Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Yields Funds to Provide for the Future Needs of Child With Cerebral Palsy

WheelchairThe settlement of a Chicago medical malpractice lawsuit will provide funding for a girl’s medical and non-medical needs for the rest of her life. The child, who suffered complications during the labor and delivery process, went into fetal distress. Hospital staff failed to respond to signals in a timely and efficient manner, leading to the development of cerebral palsy.

The Christ Medical Center Litigation and Settlement

When a woman goes into labor, special fetal monitors help doctors regulate a baby’s heart rate, ensuring that the infant does not go into fetal distress or experience oxygen deprivation. However, an attending obstetrician and hospital staff at the Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, failed to respond to obvious signals of fetal distress.

Delayed treatment for fetal distress led the child to suffer from oxygen deprivation for an extended time. Without proper oxygen levels, the child suffered severe brain damage and developed a neurological condition known as cerebral palsy. The girl will likely have difficulty walking, speaking, and eating for the rest of her life.

As reported by the Chicago Sun Times, the girl’s family obtained Chicago medical malpractice lawyers to reach a settlement with the defendant hospital. Christ Medical Center agreed to pay an undisclosed amount after two years of litigation.

In addition to paying for the girl’s past and future medical expenses, the proceeds from this birth injury settlement will allow the child’s family to make their home more accessible. The funds will allow the family to increase their home’s wheelchair accessibility, allowing the girl to move freely in the comfort of her residence.

Where do Proceeds From Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits Go?

When the negligence of medical staff causes cerebral palsy in a child, most states allow families to file medical malpractice lawsuits to recover funds for their child’s damages. In most cerebral palsy cases, the majority of the funds go to pay for the child’s past medical expenses along with the cost of future care. However, medical malpractice laws vary from state to state.

Depending on the applicable rules, families may claim economic and non-economic damages for their child’s injuries. Economic damages refer to tangible, out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, therapy costs, hospitalizations, and medications. Non-economic damages pay for intangible trauma to the child, such as:

  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering

In cases where the medical staff was especially negligent or willfully harmful, some courts may award punitive damages to the family. Punitive damages intend to deter the defendant or defendants from performing the same action in the future. Unlike criminal cases, medical malpractice lawsuits do not involve jail time.

As stated before, the majority of funds from cerebral palsy lawsuits will go toward a child’s past and future care. These costs can vary depending on the severity and type of cerebral palsy the child has, along with his or her degree of disability. A child can require anything from a special wheelchair, a modified family vehicle, or a live-in caregiver to receive the best quality of life and reach optimal health.

How a Life Care Planner Helps Cerebral Palsy Cases

Calculating past medical expenses for a child with cerebral palsy is relatively easy, since there is a paper trail to follow. However, calculating future expenses requires expert intervention and outside assistance.

Cerebral palsy lawsuits often involve the services of a life care planner. This professional can help a family compartmentalize and organize their child’s specific needs into a life care plan. Essentially, this plan is a road map of the child’s care needs for the rest of his or her life. The life care planner will examine the child’s physical and psychological strengths and weaknesses. Then, he or she develops a customized care plan to incorporate the child’s medical needs.

In order to calculate the total sum of the child’s life care plan, the life care planner will meet with an economist. The economist will determine how much the recommended services will realistically cost throughout the child’s life. Economists who work in this field use a rate of return in interest and investments to calculate the current cash value of the life care plan. The cerebral palsy attorney will then use this figure to argue for the child’s right to compensation.

Once a family reaches a settlement for a cerebral palsy lawsuit, they cannot seek additional funds. It is vital that families enlist the help of an experienced life care planner and economist to best provide for the future needs of the child. If families do not have access to these resources, hiring a cerebral palsy attorney can help connect them with the professionals they require for a successful lawsuit.

Hire a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Today

Has your child suffered from a birth injury due to medical negligence? A cerebral palsy lawyer can help you obtain potential compensation for his or her damages. At Cerebral Palsy LLC, we have experience representing clients throughout the United States in medical malpractice suits, including cerebral palsy cases.

Contact us today to receive your free case evaluation.