.

Compensation from a CP lawsuit can help pay for:

  • CP surgeries and specialized medical care
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • In-home medical care
  • Long-term CP treatment
  • Loss of income for parents or caregivers
  • Medical equipment, such as motorized wheelchairs
  • Occupational and physical therapies

Cerebral Palsy Compensation Amounts

The average cerebral palsy settlement amount is estimated at about $1 million. However, it is important to remember that this number is an average, and settlement amounts can vary greatly.

It is not uncommon for cerebral palsy settlements to hit $5 million, with some cases awarding $10 million or more.

Did you know

A Philadelphia jury awarded a family $183 million in April 2023 after a hospital’s delayed response led to an infection causing cerebral palsy.

It is important to know that some states have caps on the maximum amount a person can receive in a medical malpractice settlement.

An experienced cerebral palsy lawyer can help you understand how much your cerebral palsy case may be worth. Get a free case review now.

Get a Free Case Review

A free case review is the first step in pursuing compensation for you and your family.

Get a Free Case Review

How to Choose a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Who you choose as your medical malpractice attorney is a very important decision, and you will want to make sure that they are a good fit for your family.

Birth injury cases are complex. While many lawyers claim they can handle CP cases, you should know that they may not have the experience and resources required to get you the best possible outcome.

It can be tempting to work with a general personal injury law firm close to you, but that may not be your best option. Working with a skilled cerebral palsy lawyer can make all the difference in your case — and your child’s future.

Top-notch cerebral palsy lawyers have:
  • Compassion for families affected by CP
  • Experience with cerebral palsy cases
  • Resources to help prove cerebral palsy medical malpractice
  • Proven track record of success

Start Your Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawsuit

If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to the mistake of a medical professional, your family deserves justice and compensation.

Reach out to the Birth Injury Justice Center now to discuss your legal options and find out if you can hold accountable those who harmed your child.

We work with some of the best cerebral palsy lawyers in the country and can help you find one near you if you qualify. Contact us at (800) 914-1562 or get a free case review now.

FAQs: Can You Sue for Cerebral Palsy?

Is cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice?

Sometimes. Cerebral palsy can be the result of medical malpractice under certain circumstances. This includes when health care professionals fail to meet the accepted standard of care and cause avoidable harm.

Cerebral palsy could be caused by a bacterial infection in the mother or baby during pregnancy and possible genetic mutations. The condition can also be more likely when certain risk factors are present such as low birth weight or premature birth. In some cases, the causes of cerebral palsy are not known.

Can you sue for cerebral palsy?

Yes, you can sue for cerebral palsy medical malpractice if your child’s condition is the result of medical negligence that occurred before, during, or shortly after childbirth.

If successful, a cerebral palsy lawsuit can help families cover the numerous costs associated with raising a child with cerebral palsy.

Can you sue for cerebral palsy if you're not sure what caused your child's condition?

Many families are uncertain about the cause of their child’s cerebral palsy. The reality is that the causes of CP aren’t always known. What can make it more challenging is that medical professionals might even try to hide any errors they made.

If you’re not sure if your child’s condition was preventable, an experienced cerebral palsy law firm can help. There is no obligation or cost to get a confidential case review to talk about your potential case.

Can you sue for cerebral palsy if several years have passed since your child's diagnosis?

You may be able to sue for cerebral palsy, but it will depend on your state’s statute of limitations. These laws place a strict deadline on filing lawsuits.

An experienced cerebral palsy lawyer can provide guidance based on your situation. But it’s important to act without delay if you are considering legal action.

Is cerebral palsy considered brain damage?

Yes, cerebral palsy is a form of brain damage, as it is caused by either abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain, most commonly because of a lack of oxygen.

The damage done to the brain, which results in cerebral palsy, is permanent and requires lifelong treatment to be managed.

What medical mistakes cause cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy can be caused by a variety of medical errors, including:

  • Administering too high of a dose of Pitocin, a medication used to induce labor
  • Causing head or brain injury during delivery
  • Delaying or failing to perform a necessary cesarean section (C-section)
  • Failing to recognize and treat fetal distress
  • Failing to recognize and treat placenta or umbilical cord problems

How much does it cost to raise a child with cerebral palsy?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that raising a child with cerebral palsy costs around $1 million, including both direct and indirect expenses.

Many parents are not prepared or able to cover the cost of care that their child with cerebral palsy needs, but a successful medical malpractice settlement can help.

Reach out to us today to learn more about financial resources for families affected by cerebral palsy.

Birth Injury Support Team

The Birth Injury Justice Center was founded in 2003 by a team of legal professionals to educate and empower victims and families affected by birth injuries. Our team is devoted to providing you with the best resources and legal information for all types of birth injuries.

View Sources
  1. “Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).” Retrieved from: Accessed on July 10, 2023.
  2. Mayo Clinic. “Cerebral palsy.” Retrieved from: Accessed on July 10, 2023.
  3. National Institute of Health. “What causes cerebral palsy?” Retrieved from: Accessed on July 10, 2023.