How To Choose A Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
When your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you believe the condition was caused by medical malpractice, you may feel an understandable sense of urgency when it comes to seeking justice for your child’s injury. You may also feel pressed to choose an attorney because of concerns about the statute of limitations—the window of time you have to file a lawsuit—or financial issues.
We understand this drive for action, and it is true that the sooner you file, the less risk you have of missing the window to do so. Most importantly, the sooner you file, the sooner the compensation you are trying to recover can go toward helping your child.
Read on to learn about how to choose a cerebral palsy lawyer to build your case when you believe your child’s CP resulted from medical error.
What Kind of Law Do Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Practice?
Cerebral palsy lawyers are medical malpractice attorneys with significant knowledge and experience in the complexities of cerebral palsy and other birth injury cases. Even if you already have an outstanding relationship with a trusted attorney, they may not have experience in this complex type of law. The best professionals recognize their own limitations, and a lawyer who is unfamiliar with cerebral palsy lawsuits would likely not even be willing to take your case.
What Should You Look for in a CP lawyer?
Medical malpractice cases can take several years to resolve. When you work with someone that long on such a profoundly important cause, you want to know that you can trust them and be comfortable with them. While only you can determine whether you feel comfortable with the attorneys you consult with about your case, experienced CP attorneys should:
- Have a successful record of recovering compensation under birth injury laws
- Understand what constitutes medical negligence
- Recognize the signs of actions that may cause CP
- Investigate the details thoroughly to prepare your case
- Involve respected medical experts to testify on your behalf
- Provide a way to get the maximum value from your recovery
- Treat you with respect, dignity, and compassion
Cerebral palsy lawyers may be part of a larger team that handles other injury and malpractice cases, but you want to make sure that they have experience working with CP malpractice cases.
What Should You Ask Your Potential CP Lawyers?
Making any difficult decision during a time of stress can be overwhelming. Whether you are a trust-your-instincts kind of person or weigh the pros and cons of every option, it can be helpful to know what kinds of qualities other parents of children with cerebral palsy look for in an attorney.
- Education: Any lawyer who is able to practice will have the basics. Look for an attorney who demonstrates not only an impressive law school degree but a willingness to continue to learn and educate others about their field of focus.
- Experience: Ask law firms not only how many years their team has been practicing in their field of focus but what other experiences, such as a medical background, they have that may give them an advantage when it comes to presenting a strong case for you.
- Success record: Ask the firm how many cerebral palsy lawsuits they have taken on and what percentage were resolved favorably for their clients. Don’t be afraid to ask about the amounts of the verdicts they secured in cases similar to yours—and don’t just ask about the big numbers.
- Bar association standing: You can find information about lawyers’ disciplinary actions and complaints by accessing the American Bar Association’s page, which will direct you to various state agencies as well as the National Lawyer Regulatory Data Bank.
- Transparency and integrity: CP comes with many burdens; your legal team shouldn’t be another. You need a firm that will make you part of the team assigned to your case. That means regular communication on the status of your case, and prompt responsiveness to your questions. Look for favorable reviews from previous clients, as well, to bring you peace of mind.
- Fee structure: You will want to know if the firms you speak to require payment from you upfront or if they operate on a contingency fee basis, which means the firm collects a fee only when it successfully recovers compensation.
Avoid attorneys who make you promises they have no chance of fulfilling, like:
- A guarantee that you will win your case
- How much you will be awarded in your case
- A quick (generally less than 18 months) resolution
Keep in mind that an experienced CP attorney will likely only take on your case if they believe you have a strong one—and when you have a strong case, you have a fairly good chance of winning your lawsuit. However, attorneys with even the most impressive of verdict records won’t make you promises about the completion of your case.
How Can an Experienced Attorney Make the Difference in Your CP Case?
An experienced cerebral palsy lawyer can take what is a very complicated medical issue and build a case that demonstrates a clear connection between the actions (or inactions) that led to your child’s CP. When it comes to hiring a law firm, bigger is not always better, but experience is.
While you may be intimidated or skeptical of a law firm that advertises multimillion dollar verdicts, these kinds of verdicts are not common, contrary to what some people may think. Sizable verdicts often mean the legal team presented its case in a way that demonstrated the impact of the medical error through strong evidence and skillful legal work.
What Experience Does JJS Have Representing Families Affected by CP?
The Cerebral Palsy Family Lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs have decades of experience as well as the legal and medical knowledge and resources to help you seek compensation intended to ensure the best quality of life for your child. Their dedicated cerebral palsy division has:
- Won and negotiated record-breaking settlements
- Maintained extraordinary in-house medical experts, including a board-certified OBGYN, who have uncovered medical errors that other firms missed
If you think it’s possible that medical malpractice caused your child’s cerebral palsy and want to talk with the Cerebral Palsy Family Lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs, reach out today.