Is it better for my child that I accept a cerebral palsy compensation settlement now or wait until a structured payment system is in place?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
Your choice of whether it would be better to accept a cerebral palsy compensation settlement now is going to depend on two important factors.
What Level of Cerebral Palsy Injury did your Child Suffer?
If your child suffered a mild form of cerebral palsy – for example monoparesis – it is unlikely that he or she would benefit from structured payments of compensation for a cerebral palsy injury, as the lump sum that would be received in the short term would be of greater benefit to provide support and therapy for your child as he or she develops. Periodic payments of compensation for a cerebral palsy injury may possibly not account to a great deal individually and would be of less benefit later in life.
However, if your child has suffered a cerebral palsy injury which will result in them requiring a lifetime of care – for example tetra/quadriplegia – it may be more appropriate to wait for periodic payments to be introduced before concluding the cerebral palsy injuries claim. This will ensure that your son or daughter is able to afford the care that they require when you are no longer able to provide it for them.
What is your own Personal Situation?
Your own personal situation is also going to play a role in your decision whether or not to accept a cerebral palsy compensation settlement or wait before resolving the cerebral palsy injuries claim. The level of support you receive from your partner and/or family may enable you to delay making a decision on whether to accept a settlement of compensation for a cerebral palsy injury.
If financial pressures are likely to force a decision from you, it may be possible to apply for interim payments of compensation for a cerebral palsy injury with a review of your claim several years later. This would enable you to liaise with care experts to establish the level of care that your son and daughter will require as they grow older and, again, allow more time for structured payments of compensation to be introduced in cases related to a catastrophic injury.
Please note that, even if you decide to wait until a structured payment system is in place to settle the cerebral palsy injuries claim, you should not delay in initiating your claim for compensation for a cerebral palsy injury. It may even be the case that a periodic payment system is introduced by the time liability for your child´s injuries is acknowledged and therefore you should speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity if you have not already taken legal advice.