Florida Cerebral Palsy Attorney

Parents are often told that cerebral palsy is due to factors outside anyone’s control. In some cases, however, cerebral palsy can result from a health care provider’s negligence. If you believe medical malpractice may be to blame for your child’s cerebral palsy, the Florida cerebral palsy attorneys at Freedland Harwin Valori Gander can help you file a claim and seek compensation.

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Daniel Harwin

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When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, they have a lifetime of unique needs and challenges ahead of them. While people with cerebral palsy can lead meaningful lives, they need access to the right resources to reach their full potential. 

If a health care provider’s negligence contributed to your child developing cerebral palsy, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim. This compensation could be enough for your child to receive the care they will need for the rest of their life. At Freedland Harwin Valori Gander, our Florida cerebral palsy attorneys are dedicated to helping the families of children with cerebral palsy recover the compensation necessary to meet their child’s needs now and in the future.

What To Know About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders affecting movement, posture, and balance. It occurs due to abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain of a fetus, infant, or young child. Brain damage leading to cerebral palsy commonly results from the lack of oxygen to the brain before, during, or soon after birth. Cerebral palsy can also result from untreated maternal infections during pregnancy. 

Symptoms usually appear during infancy or toddlerhood, but the damage most often occurs before birth.

There are four main types of cerebral palsy. Doctors classify these types based on the movement and body parts affected and the severity of the symptoms:

Can Medical Malpractice Cause Cerebral Palsy?

Any factor that causes changes to the developing brain could potentially lead to cerebral palsy. Sometimes, these factors are unavoidable, such as genetic mutations

However, medical errors often cause or contribute to the development of cerebral palsy. Common medical errors that could result in cerebral palsy include the following:

The Role of a Florida Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

The nuanced nature of cerebral palsy cases means that substantial resources are required to prove that a health care provider’s negligence was the cause of your child’s injury.

When you work with an experienced cerebral palsy attorney, they will take the burden of research and investigation off your shoulders. They will use the evidence they gather to create a strong case in your favor and then present it to the liable provider’s medical malpractice insurance company. The goal is to reach a fair settlement offer without involving the courts. However, if the insurance company refuses to cooperate, your attorney will be ready to bring your case to trial.

Florida NICA

Some cases are not eligible for cerebral palsy lawsuits in Florida. If your case is one of them, we can help you determine if you qualify for compensation through the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan, or NICA, instead. This program compensates families for certain types of birth injuries to the brain or spinal cord. 

At Freedland Harwin Valori Gander, we have experience assisting clients who deserve more significant compensation than what NICA can provide. We have successfully navigated around NICA so that our clients can bring their cases to circuit court and obtain the true value of their claims.  This is a highly technical area of the law requiring experienced lawyers.  

If a NICA-registered medical professional caused your child’s birth injury and your case qualifies for eligibility, a NICA claim may be your exclusive avenue for compensation. If so, you’ll be unable to file a lawsuit. However, there are exceptions. A skilled and knowledgeable Florida birth injury lawyer can evaluate your case and determine your options.

Why Choose the CP Birth Injury Attorneys at Freedland Harwin Valori Gander?

Freedland Harwin Valori Gander is a trusted name in South Florida medical malpractice law. We have been protecting the rights of malpractice victims nationwide for over two decades, resulting in over $2.6 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients. 

We have won numerous cases for families of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Let our firm put this experience to work for you. We work with some of the most experienced and trusted experts in obstetrics, maternal-fetal medicine, labor and delivery nursing, neuroradiology, neonatal medicine, placental pathology, and other areas.

Our firm has handled cerebral palsy cases all over the state, and we are passionate about protecting and advocating for children who have suffered profound injuries.  

Our cerebral palsy attorneys understand the gravity of a cerebral palsy diagnosis and the financial, physical, and emotional suffering that can result. We take a compassionate approach to cerebral palsy cases, and our clients take comfort in knowing they have a dedicated legal advocate fighting for their family’s future.

Cerebral Palsy Statute of Limitations in Florida

Florida law has a set deadline for filing medical malpractice lawsuits, known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to file a claim by the deadline, you might lose the right to obtain compensation for your child’s cerebral palsy birth injury.

Under Florida Statutes § 95.11, the statute of limitations for most medical malpractice cases in Florida is two years. The countdown begins when the malpractice occurred or you should have reasonably discovered the injury. Either way, prospective claimants have a maximum of four years to take legal action. 

There is a possible exception to this rule, though. Most cerebral palsy malpractice claims involve injury to an infant. Florida allows parents of an injured minor to file a malpractice claim until the child’s eighth birthday if they could not have known about the injury or its connection to malpractice before the normal deadline. 

However, if you believe you have a malpractice case for your child, it is best to err on the side of caution. Avoid assuming this extension applies to you, and speak with a CP lawyer in Florida who can determine the deadline for your case.

Proving Hospital and Doctor Negligence in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

All cerebral palsy lawsuits require the injured child’s parents to show that a health care provider or facility is liable for the injury. This involves establishing the following four elements of negligence

  1. Duty: The doctor or hospital owed your child a duty of care. The existence of a patient-provider relationship satisfies this requirement. 
  2. Breach: The doctor or hospital breached its duty of care. 
  3. Causation: The breach of duty caused your child’s injury. 
  4. Damages: Your child suffered damages due to the injury. 

Breach of duty and causation are often the most difficult elements to prove in cerebral palsy cases. When a health care provider breaches a duty of care in a malpractice case, it usually means they failed to provide the level of care that a similar reasonably competent health care provider would have provided in a similar situation. This may seem subjective, but expert testimony from third-party medical professionals will define the standard of care that applies to your case.

Showing causation requires strong evidence directly linking the provider’s breach of duty to your child’s injury. Along with medical records, your attorney may also call upon expert witnesses to support this argument. They can demonstrate exactly how and why your child likely would not have developed cerebral palsy if the provider had not breached their duty of care.

This evidence must be strong enough to meet the preponderance of evidence standard. This burden of proof means that to recover compensation, you and your attorney only need to show that it’s more likely than not that the provider committed malpractice.

Contact a Cerebral Palsy Attorney for a Free Case Evaluation

Parents of a child with cerebral palsy face many challenges, and it’s vital to hold negligent doctors or other medical professionals accountable for the damage they cause when they fail to uphold the acceptable standard of care for newborn delivery. 

If you suspect your child’s cerebral palsy resulted from medical negligence, consider reporting your concerns to the Florida Department of Health to ensure the responsible provider faces any applicable administrative consequences. 

To explore your legal options, Contact us today at (954) 280-8593 or fill out our form online to schedule a free consultation with one of our top-rated cerebral palsy attorneys. You will benefit from our commitment to justice and compassionate representation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay any out-of-pocket costs to pursue your claim.

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