How do you start a legal claim for cerebral palsy injuries due to medical negligence?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

In such devastating circumstances, it is always advisable to speak directly with an experienced medical negligence solicitor – not just because you will ultimately have to use a solicitor in order to pursue a legal claim for cerebral palsy injuries due to medical negligence, but because the circumstances leading up to your child´s tragic injury are likely to be unique to any other case; as are the consequences to your child, you and your partner.

As a basic guide, when you speak with a solicitor, he or she will want to know as much as possible about your pregnancy and your pre-natal care, whether the delivery of your child was planned or an emergency and how frequently you were monitored when you were in the care of the hospital.
Your solicitor will then obtain all the relevant medical notes and records from the hospital at which your child was born, and from any other medical practitioner that may have been involved with your pregnancy – such as a specialist midwife or your GP.

With the help of independent medical experts, your solicitor will analyse these reports and notes to establish whether a claim for cerebral palsy medical negligence is justifiable. If so, your solicitor will apply to the court to have you authorised as a “next friend” to make a claim for cerebral palsy medical negligence on your child´s behalf. (Even though you have undoubtedly experienced a significant emotional trauma, the physical cerebral palsy injuries due to medical negligence have been sustained by your child).

Thereafter, your solicitor will start the process of making a legal claim for cerebral palsy injuries due to medical negligence by sending a ‘Letter of Claim’ to the hospital and supporting it with the evidence of negligence compiled by the independent medical experts.

While the hospital (or Health Service Executive) is conducting its own investigation into your claim for cerebral palsy medical negligence, your solicitor will begin the process of calculating the value of your legal claim for cerebral palsy based on the future needs of your child. Depending on the individual circumstances of your claim for cerebral palsy medical negligence, it may be in your child´s best interests to accept a preliminary payment of compensation and delay a full settlement until such time as structured payments have been introduced – this will be something that needs to be considered only once the hospital (or HSE) have admitted their liability for your child´s injuries.

For now, you should set the wheels of your claim for cerebral palsy medical negligence in motion by discussing with a solicitor the circumstances of your child´s birth injury, the options for funding a legal claim for cerebral palsy injuries due to medical negligence and – if you have not already done so – where to obtain the best interim support for you, your partner and your child.