Top 5 questions - cerebral palsy claims

1. What will it cost me to make a cerebral palsy claim?

With Boyes Turner, nothing. We have a legal aid franchise and so are able to represent clients with birth injury cases under the legal aid scheme. Eligibility for legal aid is assessed on the financial circumstances of the child, not the parents, as the child is the claimant. 

2. What do I have to prove in order to make a claim?

Firstly, that the medical care provided was negligent (serious mistakes were made) and secondly that, but for the medical negligence, the injury would not have happened (this second issue is called ‘causation’). The law does not use the scientific measure of proof to establish these requirements, but rather ‘what is more likely than not’ i.e. 51% or ‘the balance of probabilities’. 

3. How long will it take to prove I have grounds for a claim?

It depends on the strength and complexity of the case as to how long it will take to prove that medical negligence took place. If the facts are clear, the NHS will usually admit liability within a year or so of our first instruction. However, if there are complicating factors for either negligence or causation, it can take much longer and in particularly difficult cerebral palsy claim cases, up to 5 years or even longer. 

4. Are there time limits on bringing a claim?

The cerebral palsy claim is the child’s and time does not run against a child. Time will therefore begin to run when the child is aged 18 and the time limit on bringing a claim, generally, is 3 years after that, so 21. However, if the claimant does not have mental capacity to bring a claim on their own, time will never run against them (though evidence to establish a cerebral palsy claim is often lost after 24 years or so). 

5. How is a cerebral palsy claim valued?

A cerebral palsy claim is valued firstly as a lump sum to compensate for the profound injury having occurred at all. That sum might be in the order of £250,000 or so. Secondly, a sum to reimburse all expenses and losses arising from the injury down to the case being concluded. The value of that will vary from case to case but is often a significant sum due to the cost of providing care in particular. Thirdly, and most importantly, an annual claim for life to pay for the cost of meeting the needs that the cerebral palsy has caused. That part of the claim can, in total, come to many millions of pounds and will cover care, accommodation, therapies and so on.

 

I have to say I was extremely impressed with the service in what was a very difficult time for myself and my family. The advice and support I had from the team was fantastic and invaluable. They put mine and my wife's mind at rest on many occasions and got a great result for us. Thank you from all of us.

Mr Horne

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