March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and is dedicated to people diagnosed with cerebral palsy around the world.
Statistics in the UK show that approximately 160,000 people have cerebral palsy. Worldwide studies show that cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood, affecting a range of 1% to 4% per 1000 live births.
Cerebral palsy is the name for a group of lifelong conditions affecting movement and coordination. It is caused by a problem with the brain that can develop either before, during or soon after birth.
Causes can be unknown but might include:
- Bleeding in the unborn baby’s brain or reduced blood and oxygen supply to their brain;
- An infection caught by the mother during pregnancy and passed to her baby;
- A baby suffering from oxygen deprivation if the birth is difficult.
There is no cure for cerebral palsy; it affects each person differently, but many services and treatments are available to help children and adults living with this condition be as active and independent as possible. These are typically available on the NHS.
In rare circumstances, cerebral palsy can be caused by negligence, something going wrong with care received by the pregnant mother either during pregnancy, in the period immediately before the birth or as a result of a traumatic and poorly managed birth and neonatal resuscitation.
How a clinical negligence lawyer can help
A child born with cerebral palsy can live a long life well into adulthood in most cases. However, they will require lifelong care, often beyond their parents’ lifespan. This means that there must be financial provision for the best care available for that child’s life.
The required care can include physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, potential orthopaedic surgery and medicines for sleeping difficulties and, potentially, epilepsy.
But, more than that, it is essential that care and assistance are provided to improve quality of life and promote independence. This can involve specially adapted accommodation, the provision of 24-hour care, and help with accessing the community, holidays, activities and working environments.
At Lester Aldridge, we have a team of experienced and accredited by the Law Society, AvMA and APIL clinical negligence specialists who have, over the last 30 years, been helping clients with cerebral palsy and their families secure substantial damages awards to secure their future. We are highly experienced in investigating birth injury claims and concluding successful compensation claims. We know just how devastating a birth injury can be. It is all the worse when it has arisen due to medical negligence and was preventable.
We have access to the UK’s best independent medical experts, and we are skilled in creating a legal team to prove that there has been negligence, that that negligence has caused injury and, just as important, a range of specialists to recommend treatment and care for the rest of our clients’ life. As a result, we have settled cases ranging from £7 million to above £28 million, and we are proud of the difference this has made to our clients’ lives.
No amount of compensation can put things right, but it can result in essential provision for the cost of care to support your child and meet their immediate and ongoing needs. We utilise our expertise to maximise any compensation award to ensure our client has every provision for living an active and independent life without financial worry and pressure.
Liz Oaten, Partner, is an accredited clinical negligence specialist with the Law Society, AvMA and APIl and has over 30 years of experience in handling Cerebral palsy claims for Claimants and Defendants. She says:
“Cerebral palsy claims are extremely challenging at the best of times and it is absolutely vital that recognised and experienced clinical negligence practitioners are involved to thoroughly investigate any potential claim and to provide the personal touch and support to families at probably the most challenging time of their lives. Building a team of experienced solicitors, barristers and Nationally and Internationally well respected medical experts is key to the successful outcome for a claim for compensation which will change lives.”