Taking care of a Child With Cerebral Palsy - A CP Warrior in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Much of our legal work is helping children and families when a child has been the victim of medical malpractice in D.C., Maryland or Virginia. Many of the families we talk to have questions about what they do when they think their child's injury or disability may have been caused by medical malpractice, but they don't know where to begin.
First, caring for a disabled child is a full time, 24/7 job - we know because we have witnessed the uncommon courage many moms and dads have when it comes to taking care of their severely disabled child and the heavy duty responsibility of the parents as the child grows. Honestly, most parents don't have the time or energy to consider whether medical malpractice was the cause of their child's injuries - they are too busy taking care of their child's special needs. But they are also worried about their child's future - especially what will happen once the parents are gone.
We hear that over and over when we talk to parents of disabled children. And many are surprised to learn that the time to bring a case for an injury to a child (even a birth injury or birth trauma) can be up to age 21 in D.C. and Maryland.
How does a child's medical malpractice case work? In D.C., Maryland and Virginia, its a lot like any other medical malpractice case. It takes a lot of time, effort and expense to have the medical records reviewed by physicians and other experts in different specialties, to have the child examined by a specialist and to file the case and bring a medical malpractice case to trial. The mom, dad or legal guardian files the case on behalf of the child, and we still have to prove everything in court, just like any other case.
One of the worries a parent of a special needs child is: what if the child can't live alone or work when she grows up because of her disability? The child can recover these damages in a medical malpractice case. As part of any case involving a severely disabled person (child or adult) we have a life care plan prepared by a specialist to determine the level of care and assistance the person needs and the costs of the care - things like a group home, home nursing care or a wheelchair accessible van, for example.
The goal of any case, of course, is to provide for the child's needs for the rest of his or her life. And there are many ways to accomplish this.
The bottom line is that most people who have a child with severe disabilities don't know whether the disabilities were caused by medical malpractice, especially around the time of birth or due to the pre- natal care. And there is a thorough investigation we do to determine that.
If you have friends or relatives who have a child with severe disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, we are happy to talk to them about the process of investigating the cause of the injuries or disabilities - it could be a conversation that changes the life of that child and family.
Have them call us at (202) 393-3320 to talk it through. And if we can't help them, we'll try to refer them to someone who can.